“There’s this something that makes me ‘me,'” Casey says, talking to the camera. “And whatever that something is, it first came to light when I moved to New York City 20 years ago.”
I never understood why Casey Neistat moved from New York City to California. It felt like my favorite TV show character being axed from the show. Needless to say, when, 3.5 years later, he announced he was coming back, I was thrilled.
“I could feel that something withering, that sense of self was dying, in Los Angeles,” Casey continues. What’s more, his wife Candice, with whom Casey usually struggles to agree, felt exactly the same way.
“Candice and I weren’t born in New York City. We were adopted by New York City. It’s the place where we became ourselves.” Having both arrived in the Big Apple in their early 20s and then spent what may have been their most formative years there, both as a couple and as individuals, Casey calls NYC not their home by birth but their home by choice, “and it’s rare in life for two things to fit so perfectly together.”
That’s what home is truly about: fit. Feeling like you belong. As he waves goodbye to his house in California, Casey explains: “Home was never about a house, or a great yard, or good weather. Home is about a place that makes you feel like you.” And then, clicking two legos together, he says: “Home is about finding a location where you just…fit.”
When I walk around Munich, I feel like a fish in water. I can’t tell you whether it’s the weather, the people, the architecture, the restaurants, the geographical layout of the city, the nature, or any of a million other things — and it is probably all of them combined — but when I am here, I feel like, no, I know that I belong, and that’s worth more than gold.
Wherever you get this feeling, know that you needn’t justify it. You don’t have to be able to explain it. As long as you recognize it, that is enough. How you deal with the consequences? That’s another story. But for now, remember that feeling like you belong is priceless. It’s a feeling that’s hard enough to find as it is, so when you do, don’t dismiss it.
Your living situation may not work out perfectly, and it definitely won’t do so immediately, but no matter how rocky the road to home, it’s astonishing to be able to say something along the lines of what Casey said, and almost a miracle to then live by these words: “New York City — it’s the only place where I feel like I truly belong.”