On Sunday, I will be hitting the road for four days. We are moving to Austin, in Texas.
Exactly 20 years ago this month, I started a journey that would forever change my life. I was landing at Kennedy Airport with my parents. I was about to discover a city I would immediately fall in love with, a city I would visit at least 10 times in the next 18 years, in which I would marry my French husband, a city with which I would mourn on September 11, 2001 (yes, I was here on that infamous day), and in which I would long to live for the next 18 years.
Do you have a friend or have you ever heard someone tell you about this place – wherever on earth it was for that particular person – that they have visited and in which they felt so comfortable it was like they had lived there before? Not that I believe in previous lives, just in a place to call home, wherever it is.
Three years ago, my name was drawn at the green card lottery (for those wondering, like I used to, some people do win :-). Two years ago, we packed up most of the things we cared to bring with us, gave up our jobs and said goodbye to our families and moved to New York. We actually immigrated.
I insist on the word immigrated because neither my husband nor myself are “expats” who came with an expat package. We chose to move to the U.S. We arrived with three cats and ourselves but no home, no job, no bank account, no credit history.
I am not complaining. On the contrary.
For reasons I won’t bore you with, we are now packing again and we will be hitting the road this weekend to move to Texas.
(Yes, we told my cat Texas that the state of Texas was named after him, please don’t tell him it’s the other way around!)
We’re going to Austin, the state capital of Texas.
(We spotted this girl with a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt on Independence Day at the John Jay Homestead)
Now, don’t get me wrong: I have nothing against Texas. On the contrary: I am eager to discover this state and the beautiful places it seems to hold. I have made a short visit to Dallas once, around Christmas time, but I have never been to Austin yet.
But I will miss New York terribly because this city – and after two years living here, I know more than ever – will always be my “home” or the place I “belong to.”
I will miss arriving in Grand Central Terminal and being able to watch at the ceiling to start my day; I will miss the speed and the energy that emanate from New York City (I’ve always loved how everything went fast here); I will miss the abundance of choices on anything (too many to try everything): events, restaurants, activities, people; I will miss the skyscrapers, tributes to the men who built them and who left empires behind.
I still have plenty of things and pictures to post on New York, and I intend to post them :-) And I hope that you will also discover Austin with me.
Like I knew that one day I would live here, I know that one day, I’ll come back.
(My first address in New York)
You can take the girl out of New York, but you can’t take New York out of the girl.
(This video was made and edited by my husband – then boyfriend – in 2008)