Growing up in New Jersey, hearing "the city" has always meant New York City. New York was the city I always visited, whether it be to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, see a show, or just have a day trip to the city. Although these trips were always fun, I was always overwhelmed by the amount of people running around, the fast pace of everything, and how dirty and tired I felt every time I got back on the train to come home.
To be honest, I always identified with New York City, but never loved going in no matter what it was for. And I always just figured I wasn't a city girl. The suburbs and scenic locations were just more my speed. I could never understand how people loved visiting cities, let alone living in them. Quite honestly, I thought city people were more hype than truth.
Then I started visiting other cities. Boston. Philadelphia. Washington, D.C.
Every trip started to make me feel like maybe I could be a city girl. Then it hit me. Not all cities are created equal.
It really is true that all cities are different. If you only visit one city, it is easy to believe that all cities have the same people, aesthetic, and vibes. But this couldn't be further from the truth. Every city I have visited is different.
Whether it be the people, the restaurants, the pace of it all, or something as simple as how everyone gets around -- the differences are endless. These differences matter because different cities attract different people and define who will thrive there.
While the city that never sleeps might not be the place for me, I could see myself making a different city my home for a while.
If you've only visited one city and didn't love it, keep visiting. You might not be a lover of one city, but a die-hard of another.
Not all cities are created equal, but that doesn't mean there's not one perfect for you.