Instead of a weekend recap, I have a special post for today.
I can’t believe it’s been a year (Dec 9) since I left my job in Philadelphia and embarked on quite the journey from December 2016 through April 2017 traveling. At times, I miss Philadelphia. I miss the city and especially during the Christmas season. I love cities during the holidays. Yes they are crazy, but that Holiday season air fills me with happiness. I know it’s so cheesy, but I love the decorations, the Macy’s windows, grabbing a hot tea to warm my hands and walking with all the shoppers. If I’m in Chicago, I love an opportunity to ice skate at the bean. I know some people stress during the holiday season, but I see the joy. We complain about the cold, but for me, it would be weird to have a warm Christmas. I know we have had some unusually warm Decembers in the last few years and don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed not pulling out the winter coat, but Christmas feels like it should be cold and snowy, as long as I can stay cozy and inside. Last year, I got my white Christmas in Chicago right before taking off for Australia and it was the perfect send off. I will tolerate the cold until New Year’s and then after that, it’s more torture knowing you have 3 more months until Spring.
But back to Philadelphia…I think back on the times walking to Love Park (before it was under construction) and the Christmas Village. I usually only came back with a gingerbread cookie of some sort. In Philadelphia, there was always a place I could take a walk during my lunch break, whether that was to grab tea because I wasn’t feeling great or going into Barnes and Noble to browse the books. Sometimes I would even sprint to Reading Terminal for a donut for me and Brian when he came down.
Even though at times I was afraid walking alone at night to the train, I would love looking up at the buildings, all lit up, some in red and green for the holidays. I had a love/hate with working on the 32nd floor. The view was amazing, but knowing in a time of emergency that I was on the 32nd floor, was scary to think about and I know 32 is nothing compared to floor 100.
The thing is, Philadelphia was a stepping stone for me. I never really felt I could settle there. See, I love the city, but I love living in the suburbs. I had the best of both. I took the train into work so I didn’t have to worry about starting up my car which was amazing for those 2.5 years. But now, my commute time is about 1/3rd of what it was in Philadelphia so there are always pros and cons. I’m now working in a small town, which is a very different feel from center city Philadelphia. I can’t go down the street and shop for a pair of sneakers and Christmas gifts, but hey maybe that is better for my wallet (except all that online ordering I have done at home lately).
I still miss living close to a big city. I don’t think I will ever stop loving cities. I see so much opportunity in them and Philadelphia was the perfect one for me to go to on my own to explore. I also got to learn so much history, which if you know me, I HATED anything history in school. Seeing it though, in person, is so much different. I’m glad my parents could come down for a weekend and we could walk and visit many museums.
I’ll always have my friends in Philadelphia and my favorite yoga studios to keep in touch with. One thing I am most proud of was doing my yoga teacher training in Philadelphia. The Yoga Garden felt like home immediately when I walked in and there are few studios since that I can say the same about. Philadelphia will always be a special part of my journey in finding myself. I’m always working on myself, figuring out what I want for my life, but Philadelphia was a huge growing place for me and I’ll always be proud of that. Even with only living there for a short time, Philadelphia has this special place in my heart, feeling just a bit like home.
Since I’m only about 3 hours away from Philadelphia right now, it’s perfect for a weekend visit. I’ll actually be flying from Philadelphia to Florida this Christmas, a last minute trip, so hoping to enjoy seeing some Christmas trees and windows in Philadelphia for a day this winter. Then in March, probably head down for the Flower show.
Do you have a place that you felt you did a lot of growing up?