It’s a fairly common dream: You chuck it all and move to a remote beach, make coconut cocktails for a living, and never, ever wear real shoes again. Goodbye New York stress, tiny, overpriced apartments, and jobs that rarely pay well. It’s a fantasy for most of us, but I actually did it. And I’m here to tell you that it was at turns awesome and really, really weird. While I loved my six months outside of reality, I’m also glad I came back to New York, to my career, and to all my same problems. (Okay, maybe not that part.)
I’ve always been your typical NYC workaholic: long hours, only thinking about work, and not having that great of a personal life. Back in 2003, I was still trying to prove myself, spending countless days (and nights) toiling away as a young editor at style.com
. I was in the midst of my quarter-life crisis, only I had no idea that’s what it was. I wanted to change everything in my life, and I thought that if I changed venues, magically, my life would improve.
Instead of heading to the shrink’s couch (maybe a smarter choice), I up and moved to Mal Pais, Costa Rica, a small surf town I had visited six months earlier. I remember being impressed by everyone’s laid-back attitude. No one had the spine-crushing stress that I lived with daily. Everyone seemed happy. Why wasn’t I doing this? Why didn’t I live here?