Alone in New York

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Okay, the title isn't completely true. I was staying with my friend, Ellise, and she was with me 2 of those 5 days. But the other 3 were totally me, alone, in New York City. And let me tell you: It was more than I ever dreamed it would be.

Being the introvert that I am, I was slightly nervous about traveling alone in the big city.
Would I get lost?
Could I figure out the subway?
Would someone try to steal my money?
All of these questions aside, I knew I had to face my anxiety. I did and it was one of the best choices I have ever made.

The first thing I decided was that I didn't want to be a tourist, well, I didn't want to look like a tourist. Ellise taught me all her tips and tricks. The best place to stand in the subway, to put your headphones in, and no matter what, do NOT stop in the middle of the sidewalk to gawk at the towering skyscrapers that surround you. My first day alone I was hesitant but by my second, I was full on New Yorker. I walked fast and with purpose, headphones in (Welcome to New York by Taylor Swift playing), jaywalking and all. Those people that stand on the streets handing pamphlets to tourist didn't even try to get my attention. I had done it. I was an honorary New Yorker.

Now, don't get me wrong, I still went to all the touristy places and took all the touristy pictures but since I was alone, I was able to spend as much or as little time as I wanted. I quickly found that there was so much more to New York than what you see on your first trip there. That city isn't as big and crazy as you think. For every busy tourist packed area, there are five more calm and beautiful areas to explore. I sought these places out. I walked along the water, I hiked all of Central Park. I found peace and quiet in a city known for its sleepless noisy nights. I was able to recollect myself after a long and strenuous school year.

I suppose my point here is this, if you have the chance to travel solo, DO IT. It allows you the freedom to do what you want to do. You're free to explore and enjoy in a way that is best for you. Solo travel can be anxiety inducing but here's the thing: No one cares that you're eating lunch alone. If you get lost, no one has to know but you. I faced that fear and it was one of my best life experiences yet. Go explore our world, you'll be happy you did.

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