When I left New York City, it felt like home. The city was full of tastemakers and culture rapidly changed and evolved likes the ebb and flow of busy avenue traffic. Comparatively, India- chaotic, wonderful, harsh- had movement but change felt slower.
Now that I’m in Nashville, exploration looks different, but there’s the same eagerness for growth that I found in both NYC and New Delhi. There’s an entourage of start-ups, musicians, and ample supplies of good food and coffee to be found. It just has a Southern twist with a transplant vibe.
In NYC, I took language classes at an independent bookstore with business professionals in the evening; here my neighbor friend comes and sits on my porch (shout out to Ellen!). She works a day job, makes jewelry, and teaches yoga at a studio just a bike ride away.
There, a lot of my exercise came from walks to and from work, carrying groceries up my 5-flight walk-up, or hustling to meet friends. Here, I’m deliberately training for running events with my family (they’re very convincing- look at that face over there), rock climbing (learning at least), and finding yoga classes where the incense takes me back to India. I have to be more deliberate about action.
Weekend activities look pretty similar, with the occassional barn dance or bike ride (I’m currently sitting at a coffee shop waiting for the rain to stop so I can bike home). Let’s be honest though, I went “southern” dancing (as the infamous Susan Barnes called it) when I was in the city ( a couple of times). It’s all about the people you’re with, right? They’re what make the experience.
One of the things I’ve loved about living here is how accessible travel has been, whether it’s been for work or a quick getaway. Driving brings on a whole new freedom. I was able to make it back to greet my new baby nephew (the first one I’ve made it back for out of 6).
NYC taught me confidence and practical tips for embracing change, India instilled resilience, and Nashville is helping me to tie the two together. It’s brought on a new journey- a journey towards balance.