• New York is a more put together me.

  • New York is a more pulled together me.

  • New York is the “Goings On About Town” in every issue of the the New Yorker.

  • New York is the friendly faces and wonderful banter at Secchu Yokota.

  • New York is where no one pretends to like me, but when I do encounter great hospitality, the spark is so authentic and genuine.

  • New York is where I have the human interactions that life is all about.

  • Tokyo is also a more put together me, a more pulled together me.

  • Tokyo is the charming cute little streets with adorable espresso shops on the corner and fantastic coffee.

  • Tokyo is the jarring contrast between zen, minimalist decor and barrage of too much information from advertisements to building signs.

  • Tokyo is the iconic flashing red lights on any building of significant height, blanketing the entire city as you drive in on the Rainbow Bridge from Haneda airport.

  • Tokyo is the clean, punctual trains.

Why is it that in cities like New York, London, Tokyo, and even the Singapore that I had originally categorized as so sterile…why do I feel so much more alive, with a heightened sense of perception and clarity? Is it because they aren’t home? I don’t think that in and of itself is all there is to it. There are plenty of “away from home” cities that I don’t feel that way about … LA, Chicago, Barcelona, Prague.

Is this sense of “feeling alive” something that should I optimize for?