10 June 2018 Staring at a blank page, on an airport chair, I feel like I’m living someone else’s life. Or I still think that this is nothing but a dream.
June 2004 Vermont, USA It’s a warm summer day and I arrive in Burlington after a 9 hour trip on the famous Greyhound bus. This was the beginning of my Work&Travel program in USA. I remember seeing an ad about it on the university hallway and begging my parents to borrow money so they can send me over the ocean, into the unknown that was USA. On the first evening there, we were invited to dinner by our manager. I ordered shrimp cocktail, having no idea what that was. I figured out how to eat it and from that moment I knew I was ready for everything USA would throw at me. I was 22 and fearless, no worries, no problems – just expectations of great times and memories.
Summer ended in style with a four day trip to NYC, just before heading back to Romania. Me and my friends were “lucky” enough to be accommodated at the Friendly Motel on Gunhill Road in the Bronx. This made the experience more authentic and it didn’t stop me from exploring and getting my first NY hotdog on the streets of Manhattan. It was the start of my relationship with The City.
Fast forward to January 2018 Life has been treating me well and I’m spending my vacation on a trip around the Caribbeans with my BFF. We’re now in San Juan, Puerto Rico – a place I found surprisingly beautiful. And as we walk along the amazing coastline, the rain starts pouring. It’s pretty soft and warm initially. The kind of rain you wish for on a hot summer day, to cool you off. It soon becomes heavier and we find a huge tree to hide under. As we wait for the rain to stop (s.k. #kikiandthecity) I look at the ground, just near the tree. I see a key shaped object. I pick it up and it’s sort of a decorative key that has symbols of travel engraved: a car, a ship and a plane. And a man with a child on his back, of which I later find out is St. Christopher – the patron of travelers. I take it as a sign that says my life should be a continuous journey. And guess what happens next? I get an email from my manager telling me about a new role that’s based in NY. Luckily I am obsessed with my phone and check my work email on vacation, otherwise I would not be here. This was the perfect timing as I was planning to spend the last week of my vacation in New York. After a thirty minutes discussion with the NY manager we both realize I’m not the right fit.
I leave the office with regret of how my life could have changed if I got that job. But the works of Saint travelers guy seem to be still in place and I get an email from another manager in NY. This time the department is a much better fit to my current expertise. After the discussion I leave the office with such positive feelings, I almost know this job will be mine. Just one and a half weeks later, I get the long awaited email where I get offered the JOB and the rest is history.
Fast forward to today, I filled the blank page with what you just read, but I still feel like I am living someone else’s life. However, I am sure this will fade away and I will feel more and more like home in this big city.
Here’s to creating great memories, meeting awesome people and exploring the world.