Hello friends, fans, and followers. I write this to you from Fort Lauderdale airport. NYC obviously heard me complaining about how I didn’t want to leave South Florida and decided to help me stay here longer by raining so hard that all flights in/out of the area have got massive delays. Thanks, I guess? Although being stuck at an airport with terrible wifi isn't exactly what I was hoping for. Le sigh.
ANYWAYS. I just spent 10 days in sunny South Florida visiting old friends, places, and memories. And it was probably the best vacation I had in a long time. Although vacation seems like the wrong word, because the entire time I was down there I simply felt like I was finally back in my one true home. Florida has a strange way of doing that to me.
I kicked my vacation off with my best bear in West Palm Beach at her parents’ house. We spent Memorial Day Weekend with some quality beach time, delicious beer, fancy feasts, and more gossip and girl chat than we should admit to. So that was pretty ideal.
After a few days in the suburbs, we packed up a car and headed down to our beloved Miami. It’s the place we first met and fell in best-friends-forever love, and we hadn't been down here together in close to three years. Needless to say, this trip was long overdue.
A very good friend of mine was going to be out of town and lovingly left me with keys to his downtown Miami apartment, so our living arrangements were set (complete with this awesome view).
But I also decided to indulge and get myself a rental car. If you’ve ever been to Miami, you know that having your own wheels is crucial. Well, this was my first time having my own vehicle since I moved out of the 305 four years ago. And it was BLISS.
I jumped at the chance to take all of my most favorite drives around the city: to Coral Gables, to UM campus, to Key Biscayne, to Miami Beach, and more. I could've spent the entire 6 days just driving around in that car. There’s something about cruising around Miami with the windows rolled down and the volume turned up that will always make me feel right at home.
On my way back home from a paddle boarding session on Key Biscayne, I had the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, and it really felt as if I had never even left. When I stopped at the local Publix to grab some groceries and successfully gave directions to a stranger in Spanish, I started to REALLY become convinced that I had never left and that the past 4 years in NYC must have been a very elaborate dream. A very, VERY elaborate, bank-account-sucking dream.
Isn't it strange how a place that you only lived in for a few years can feel so much like home? I suppose it's more about the life that I built in that place than the place itself. Miami was the first place I had lived without the safety net of my family. It was the first place I had the freedom to establish myself as the person I really wanted to be. It was the first place I built my own home in, had my own car in, held down my first industry-related job in, had my heart broken in, and more. It is the place where I really grew into myself. And for that reason, it will always hold a very special place in my heart.
I don’t know if it was the intense sense of independence I felt all week, or just being back on my old stomping grounds, or the high of too much vitamin D and sunshine I seemed to be riding, or the love I felt being surrounded by so many of my favorite people, or a combination of all of the above, BUT…. it’s been a long time since I’ve felt this healthy, productive, motivated, and just generally happy.
I’m coming back from this trip feeling totally refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to hit the ground running. And boy-oh-boy do I need to hit the ground running. This month is jam packed with setting up a new business, moving to Jersey, and bringing on a few new clients for my digital strategy business. BRING IT, JUNE.
As sad as I am to be leaving South Florida, I am very, very excited to get back to reality and start shifting into the next chapter of my life. This trip has been a perfect reminder of all the things I’ve already done, how far I’ve come, and just how many people (near and far) there are in my life who have ALWAYS supported me and continue to do so.
Miami, no matter what, will always feel like home to me. And there’s no place like home.
I will miss my South Florida fam tons, but this little bear has gotta get back to her NYC grind. The sooner I get back to my grind, the sooner I can come back down and play some more. What better motivation could I possibly ask for?
Soaking up some last rays of sunshine,