There lives a part of every city (that I’ve lived in) within me and I’ve left a part of myself in each of those cities. It is difficult to belong anywhere fully. I feel that I am cheating on the city I am in by fantasising about the virtues of another place. Perils of living an expat life perhaps!
Our minds constantly compare and the farther we are from a place, the more we think of it’s positives. Here are some of my tumultuous thoughts:
- @Nairobi: ‘I wish this place was safe at night, like Mumbai’
- @Mumbai: ‘I wish there were more parks and open spaces, like London’
- @London: ‘I would have been happier had the weather been like Nairobi, pleasant through the year’
Indeed the more you travel, the more you know. But also…
- The more you travel, the more you realise what is missing
- The more you travel, the more you compare
Having lived in Mumbai all my life, I was no stranger to honking. But only after I spent a couple of years in Nairobi and a month in London and back, the cacophony of the streets of Mumbai started bothering me. I often find myself saying ‘Nairobi was much calmer’ or ‘No one would honk like this in London’
Does that mean I am unhappy with the city? No! I am happy to be back. Mumbai has more positives than negatives. It is not the city, it is my mind that is at unrest!
Every city has it’s own charisma and it is this that we miss when we leave the city. We human beings are very greedy.We want the best of everything. The more we know, the more we desire! Given a chance, I would merge the goodness of these three cities into one. Would I be happy then? I doubt…Perhaps I will visit some other place and that will shake the very foundations of this paradise that I’ve created.
Here is a word of caution, my traveler friends, live every city to its fullest, miss its charm. But always remember, we are nomads. Do not confine yourself to a few cities. Let there be an inspiration to explore more…The world is your canvas, paint it red!