Making it to New York was like a victory to me. I had only flown once before. I had never gone on a trip that big with my own money. I knew I was going to Ghana at that point, but it hadn’t happened yet. New York was the perfect place to realize just what I was capable of.
After driving overnight and flying early in the morning, we finally made it to New York in all our sleep-deprived glory. So naturally we hit the ground running. If there’s one thing I’ve learned while traveling, it’s that sleep is not a priority, especially not now that we had made it to the city that never sleeps!
We navigated the subway (well, Emily navigated it for us), made it to our hostel near the Flatiron Building, and wasted no time getting acquainted with the city. First, we experienced the technicolor sensory overload that is Times Square. Inspired by one of my favorite book characters, Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries series, I got a pretzel with mustard from a food cart on the street. Mia said they were magical. She was right.
Times Square was enchanting. I could have stared in awe for a very long time. But, unfortunately, we did not have a very long time! So we stopped by the High Line (kind of sad-looking in early March due to all the plants being dead) and then promptly went to the Empire State Building.
Here’s the High Line, a park located upon old railroad tracks. Based on the pictures I’ve seen, it looks much better when all the greenery is actually green.
If you go to New York, please go to the top of the Empire State Building. Just do it. The view is gorgeous. I’ve seen several city skylines from tall structures since then, and I’d still recommend it. There’s nowhere else like New York City. If you’re not a sentimental person like I am, the view may just look like a bunch of skyscrapers to you. To me, I felt like I had won. I made it to the top, literally and figuratively. This was probably the first time I felt like I was able to make my dreams become a reality on my own. And, of course, with the help of my travel buddy. 🙂
“One belongs to New York instantly; one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” – Tom Wolfe
More Big Apple tales to come!