At the risk of sounding abrupt, I would like to say this: I am not a typical anything. I haven't followed the beaten track in life. But then again... well, I suppose I'm not such an outlier, either. You decide.
I grew up in New England, and, while I will probably never live there again, some aspects of me remain quite New English. But I call myself a New Yorker and, being from an Indian immigrant background, also Bengali. I go back to Kolkata every year.
After university, I randomly moved to Paris as a result of an April Fools' Day joke that I played on a near-stranger and that involved a long length of string, a broken door and a partially-frozen steak. A whole chapter of my life was spent there - seven years in all.
Then I went back to the US for law school, hoping one day to work for the United Nations - and went to a big NYC corporate law firm for five years instead. I had some amazing experiences there, especially through my pro bono asylum practice.
Finally, the UN offered me a job - in east Africa! I spent the next five years doing international criminal law there - focusing on genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. They were exceptionally transformative years, in too many ways to detail here.
Last year, I moved back to NY - the place on earth that I felt was closest to the idea of "home". I wanted to put down roots again. I do miss the adventures and challenges of my old day-to-day life: power and water outages, communicating across the cultural divide, face-offs with frogs, snakes and lizards in my house. The engine of my 1985 Landcruiser catching fire on my way to work. Sigh. But... I'm very much enjoying being with old friends again, and of course, the access to excellent culture - theatre, museums, food - and Central Park.
I think I am an extrovert at heart, but you need not be - although I prefer people who have opinions and express them. You could be quite different from me in personality and relationship to life. But I would love it if you were both a city person and a nature person, too. Or open to that possibility. Finally, humour is essential - mine and yours. Especially dark, silly, sarcastic, and surreal. And some sense of adventure, spontaneity. But I can provide a good dose of that! Anyway, I wish you all the best in your search. -R