There's no where I would have rather grown up than on my maple farm in the Catskills (upstate NY). I am grateful that I fell in love with nature, animals, fresh food and open space. I love the country, the small towns, simplicity, and that everyone takes a lot of pride in the country life, even if the rest of the world doesn't know we exist. When I cook breakfast I go find some fresh eggs, at Christmas we cut down our own tree, and from October to April the phrase heard most often is 'did you fix the fire?'. The maple business has spoiled me sweet.
My family bought my grandpa's house on Cape Cod which gave me the opportunity to finish grade school in a place I only considered for vacations. The Cape allowed me to participate in varsity track and soccer, and make more friends simply because there were so many more people. Not to mention I could walk to the beach after school and pretty much drive to any store I needed within 10 minutes (a big change from having to drive 25 minutes to get to any store and by any store I mean WalMart).
Already blessed to live in the mountains and on a giant sandbar, I then made the leap to New York City for college. It was beyond intimidating, and I went through my homesick moments, but the city has a special place in my heart now. There's a lot of articles about how to know when you've become a real New Yorker, and one of them talks about getting a panicky feeling when you're heading back to the city, but once you're back you feel calm and in charge. I've felt that. I've had a lot of awesome firsts in New York, including internships, fashion shows, matcha lattés, and 5-stop all-day grocery shopping to get the best of everything.