The first time I went to New York was on my own, after waking up on Sunday morning from a dream that felt so real, everything in my instincts was telling me I had to go. The timing was perfect – I’d just quit my job and had no clue what I was going to do next. So I booked a flight and 2 days later I was on my way, crying my eyes out to an inflight movie (I’m pretty sure it was a comedy). These photos were taken on that trip, I remember being so incredibly overwhelmed by just how beautiful this city is, and so confused as to why it felt more like home to me than my actual home. To this day it is by far the best holiday I’ve ever had. Nothing compares to doing a little soul searching on your own. You learn so much about yourself when you’re forced out of your comfort zone. I learnt on that trip that the best way to meet people and strike up a conversation is to ask them for directions. I did this even when I knew exactly where I was going, but I got to meet some incredible people who I still keep in contact with today. I also learnt that a smile completely changes how people react to you. Emotions can sometimes be contagious, and making a grumpy person smile can sometimes be as simple as giving them a smile and watching their face change. I learnt that the best way to get around in a new place is to walk. Some days I would walk for 9 hours, only stopping for meal breaks in between. Walking enables you to stumble across little synchronicities that may not mean anything to anyone else, but can mean the world to you. Like a graffiti scrawled quote on the sidewalk that somehow speaks volumes to everything you’re feeling in that moment. I learnt that doing things that scare you, like walking into a bar on your own when it would be easier to stay in the comfort of your hotel, is usually the better choice. Yes, you’ll be overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety, question all of your decisions, and feel like everyone is staring at you, but the reality is, it’s all in your head. Sometimes you’ve got to get out of your head and experience the world. Some people might never be lucky enough to visit this amazing city, but if you get the chance, take it. Someday I hope to call New York home, but for now I’ll forever be grateful for listening to my instincts, which in turn opened up my entire world.

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