Departure Time to New York City: No Longer Applicable

Dec 19, 2014 by

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          Had I remained the full length of my planned 82-day stay in Europe, today would have been the day I flew back to Toronto to hop straight on an overnight bus to New York until I depleted my travel budget. Despite cutting my Euro trip short, I considered spending the holidays in New York anyway. Olivia would have come with me. From the moment I booked Paris, she had planned to meet me wherever I travelled for Christmas and New Year’s, because she’s the best best friend in the world and the holidays are ours.

          Speaking of the holidays being best-friend reserved, my mom made a hopeless attempt to convince me to some hall that my dad’s side of the family randomly booked for Christmas Day this year. Let me tell you how that conversation went:

 
          “Why are you guys going to a hall?” I asked my mom. “You never go anywhere on Christmas Day.”

          She explained that one of my cousins is going to her in-laws’ on Christmas Eve, which is when our family always celebrates, so they’re celebrating both days this year. “You should come,” she added in a faux breezy voice.

          “Christmas Day is with Olivia,” I nonchalantly replied.

          “I know how you feel about family, but –”

          “Olivia is my Christmas,” I reiterated while washing dishes.

          “At least for your grandparents,” she said.

          Weird. She usually knows to give up faster than that.

          “With Olivia!” I reminded over the running water.

          “Just bring Olivia,” she suggested.

          “I’m not sure what we’re doing,” I said, though my stance was a final no regardless.

          “Your grandparents ask about you all the time.”

          Oh, attempted guilt. My mom couldn’t have thought I’d take that bait. It’s nothing against my nonno and nonna. I just can’t communicate with them. My nonno speaks minimal English, my nonna speaks none, and my Italian is limited to, “Vorrei un cono piccolo con cannolo Siciliano e bacio gelati, per favore.”

          I was amused by how hard my mom was trying, but adamantly responded, “Olivia is there for me all the time.”

          “I know, but I’m still going to give my two cents,” my mom said.

          “That’s fine,” I laughed. “I’ll be with Olivia.”

 
          Anyway, family tangent aside, I decided the holidays in New York are not worth the cost of at least one month’s living expenses at home, not while unemployed. A week there over Christmas and New Year’s would be more expensive than four here. I’d rather have more financial leeway while job searching (when I eventually get to job searching). Having said that, I didn’t like the idea of completely wasting my non-refundable, non-changeable ticket. For more than a month, I contemplated going for the weekend with friends or at least for the day by myself before finally deciding to cut my losses and forget about the ticket. Honestly, I don’t want to go. I’m travelled out. The idea of transporting myself away from Toronto for even a day does not appeal to me right now. Thus, I am not boarding a bus tonight to wake up in New York City tomorrow. Instead, tomorrow I will be at a Christmas party hosted by one of my girlfriends and her family. I was so touched when I saw the invite a few weeks ago that I shrieked – in public. This weekend, between travel and friends plus new friends, I’m choosing friends.

 
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