It is sunday morning, (exactly 10 am) and i just woke up
I’ve dreamed about NYC…
If you are reading my blog you know that i’ve mentionned that i lived there, but i’ve never explain my whole New York experience. So i guess now it’s the perfect time
It was at the end of the summer 2008, i was living in Brussels, my temporary contract with a big company just ended and i was single.
I had some savings and i simply ask myself ‘Okay, where do you want to go for a couple of months?’
I already had experienced the USA prior that (i was a nanny back in 2006-2007 in California, you can read about it here)
And of course i fell hard for the country. I could have chose thousands of other places (Berlin, Rome, India, Tokyo, Singapour, Australia, …) the truth is, New York was just obvious.
I remember being in my old appartment, searching like crazy on craigslist (don’t judge me, it was wayyy before that serial killer’s stuff) for a room.
In a town like New York, appartment researchs are exhausting, when you’re not in the city or even in the continent but litteraly in the opposit side on earth, it’s a nightmare!
Luckily i found Gina! She was offering a room in her Harlem small appartment for a decent price and
a) she’s sounded totally normal
b) she didn’t ask for my bra size (which is a huge plus compared to the other weirdo i’ve been in contact with!)
Then i booked my flight. Yeup. Just like that!
i was sooo excited and so not scared!
It’s weird to say but i always follow my instinct and it just felt right.
So here i am, at the airport, saying goodbye to everybody and leaving 3 months for NYC, alone.
Oh! did i mentionned that i didn’t know ANYBODY there? Not a single soul in the city…
My flight was perfect (British Airways is awesome!) but by the time i crossed the security check, get my suitcase and hailed a cab (first yellow cab!!) it was midnight by the time i arrived at Gina’s.
Then i suddenly realized. It’s midnight. I’m alone. On the 133th Street. With an heavy suitcase.
I did panicking (slightly)
I called her. She did not heard the bell. She opened the door. Welcomed me friendly, show me the appartment and went back to bed cauz’ she was working the next day.
I woke up in a totally stranger appartment, in a totally stranger city!
How cool is that?
I took a quick shower and hop’on the subway with nooo idea about where to go first!
i was on line 1 who’s basically stops by every touristic places in NY!
(I had my sacred Michelin Guide so i was ready to go anywhere)
I decided to stop on Time Square (surprising huh?) and of course i was amazed.
Everything was new and oddly familiar (thanks television) i spent the day, and E.V.E.R.Y other days, exploring every corner of that beautiful, hypnotic city.
Can’t believe i did had the chance to live there without having to work.
I did had all the time to watch people and feel that vibrant energy.
I also met some great people (thanks to meetup.com!)
When i arrived, i did join a meetup group called Female Friendship : Theater, Movies, Travel, Art & More (here).
It’s a very cool and friendly group of ladies from New York who gets to know each others while doing interesting stuff like museum, concerts, brunch, bars, go dancing, …
I did remember a Salsa Cruise by a freeeeezing night of november! A Matrix movie night very-nerd-style!
The elections night OBAMA PRESIDENT! The Halloween parade! the NYC marathon!
I did had soooo much fun with them and actually met some friends who i’m still in touch with!
Now let’s face it, traveling alone is not always fun. It can be hard. and you can feel lonely.
I did had my moments. the important thing when you feel down is to know how to cheer you up!
Treat yourself! In my case, i do call my mom right away. hearing her voice always makes me feel better.
Then i go for a coffee and a cupcake in a nice place. i buy a good book, i go to see a funny movie.
I always keep in mind how lucky i am. And when you are that lucky there is nothing to be sad about, right?
Special moments :
– I saw Mandy Patinkin on the subway (i’m a HUGE fan)
– I met Gregory Mcguire the author of Wicked! We mostly talk about writing and traveling.
– My old friend Sebastian came to spend one week with me
– I met two crazy french girls (Leila & Sabrina) the 1st one was there alone for 3 months too and the other one was just allowed herself a crazy shopping spree in NYC for a week.
– I met the sweet Erica (who i am planning to buy a castle with)
– I met Alliah. This girl is litterally on fire! She’s going out five days a week and she always knows new and hip places!
– I met Gina. Gina is an highschool teacher and she’s acting too. She was the most perfect roomate a girl can ask for!
– THANKS to the airport shuttle’s driver who run after me in JFK to give me back my laptop! I did forgot it on the car…
– And THANKS to British Airways to canceled my flight! I did spent one extra night in NYC in a 4* hotel and i’ve been upgraded. I did my NYC-LONDON trip in a private 1st class flight (on a 50 seats plane) Whooohooo! Best flight EVER!
Such a blast!
* Sorry for the lack of quality of these pics!!