New York, United States

What can I say now? It has always been my dream to wander the streets of New York, admiring breathtaking skyscrapers and enjoying a walk in the famous Central Park. My dream came true this year!

Anxious that I wouldn’t get a tourist visa for the US, undecided how I should travel from Montreal to NY and with no idea where I should stay, I managed to overcome everything and realize my dream. My first step out of the Penn train station at 10PM introduced me to a breathtaking view of New York’s pièce de résistance - the Empire State Building. I was too afraid to take the subway to my Airbnb host, so he advised me and my Mum to take a cab instead, as that would be the quickest way. My host lived in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a lovely neighbourhood with loads of restaurants and cafes. The journey with the yellow NY cab has been a very funny experience since we found out that the driver is from Turkey and one of his best friends is married to a Romanian woman. Loads of stories were told in 15 minutes!

We only had 2 days to explore the city so my Mum and I have been very organised in planning exactly what and when we want to see. I can tell you, I have never walked so much in my life. From 8am to 10pm, walking almost nonstop, without even noticing how time went by. We managed to see a record number of attractions, from Central Park to Rockefeller Center, Central Station, NY Public Library, Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and so much more. I overcame my fear of heights and decided it wouldn’t be a complete visit in NY without going to the top of the Empire States Building.

When we reached the 80th floor, I couldn’t feel my legs anymore and my heartbeat was over the top. A small museum explaining how they built everything in 12 months in the ’30s made me panic even more. No windows. I was already considering going down. After multiple arguments with my inner self, I decided. I must do it. I must be brave. So I took the lift to the 86th floor. Of course, now there were windows and a terrace full of people. It took me around 5 minutes to get the courage to go out on the terrace. A bit more courage to get near the fence for a photo and slowly, I started to like the feeling and the view! All of a sudden, I didn’t want to go back anymore. I took dozens of photos and admired one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen.

I would definitely love to live in NY, at least for a while. The city is way too beautiful not to attract me. I am in love with big cities and I would love to explore its vibrant secrets and unique restaurants. It’s a shame I didn’t get the chance to see Brooklyn this time, but I certainly will the next time I’ll be there!