My permanent home base (i.e. where I grew up and my parents still live) is Baldwin, a suburb of New York City. People tend to think of Long Island as rich and glitzy, a la the Hamptons, but Baldwin is solidly middle-class. On paper it's really nothing special. A lot of it is pretty blah, there aren't any attractions and there's really not much to do. But honestly? I'm so grateful to have grown up there. I got all the benefits of suburban life (a backyard to play in, our local park in walking distance from my house, a pretty safe and quiet neighborhood) mixed in with incredible diversity (my high school is 50% black!), with the bonus of the greatest city in the world less than an hour away. I was so cultured without ever living anywhere else, which is something I couldn't be more thankful for. Baldwin really shaped me into a well-rounded person.
My next stop was Coral Gables, Florida, to attend the University of Miami. I don't think one can truly understand Florida without having lived there; northern Florida is like the deep south, but southern Florida is like a mix between Long Island and Cuba. (You think I'm joking? Go into a store in Miami and start speaking Spanish.) Coral Gables in itself is equally strange, with some super ritzy areas and some super sketchy areas. Campus is, like, smack in the middle. It's a suburb that you really need a car to get around in and, as I was car-less, I spent a lot of time getting aggravated by the terrible public transportation and the occasional Zip-Car. I wish I'd explored Miami more, but I'm still happy with my taste of Florida living. It was like living in a sauna. Or a rainforest. And sometimes I still crave plantains and yucca.
While I was still going to school at Miami, I spent five months living in London for study abroad. I've covered that topic pretty extensively already but, as always, it bears repeating. I adored living in London. It was my first time living in a city, with two tube stops each less than five minutes away from my flat, and it was where I discovered that I'm truly a city girl at heart. I adored having the whole city at my disposal; adventure or culture or simply a new experience was always right around the corner. And I loved living in the East End -- it's gritty and multicultural and steeped in fascinating history. Such a cool place to live. I'll stop rambling now, but suffice it to say I'd live there again in a heartbeat.
I currently live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which is technically a city but certainly doesn't fit into my definition of the word! There are about five square blocks of "downtown," if that, and my office building that's six stories is one of the taller buildings. And with the closest big city (Denver) upwards of an hour's drive away, I'm feeling a little stifled. But I will never -- honestly, never -- get tired of looking at the mountains. I've always lived closer to the beach than the mountains, so moving out here was eye-opening in a phenomenal way. Nature is amazing.
All of this makes me wonder where I'll be heading next. I guess only time will tell!
Where's the most interesting place you've lived?