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New York City, I’ll be Seeing You Again

New York City Skyline

I never thought I’d start off 2023 in New York City. It’s a trip I’ve always wanted to take but wasn’t sure that I ever would. 

Full transparency, the first time I ever traveled by airplane, I was fifteen years old. My high school participated in a program called Close Up. We traveled to Washington D.C. and I was so excited to experience a new place. It was a great experience for a teenager like me, but I didn’t catch another flight until I was twenty-six years old. 

I wasn’t accustomed to all the things one could see and experience when traveling. I never realized that I’d had such a desire for it until I took my first trip to California and fell in love with Los Angeles. You can read about that here. It’s funny how when you don’t think things are possible, you don’t even consider how you might obtain such things. For example, I believed that flights were super expensive and I also believed that only well-off people traveled, because they had the money for it. That couldn’t have been further from the truth. Travel can be accessible to everyone, but I didn’t know that then.

My New York Experience

New York was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I’m happy I was able to experience it. As a southern girl from Georgia, I’m use to driving everywhere. Sure, we have MARTA, but it’s nothing compared to the transit system in New York City. I remember using MARTA consistently for about six months while I saved a down payment for a car. I was counting down the days until I could drive again! 

The people in New York weren’t what I expected them to be. Based on the stereotypical stories, I always thought that New Yorkers were rude, always in a hurry, impatient, etc. It was nothing like that when I was there. Honestly, the New Yorkers might have been a bit nicer than people I’ve crossed paths with in the South. 

I also noticed that as I passed people on the street, many of them spoke different languages. Almost every conversation I heard, there was a language that I didn’t recognize. This spoke to the cultural diversity in the city, and this is an experience that traveling exposes you to. 

New York City was a Vibe

Seeing the city’s skyline was the highlight of my trip. I haven’t seen a view like that EVER. The little bagel shop, Pick A Bagel, was bustling with customers. Every customer let in a bit of winter cold with his or her entry. Seeing the World Trade Center’s 911 memorial was surreal; the reality of what happened was right there in front of me, tangible. The subway was a smaller space than I imagined, and the train rides were a bit bumpy, but seeing the commuters navigate a place they called home, was fulfilling in a way. The Creole restaurant, 1803 NYC was amazing. I had the gumbo, which was stuffed with seafood. I dined with friends and people I was meeting for the very first time. There was so much laughter, great conversation and love at that table, it was at that moment that I didn’t want to leave. I could get use to days like that. 

Travel Changed My Perspective

Travel propelled me towards life changes, such as moving to another state. It exposed me to a life that I didn’t think I could live. Travel showed me how big the world really is and how much there is to explore. New York was another exploration. A friend says I have to revisit the city in the Spring. I’m looking forward to it.

Here’s a reminder to book the flight!


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