Everywhere at Once

Edward Lando
3 min readNov 23, 2023

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My mother has often told me stories of how, as a younger woman living in Paris, she would find herself walking around say on the Champs-Elysées one early afternoon, and suddenly become anxiously convinced that all of the exciting action and life of the city that day was actually in Saint-Germain.

So she would Metro there, and after a little bit she would start to feel that she was actually missing out on everything that was going on in the Marais, so she would head in that direction. And so on, around and around Paris, always in search of greener grass.

I can tell you that I believe in genetics, because it seems like I often suffer from the same malady. My father also has it given that he traveled the world for so long as a journalist, and it is difficult to name a place he would not be excited to return to.

One of the most fortunate things that has happened to me is that my parents were able to take me around the world for a year when I was six. They home-schooled me — my mom taught me French / Literature / Languages and my dad English, Math and Sciences.

All in, we’ve visited about 70 countries over the years and have some interesting stories to share, from economy sleeper trains to Varanasi, to a one-month roadtrip throughout Australia, which forced me to several times confront head-on my arachnophobia.

Maybe this explains why I now perpetually find myself wanting to be in another part of town, another city, another country, attending another event, working on another project.

This feeling is most overwhelming to me in New York City, where dozens of the possible permutations of life flash in front of you at every city block.

When I leave New York say to fly back to Paris, I am almost always sad. Those flights are usually in the evenings and I have vivid memories of looking back at the sunset behind the skyline from Brooklyn or from the airport, and feeling my heart tear out of my chest.

It makes no sense given how soon I will be back but travel still envelops me in nostalgia. And the next morning, when I arrive in Paris, I am suddenly happy to be there, and eventually also feel this familiar pang when it is time to leave.

I sometimes think of all of the other places in the world that I love and have loved at some point when I once had the chance to visit.

This has always been a wild thought to me, and I don’t think solipsistic by any means:

Every place you have ever been — city, hotel, restaurant, café, store — at one point of your life continues to exist daily whether or not you are there.

It is hard to hold all of these in your mind at the same time so they sort of fade into the recesses of your memory at some point, but you can retrieve them if you try hard enough.

And of course if you are lucky you can visit them again some day.

Even though this sentiment that inhabits my parents and me is tantalizing, I also find it strangely pleasant and think they do as well.

It makes you feel very alive, brimming with desire to explore and make the most of this wildly rich and vast world we live in, to uncover its treasures hidden at all four corners and on the way there.

The world is too interesting a place to not want to always be everywhere at this very moment.

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