Another decade is just about behind us. The 2000s have been an interesting decade for my own life, my family’s life and the world. It was just the other day that people were concerned about Y2K and the ramifications of the impending year 2000. And now, 2010 – and a whole new set of concerns. In the past decade I have started and finished college, completed law school, married, became a father of two beautiful girls, bought a house, began a career, made numerous friends and memories and have learned a lot about myself, life, relationships and many topics in between. In short, it has been a fulfilling decade. And while I still feel as if I have a ways to go in some areas of my life, I can look back to where I was on December 31, 1999 and remember what I wanted in life. In fact, if someone had asked me then where I wanted to be in ten years I would have been hard pressed to come up with more than my current reality: a wife I love, two great daughters, a stable job with room to grow, a house in New York, some money in the bank and a memorable ride along the way. The great thing is that thanks to my journal keeping habits I have every single day of this past decade recorded on paper. Where I want to be ten years from now is less clear in my mind than it was ten years ago. For me, that is the next step – a vision for December 31, 2019. If I know where I’m going, I am bound to get there.
2009 is almost in the bag, and with it, so is the busiest travel year I’ve ever had thanks to work and play. My travel year pales in comparison to those that travel frequently, but compared to my history of sporadic traveling, 2009 was a busy year for me. Here is the rundown of this year’s trips:
- January – Phoenix/Scottsdale for play
- February – San Francisco for work
- April – Guernsey, Channel Islands and Zurich for work; London for play
- June – Washington D.C. for play
- August – San Francisco for work
- September – Zurich for work; Milan for play
- October – Bay Area, CA for play
- November – Las Vegas, Milwaukee and Portland for work; Boston and Virginia for play
- December – Zurich for work.
2010 will also include some traveling. First off, I know that I will be going to Switzerland again at least twice and will likely head to San Francisco once or twice on business. Secondly, as this may be our last full year on the East Coast, we have some sightseeing to do up and down the coast. We also have some family vacations to plan. In the end, my list one year from now reporting on 2010’s travels may be longer the above. And that would not be a bad thing.
I fly out to Switzerland again this evening and will be there for the next week. As always, I will do some window shopping and check out the beautiful and exquisite timepieces on display on every corner. Switzerland has built a lasting business on crafting all kinds of chronometers and I have enjoyed learning of the different manufactures of watches and timepieces since I began traveling there on a regular basis. There is no watch like a Swiss-made watch.
With that said, however, I currently do not wear a Swiss-made watch. For over the past three years, I have worn a Japanese-made watch, a Citizen Eco-Drive, as my daily watch. With its perpetual calendar, I have never once needed to reset the date, regardless of the month or year. As an Eco-Drive is powered by all forms of light, I have never even worried about replacing a battery. It has kept time beautifully and has served me well in a wide array of activities, from formal to casual. In time, I will have a Swiss watch that I wear daily, but for now, my Citizen continues to perform exceptionally. While I may admire the watches I see when in Switzerland, I will forever be a fan of Citizen.
I was reminded again that traveling outside of New York can be a dangerous thing. It’s not so much that it is dangerous in the literal sense of the word, but it is dangerous because I get to see how other people live. You see, us New Yorkers believe that everyone is envious of us, out here in the center of the universe. We wonder why anyone would want to leave New York. Sure, we suffer a higher cost of living, but we get to live and work in one of the best cities in the world, New York, and not some second-tier city somewhere else. In time, however, tax bills, mortgage payments and stress can make this mentality fade, and when it does, and you travel somewhere else, it’s dangerous.
I traveled to the metro Washington D.C. area of Northern Virginia last week for the Thanksgiving weekend. In short, I was thoroughly impressed. The newly-developed areas southwest of D.C. are beautiful and well planned. The houses are large, the parks plentiful and the schools solid. The shopping areas are gorgeous and the area was surprisingly diverse. Despite not envisioning a job in the area for me in this job market, I could see myself there perhaps someday. Or at least an area like it.
But my life is here in New York for now. I made decisions to make it so, like I thought I always wanted. But my mentality is fading, perhaps because of time, perhaps because I now have two kids. But all I know is that I now often find my trips outside of New York to be ventures into the land of what if. And that, at times, can be dangerous territory.