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Michelle Collins on the ‘aha moment’ that inspired her to leave NYC, live overseas

The funny lady has been exploring life overseas after living in New York City for a few decades.

Many people move out of the country for a new job or to pursue a relationship, but Michelle Collins' motivation for moving to Europe was a bit different.

The radio and podcast host, who has been filling in for Jenna Bush Hager this week on the 4th hour of TODAY, currently lives in Amsterdam, but she called New York home for 20 years until the pandemic hit.

“I kind of don’t live anywhere. I’m having this sort of nomadic moment,” she told Hoda Kotb on Friday. “I think COVID broke my spirit and my brain a little bit.”

The Sirius XM host was living on the Upper West Side when she reached her "breaking point" and decided it was time to relocate.

Michelle Collins and Hoda Kotb chat on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna on Friday, July 8.
Michelle Collins and Hoda Kotb chat on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna on Friday, July 8. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

"I was hosting my Sirius show one day in my apartment and I noticed a huge fly, like an 8 lb. fly just flying around. And I called it my co-host Denise. And then every day Denise was there and I realized, 'Wait, there was like 19 Denises. This is not the same fly; it's a whole swarm,'" she explained.

When Collins' landlord sent out a wellness check for the building, she realized that one of her neighbors had died (hence the myriad of flies) and she felt motivated to get the heck out of there.

"Someone died in your building?" Hoda asked. "That was your aha moment?"

"I said, 'I have to go, I can’t live in a building with corpse flies.' I'm paying a lot of money too, it's New York. You know what I mean?" she told Hoda.

The comedian packed her bags and moved, and she spent some time in London and Italy before settling in Amsterdam.

"How did you pick where to go?" Hoda wondered.  

“I just had to leave the city for a little bit. As you know, it’s so expensive here, it costs a lot of money," she replied.

When she arrived in Amsterdam, Collins was impressed with the caliber of men in the city.

"I have never in my life seen more attractive people, and I don't know what is going on. What is it?" she explained. "This is my goal, to get you to come to Europe, because the dating pool there versus New York (is better)."

Collins revealed that she's been on many dates since moving overseas and joked that there are better prospects in Europe.

"I tend to like to go to countries where the men are better looking than the women because I want to have a better chance. You know what I mean? I want to be hotter," she said.

Still, the funny lady is still finding her way in the dating world and said that her confidence can intimidate guys.

"Straight men are frightened by me. I think we can all understand that," she said.

The comedian has come to suspect that a lot of guys say they want a funny woman but that they're not ready for her level of humor.

"They really want someone to laugh at their jokes, they don't want a funny woman," she mused.

"Oh, they want an audience!" Hoda said.

"And I also want an audience, so this is the problem," Collins said.