As our days here are coming to an end I am realizing more and more about the pace at which our three weeks has blown by. Not that I won’t be happy to return home and return to normal activities of everyday life, but I do truly enjoy the time that I have had in these two very similar yet very different cities with everyone.
Being the native to the Northwest, I have become used to the pace of life. We are quick, yet not too quick, we like to take our time to enjoy the outdoors and each others company (although I personally don’t like being “one with nature”, and would prefer to be elsewhere), nonetheless, we are used to our normal pace. When coming to New York, I was aware that the pace would be much quicker and I would have to adapt.
Within minutes of arriving in the airport I realized we weren’t in Spokane anymore as we rushed off the airplane to baggage, then from there to get our metro cards. I noticed how much we stuck out and how awkward it was to not be one of the “normal people” around, that people stared at us an didn’t seem to get why we weren’t moving at their pace. Not to mention, travelling with 14 people and all our luggage isn’t enough of a hot mess, lets add an extremely fast paced city to the mix; it just ends in an even bigger mess and a totally stressed out situation. Once getting semi settled into our home for the next 10 days a few of us ventured back out into the quick paced city to see it up close and personal. Stepping off the subway into Times Square was a once in a life time experience, at least for me. Your eyes are instantly drawn to the sky and you can’t help but continue to look around at the shining, dazzling skyline of NY. The city just comes to life and is bigger and better than you would have imagined.
After several days, we were already tired out from the quick paced, but were all so intrigued by it, myself especially, that you just couldn’t stop looking around and putting your nose to the grindstone, for there were so many things to see and do in the city that never sleeps. The city that never sleeps, I never fully understood what that phrase meant until NY, literally nothing ever stops; the city, the lights, the life, no one is willing to waste time because you never know when you’ll get it and the experiences back. Which is what I didn’t want to do, lose the moments the good and the bad, the new friendships that blossomed and the old ones that grew closer than ever. I’m happy that I didn’t have to waste those moments, that I was able to keep up with the fast pace of life, yet still slow down enough to remember who I am and where I come from.
From the city that never sleeps to the city that always sleeps.
Getting into DC the first night was rough, we come in with the quick paced ways of NY and the hot mess of a traveling “motley crew” as Jim calls us, wanting nothing but a bathroom, bed, and food.We quickly came to find out that food was not such an easy find as it was in NY. Everything here closes at 6, and you literally have to walk all over the place just to find food. After finding food we wanted nothing but our beds and a nice relaxing night as we all dozed off to sleep watching our various TV shows and movies, sadly we found out that there was no wifi connection and we had to find other ways to drift off into slumber; trust me we did.
As our days went on they seemed to grow longer, and our paced seemed to slow. We got tired quicker, and our attention span got shorter. Along with that we noticed that everywhere around us the pace of life was keeping up, almost getting faster; yet how do we keep up when we are so tired just looking for a time when we can catch an extra couple of hours of sleep. We find the strength, we find the way to keep pushing on. In our minds the words ‘Starbucks’ and ‘coffee shops’ popped up and we ran to find the closest one, most of the time they were closed when we needed them.
The pace of not only the outside was different, but inside the offices and companies we worked with. People seemed to slow down and want to know more about us besides our name and where we were from. Not only the companies and offices slowed, but our hostel changed. The guy at breakfast every morning would ask us a little more about ourselves and tell us to go meet someone new. I ended up meeting several new people that way and began new conversations that were quite interesting.
I am grateful for the paces of life I’ve seen in the past month, but I know that I am very excited to return home to my normal pace and style of life soon!