New York City was the first trip I did solo. My family thought I was crazy. I thought I was crazy. It’s so big and I’m…well, I’m so small and insignificant. I get lost easily, I’m not independent enough, I don’t know how to read a map, it’s dangerous: these were the doubts running through my mind. Maybe they’re running through yours too. But going to New York on my own, was one of the best decisions of my life. I think everyone should go to NYC solo – here’s why:
It’s scary – heck ya, it’s scary. But pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, pushes you to grow. I know it can be overwhelming – what if you get lost, what if you get bored, what if you lose all your money, what if everything goes wrong? Let me tell you something: life is often scary. But if you can find your way through New York, I think you can find your way through anything – I think you’re ready for the world. Take a leap of faith. And when you’re standing on top of Rockefeller Center looking at the sunset while the wind gently blows on your face, don’t be surprised if it feels like you’re flying. Because you are. You spread your wings just by going to New York on your own – and you’re going places. Embrace the brave, strong, adventurous side of who you are – you may not even know it exists, but I promise you, it’s been there all along.
It inspires you. New York makes you feel so alive because the city itself is so alive. You feel its pulse in every street corner you turn. It’s blood flows in the cars that race down the street. You can’t go 10 seconds without hearing a taxi honk its horn, or brakes screech to a halt, or music drifting through the air. It makes you want to be a part of it, even if your part is just sitting on a park bench watching it all happen. Or maybe your part is to walk down the street with your ponytail bouncing and a smile on your face or to sit at a cafe with a cup of coffee. I can’t describe exactly what New York does to your heart – I will leave that to you do discover on your own.
You belong in New York. You belong on a park bench in Central Park reading a book, you belong in the middle of Times Square with the lights shining on you, you belong in the first row of your favourite Broadway show, you belong on top the Empire State Building looking down on the world. You belong on the Highline while the sun is rising, and you belong on Top of Rockefeller Center when the sun is going down. You belong on the cobblestones of the West Village and you belong in the bustle of Wall Street. You belong.
It’s empowering. You learn to think on your feet, to be street smart, to carry yourself with confidence. You learn what it feels to be alive; to have life ooze out of the very pores of your skin. You learn that you don’t need somebody to hold your hand every step of the way. You learn how to make decisions and to trust yourself. You learn how strong and brave you really are – then hold on to these parts, and never let them go.
But ultimately, I think New York is about creating yourself. You can be whomever you want to be and you’ll get to know yourself better than you ever have before. You’ll come across so many interesting people who will teach you things you never even thought you needed to know. You’ll have a better idea of the person you want to be and the person you could be. It’s as though your eyes are opened and a candle is ignited in your heart. And no matter where else you go in life, keep that light burning bright and never let anyone or anything extinguish it.
If you’re still debating whether or not this is the trip for you, I think you need to cast your fears aside and do it. It’s scary, I know it’s scary – but I believe in you and New York believes in you. Now you just have to believe in yourself.