Monday, 29 July 2013


I was going to take the Staten Island ferry across to Staten Island yesterday afternoon, but things didn't quite go to plan. First the subway was suddenly blocked - meaning the trains stopped running on the line - due to an investigation. After couple of minutes, during when I tried to figure out how to get downtown on another subway line, a train turned up, and I hopped on. Then the train stopped at 72nd and the conductor announced (and you can barely hear what they're saying over the sound of the train) that the train was going express from 72nd to 42nd. For an express train, it went pretty slow. Once the train got to Times Sq almost everyone got off (it always freaks me out a little when this happens) and the train sat there for ages. And this happened again at 18th. And then again at Houston. And then at Chambers it stopped and the conductor told us that it was out of service, and to take the 2 or 3, or walk and get the 4. At this point I'd been on the subway for an hour and a half. 

I decided the only thing to do on a sweltering summers day in the city would be to ditch my ferry plans and go get fro-yo.


Friday, 26 July 2013


Dear Diary,

On Sunday I made the trek to Brooklyn to check out the Brooklyn Flea Market. Three trains and a detour through Williamsburg and I arrived, scorching under the sun, and headed straight for the limonade stand. 

Fresh limonade in hand I took a stroll around the market, stopping to rummage though trunks of stuff - huge safety pins, historic maps of almost every city in the world, and old scrabble tiles - and chat to local artists.

The flea is held at the East River Skate Park, and at the end of the park is a tiny beach littered with debris from hurricane sandy. I stood on a big old wooden sleeper and look out across the river at Manhattan, remembering the last couple of beaches that I'd stood on - Beach Number 5 in The Andaman Islands and Largs Bay, at home - and it made me smile.

When I think back to my trip, or about home, I get incredibly happy, cry, or wonder if it's all a dream. I seriously can't believe that I stood on that beach on Havelock Island (even though I have a scar to remind me), saw sunrise at the Taj Mahal (almost!), and drank tea in Darjeeling (and mum would be drinking if too if the package we sent back hadn't been returned to India again!). And I can't believe that I'm now living in New York.

It kinda scares me that my dreams are coming true.


Friday, 19 July 2013


The other day I took a long walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and spent the afternoon wandering around DUMBO, snapping pictures of the Lower Manhattan skyline, and roasting on one of the hottest day of the heatwave. 

After an afternoon oh-ing and ah-ing over the incredible bridge, the skyline and being amazed how small Manhattan looks from the other side of the Hudson, I took the long way to the subway. I walked along Centre Street past the court house - there were no wig sporting celebrities around unfortunately - along Canal Street and through the vibrant and bustling Chinatown. And somewhere along Canal Street I turned left and I was in Little Italy. I don't think I'll ever get over how different the city is one neighbourhood to another. Sometimes from one street to another. 

I wandered from neighbourhood to neighbourhood as I made my way through the busy Union Square stopping to quickly snap a picture of Manhattenhenge, to Times Square, and saw it light up as the sun set.

Times Square is incredible during the day, and it was even more incredible at night. It comes alive. There were people everywhere, every building was lit up, and a man was playing the guitar in a pair of white underpants.

I've almost crossed everything off my New York City bucket list and I'm not even halfway through my stay in the city that never sleeps. Although, even though I've done almost everything that I want to do here, I feel like there will always be more to see. My dream to call this incredible city no longer exists, but I've been happy to call it my temporary home for now.


Monday, 15 July 2013

Sunday, 14 July 2013


Dear Diary,

Yesterday I spent a rainy afternoon wandering around the city. 

Admission to the MoMA is free on Friday afternoons and I thought a rainy afternoon would be the perfect time to check it out. And apparently every tourist in New York City thought so too. The line, when I got there at ten to four was huge - it went along 53rd, 6th, and almost the whole way down 54th. It was chaos, it was raining, and the sidewalks aren't big enough for tourists and their umbrellas. I thought I'd head to The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian, indulge in an oozy cheeseburger, wander around the city for a little while and head back later in the afternoon. 

I wouldn't have known about The Burger Joint if it hadn't being recommended to me - there isn't a sign on the street, and once you're inside Le Parker Meridian there's only a small neon sign down a corridor. It's the kinda place you have to know about to find. I felt like I belonged to an underground burger club. After a very oozy cheeseburger and a should-or-shouldn't-I write on the walls moment (I didn't, but I think I'll go back and add my name to the scrawl) I left feeling very satisfied and with some stock advice - overheard from the guy sitting at the table next to me.

I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring some of the tourist hot spots - Dylan's Candy Bar, M&M's World, and Hersheys. I don't go as crazy for lollies as some of the kids were going in Dylan's Candy Bar, but it was kinda cool to have a look around. And the smell. The only way I can describe it is that it was like inhaling sugar.

All sugared out - and sick of being pushed by inconsiderate tourists - I headed back to the MoMA. The line was just peeking out of the door and I managed to sneak in before it started raining again. 

It's a quirky gallery and although I'm not always interested in art galleries, I was drawn to this one. I felt like I was a little rushed, and the rain room had closed by the time I got to it, so I'm going to go back again before I leave.

It started to rain - and rain here is different than rain at home - so I quickly scurried home to spend the rest of the night on the couch eating macaroons.


Thursday, 11 July 2013


I spent a freakishly hot day exploring Central Park - wandering along the Jackie Onassis Reservoir path, relaxing on The Great Lawn, and people watching as I walked down The Mall.


Tuesday, 9 July 2013


Dear Diary,

Today - on a freakishly hot day in New York City - I took a picnic to Central Park and spent the morning sprawled out on the lawn with my kindle.


Saturday, 6 July 2013


I made the move from blog to vlog this week and I love it. You can find my YouTube channel here, where I'll be uploading more of my travel adventures.



Dear Diary,

Travelling isn't always spending endless days in the sun, eating street food, and wandering around a new place. It can be scary, frustrating, and you will, at some point, feel lonely. That's how I've been feeling for the past few days. I was having trouble with my laptop, it was hot and humid, and the people in the building opposite mine were having a barbecue. While I was chatting to a friend it all just became too much and I had a panic attack. I want to come home, I can't do this, I'm lonely. All of those things spew from my mouth mid sobs. Of course I don't want to come home, and I know that I can do this, but I won't deny that I'm not lonely. The thought of having no-one to talk to, no-one to snap pictures with, and no-one to laugh at is taking it's toll on me at the moment, and I'm struggling. I know that once I'm travelling (at the moment I'm house sitting) I'll meet people to travel, chat, laugh, and eat with, but that's months away. When I'm feeling lonely it kinda makes me want to do nothing, and that's what I was planning on doing yesterday.

After a chat with a friend - who is awesome because they're always the first to read my blog, watch my vlog and call, no matter the time difference, when I need someone to talk to - who assured me that it was normal to feel like this, that it was okay to get upset by it, and that I would be okay, I pepped up and decided to head down to Hudson to jostle for a spot to watch the fireworks from.

I had a great night. The fireworks were insane - I'd even go as far as to say they were the best fireworks that I've ever seen - and the atmosphere was insane. People were oh-ing and ah-ing, whoop-ing and cheering, and it was contagious. I found myself cheering along with the crowd, oh-ing and ah-ing, and clapping when the fireworks finished.


Friday, 5 July 2013


Dear Diary,

I went on a sightseeing adventure yesterday morning and did a little bit of vlogging along the way. I felt a little awkward vlogging on the street but figure that I'm just another crazy person in a city of eight million - and it's worth it to be able to share my adventure with my friends, family, and tweeps.

I headed downtown to West Village - which quickly became my favourite place in the city - to wander around Washingtown Square Park, down the restaurant and boutique lined Bleeker Street, and found myself on Carrie Bradshaw's stoop. As with most of my adventures, it felt a little surreal. After snapping a photograph, a quick instagram snap, a short vlog and a chat with the people who live on the ground floor of that infamous building (they were really friendly and more than happy to take a solo travellers picture!) I took the opportunity to wander aimlessly around West Village. If I was going to live in New York City I'd live here - it's a vibrant, sophisticated, quirky neighbourhood and whenever I'm there I feel like I could call it home.

I tore myself away from the wide tree lined streets of West Village to wander around Midtown. I saw Madison Square Park, the Flatiron (not Flat-ron) Building, Bloomingdales and the huge lush plant pots in Columbus Circle. I will never get over how unique this city is and how it changes from street to street - there are bright blue, red, and yellow art installations in the amazing green spaces, tables and chairs litter around busy intersections for people to sit, chat, and eat, and a crazy mish mash of buildings. Three months doesn't feel like enough time to explore.


Thursday, 4 July 2013


I've never been happier that I am right now. I'm three weeks into an eighteen month adventure and I'm loving every crazy, confusing, chaotic minute of it. I'm really looking forward to the next year and a bit of my life. I have no commitments, no bills and no-one to look after but myself. I'm excited to visit exotic places, meet interesting people, and do crazy things.

If you rewind a little, things were different. I was unhappy. I was suffering from anxiety which was crippling my life. I couldn't do anything without panicking, needing to think about and plan everything. I avoided doing things that I thought were too hard, too confusing, or were too challenging. It was also affecting my relationship, putting strain on my partner, who did nothing but support me, and making him unhappy. I let this control my life, I was miserable but I told myself I was happy.

And then I went to India and it changed my life.

I was pushed out of my comfort zone, thrown head first into the deep end, I was challenged, I was confronted with life and I realized I could swim. India helped me let go of my anxiety, learn to go with the flow, not to worry all of the time and to relax and have fun. I did things, instead of worrying that I couldn't do things and everything I did was amazing.

It changed the way that I think about money and how I define wealth. I used to get a kick out of buying things but now I value experiences. After traveling to a country where everything is cheaper, it's hard to come back and spend the way I was. I'm in no way saying that filling your wardrobe with clothes and shoes is the wrong way to spend money, it's just not right for me anymore.

Traveling has made me appreciate people, every nomad traveling the world, new mother hiding behind a colourful sari, and chai wallah trying to feed his family. I feel like I've become a more open person, a patient person, an understanding person. I've never been a social butterfly, and before I travelled I worried that people didn't like me, that they were pretending to be my friend but found me weird. Now I'm confident in the person that I am.

It made me brave, and confident in myself. I can walk into a train station and buy a ticket to a town whose name I can't pronounce. I can find the right bus in a chaotic Indian bus station. I can bargain for a room, a bracelet, a wall hanging. I can fly halfway around the world by myself.

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug and said yes to an amazing opportunity that led me to New York City for three months and the chance the explore the world for the next eighteen months. So far, I’m loving every minute of it.