January 16, 2010


1-15-10 2:32 p.m.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm abnormal. If I don't leave New York at least once every two months, I start to have a little bit of a breakdown. It makes me wonder if I'm secretly deeply unhappy in New York and ought to be living somewhere else (I like to think that place is Oxford). My friend's sister is a professional evolutionary astrologist and we were chatting the other day. She said that I'm quite typical of Sagittarians -- which might be true (I used to think that I wasn't a typical Sag, I fit most of the characteristics, except for the ubiquitous thing in every Sag descriptor about loving the outdoors -- but then, after turning 30, I found that I did indeed come to love the outdoors, so I guess there are astrological characteristics that are grow-into-able). Sags, she says, become stunted by repetitious tasks, need changes of scenery, need to travel (and often) and cannot thrive without rapid change and living outside their comfort zones. We didn't go much deeper (circumstance), but that description pretty much nails it. I used to think I ws ADD, but I guess I'm really just SAG.

I'm writing this on a TAM flight to Sao Paulo, of course I'm beyond thrilled to get out of New York (sometimes I can't figure out if I like the places I'm going to or if I just like leaving town). Travel, to me, seems full of new possibilities. But then again maybe it's just that I grew up in New York, and it seems that whenever someone grows up somewhere, they want to leave. I want to leave. All the time.

This year, I'm going to try to scale back on long-distance travel (okay, okay, Sao Paulo and Paris don't count) and look to my travel editor, David Landsel, for inspiration. Last year, David did a year-long series entitled "52 weeks, 50 states," and that's exactly what he did. Ambitious and sounds like a book, no? Anyway, I'd like to discover the United States a bit more this year. It's where I live, after all. Oh, and I'm going to (finally) learn how to drive this year. I'm 32 and I've never sat behind a steering wheel and turned on the ignition. When I get back from Paris, I'm going to get myself a learner's permit.