Reflecting on the trip of my dreams my mind can’t help but wander back to the beginning. Going to New York City first on my way to the UK was for practical reasons. It was a chance to have an easier transition with the time difference before making the big leap across the pond. I didn’t expect New York City to live up to its reputation. It really is the big city full of even bigger dreamers. Magic is in the air.
I had my head in the clouds as I stepped out of my Airbnb and headed to get bagels and coffee. It felt like the coldest morning I had ever experienced, the kind of cold that bites at your skin and leaves your cheeks red. I was on the East Coast. The concrete jungle of apartment complexes and skyscrapers are tall enough to disappear past the clouds. I observed the mixing pot of diversity in the crowds of quick-paced city dwellers. Maybe it was my imagination, but everyone looked like they were either a famous celebrity or a cousin to one. I swear I saw Jerry Seinfeld bike right past me.
Friends was that tv show always playing in the background of my childhood. It is the one show you can send me a screenshot of during any episode at any time and I will know exactly what episode it is and what is going on in that scene. Seeing their beloved apartment building in person made my heart swell. The story of six young adults finding their place in the world, laughing their worries away, and being there for each other. This story is universally loved and has always comforted us when we need it.
The first broadway show I ever went to was the Lion King musical. I’m not sure if I could ever come up with the right words to give my experience justice. It was like I was a kid again, sitting in the isle seat to the right side of the stage, and watching this masterpiece unfold. I’ll be very honest, I cried the entire time. How can you not? It’s the Lion King. The pure talent and musical genius presents the Lion King in a special light. The costumes were especially astounding, fitting the actors comfortably, yet still giving the cartoon version of the character justice. The only time I previously came to NYC was when I was thirteen years old for a couple of days with my mom and brother. Even then, I remember seeing the Lion King posters all over Time Square and wanting to see it. Twelve years later, my patience paid off.
Central Park quickly became my favorite place for a stroll. In the initial days that I was there, I would walk around it feeling so surreal because it’s been featured in so many films. You can’t help but feel like you’re in one! The look of how the rocks jetted from the grassy hills initially reminded me of the snow fight Buddy and his brother have in the Christmas classic Elf.
Going to the top of the Empire State Building is an NYC essential! It is the point in your trip where you scream from the highest building that you did it. You made your dream of coming to the famous “Big Apple” true! I wanted to stay up there forever.