I left one dark March morning carrying black coffee and a suitcase and boarded a plane for New York City. I still remember how the anticipation felt, expanding in my chest, as I peered out my window at Lady Liberty. Everything – I mean everything – about New York excited me: subways, lights, cold air, millions of bustling people, sometimes shoulder-to-shoulder, hurrying down the sidewalks. I still smell the dirty-water dogs on the streets and recall the creaking of the wood floors in the pub where I stopped for my first Off-Wall-Street beer, how the remnants of snow piled along the sidewalks and street corners, stained by muddy footprints of the passersby. Piles of snow nestled around the naked trees in Central Park; I remember some of the amazing people I met as I wandered the city: the businessman who shared his table and humor with me and my travel companion in the Killarney Rose Tavern near Wall Street, and the concierge at The Plaza, who talked about horses and cactus and all things “Texan”, when I stopped for a drink at the Oak Room. New York City was the crossroads of my wanderlust. I’ve been itching to travel and checking cities, countries, and continents off my bucket list ever since.
I still feel that excitement when I travel; I still talk to people – in airports, in restaurants, on sidewalks, in hotels, sitting next to me on the train, and anyone else who will listen or answer my questions, or just participate in nonsensical conversation. Few places are as magical as New York City, but I’ve found fascination and intrigue all over the world. I hope you’ll join me as I tell about my experiences as seen through my unique eyes and provide a few helpful tips to use on your own journeys.