Globalists At Home
This post was originally published on November 12, 2010 on andyellwood.com.
I've traveled a lot within the past couple months, but have always loved coming home to my city, my island. There's nothing quite so refreshing as seeing the New York City skyline poking through the clouds on descent to LGA or JFK. No matter which airport I'm coming back to the city from, I want to take the outside lanes of the Williamsburg Bridge for the incredible views of the Empire State Building and the Midtown high-rises.
I am fortunate to be pretty centrally located in the heart of Manhattan, just a couple blocks from Washington Square Park. Of all the things I've come to love about living in New York, one of my favorite is that we can travel halfway around the world by walking less than 10 blocks. If we walk East, we end up in Rome or Shanghai or Kiev 15 minutes later. If we walk West, we'll stumble upon memories of London and Paris. If we walk North or South, we might find ourselves in Milan or perhaps Buenos Aires.
In a recent article in the New York Times, Tony Judt recounts their experience in living around the world and the way in which New York captures the best of the best. One line that rang true for me was the description of New York as "a city more at home in the world than in its home country."
With more and more access and understanding of the world and its cultures seen now from the global stage of the digital age, the knowledge of what goes on around the world is available for all to see. It's been a special experience to see and experience glimpses of those cultures on a daily basis on my 7-block walking commute to the office.
One of my favorite parts of the digital world we're living in currently is the ability to communicate and work from just about anywhere in the world—as long as you have WiFi and an international cell phone. Just in the past few months I've traveled over 29,000 miles through 3 countries and across 2 continents. And hopefully, most folks on the other end of some recent email and business negotiations were never the wiser.
In a Vanity Fair article this August, Rich Cohen describes Angelina Jolie as "a high end nomad... beyond petty nationalism." I believe that as more and more advances in communication and technology become mainstream, more people will choose the lifestyle of a global citizen in pursuit of thicker passports.
As I continue to chase down the big idea of being geographically independent, there are countless talking points we thread throughout a multicultural walk through our New York neighborhood. But one thing is for sure: there's no place we would rather have as our base of operations and the place that we call Home.
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