“Where are you from?”
This is the most asked question I get when I travel outside the country. It only gets complicated when I meet people who are not quite familiar with the US because I then would revert to my go-to fake answer, New York.
No, I am not from New York. My Connecticut hometown is about an hour away from the Big Apple and I’m lucky enough to have an easy access to one of the greatest cities in the world. Of course this realization did not come to me until later. I’ve taken New York for granted far too long and it wasn’t until I’ve traveled the world extensively that this dawned on me.
No, I am not ashamed of my home state. The truth is, New York is the easiest answer I can give! My past experiences taught me that 90% of the people I meet outside the US have no idea where or what Connecticut is. Ok, even some Americans don’t know where it is. No, it’s not north of New York. That would be Canada, dumb-ass.
Telling people I’m from New York saves me the blank stares and the explanations I have to do. Believe me, I tried saying Connecticut numerous times and I always get the “What? Where is that?” question after. So my other answer is usually, “I’m from near New York.”
I admit, this lie has its perks. Every time I tell someone I’m from New York I always get the same wide-eyed amazed reaction and I suddenly become ten times more likable and admired. Then I get everybody’s New York bucket list story and it honestly made me realize how much I’ve taken the city for granted.
So, thank you new travel friends for this realization and I’m sorry if I ever lied to you. I hope you still think I’m cool even though I’m not a New Yorker.