One of the unexpected benefits of living here is the number of friends who come through. One hundred million air passengers pass through New York City’s airports each year, and following the law of large numbers, I happen to know a few.
I was lucky to have made friends around the globe. My Facebook Degrees of Separation shows. 3.22 explaining the average number of connections between everyone and me. The fact that I’m stationary now compared to my recent nomadic past means friends passing through can schedule me into their travel itinerary, and more often than not we hook up for coffee or dinner.
I didn’t have a base for a long time and slept on many a kind friend’s couch or guest bed. Now that I have an uncomfortable futon, I can at least offer a place for a weary traveler to sleep for a night, fulfilling what feels like a karmic imperative.
My apartment can’t accommodate everyone who visits, nor is it to everyone’s taste. The key is short-term. After sleeping under more than 500 roofs over the last years, I know better than most that guests, like fish, lose their freshness after a couple days.
Some friends will kindly sidestep my offer of staying over, favoring a hotel.
Backpacker friends are appreciative of the fact there’s a hostel across the street – another perk of living in Chelsea and scoping out the community in advance.
It’s weird and wonderful to see old friends on my new home patch. It’s also an opportunity for me to share my newfound love of the city with them, whether it be their first time here or their fiftieth time. There’s always something new to be discovered in NYC that appeals to travelers and the spiritually promiscuous alike.
Two old college roommates. A high-school newspaper workmate. Three roommates from my days in Mexico City. Three buddies from India. A family returning to England from Miami whose plane caught on fire and were diverted to JFK.
Friendships formed years ago are strengthened again with visits. I’m grateful for living in a travel hub and the opportunities to reconnect once more after a long hiatus.
Do you keep in touch with old travel friends? Do you think social media has been a help or a hindrance in that respect?
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