In my last post, did I mention that a trip to New York was in my near future? As it turns out, I did indeed embark on an adventure in the big city, over two weeks ago now, and it was absolutely fabulous. What was fabulous about it, you may ask? Well, everything! But since you’ve sat down to read a blog post rather than a tome, I’ll share just one of the lessons I learned this January.
For seven fun-filled days, I stayed in the Wellington Hotel (only a few blocks from Times Square) with seventeen other lovely ladies from Erskine. Our first night in New York, three girlfriends and I set out—absolutely ravenous after a busy day of travel which hadn’t allowed for meals—in search of food. The only problem with this plan was that I am both indecisive and directionally challenged…not a good combination when one is inexperienced at navigating the city. Another complication which added to the adventure of the evening was the extremely frigid weather, which almost knocked us sun-loving South Carolinians off our feet for the first few days. (Yes, we are wimps…but I’m not ashamed to say that, as amazing NY was, I like warmth!)
As it so happened, after haphazardly walking into several different likely-looking establishments in search of food, we stumbled into a diner which was delightfully and authentically “New York.” We were quickly persuaded to stay by the friendly Italian owner, an extremely gregarious native New Yorker who was kind enough to move us away from the table by the door (where we blithely sat down, only to realizemoments later what unbearably icy blasts this would subject us to) and to tell us which direction Times Square was in (hehe…yes, we had maps, but we figured extra guidance couldn’t hurt). We hereby unabashedly identified ourselves as tourists. Oh yes, and we may or may not have
taken pictures of our food. But at any rate, we certainly soaked up the experience!
All this to say, that first night in New York, Laura Beth (my dear friend and traveling companion) and I realized something—if we were to enjoy our experience in New York, we were going to have to gain something: confidence. Perhaps this sound silly, but you see, Laura Beth and I both tend to be followers (at the very least when it comes to navigating a city, lol), and we had just come from Due West…where seeing three cars on Main Street at once is an event. As a result, the sudden transition to a completely different environment was slightly overwhelming. We quickly resolved, however, that this trip was an excellent sink-or-swim opportunity to learn how to navigate New York City on our own. And we did. We may have asked a few questions—such as, “Which way is Seventh Avenue?”—along the way, but by the end of the week, Laura Beth and I knew how to successfully navigate both the subway and the streets of New York. As a result, in addition to learning more about cult
ure and history in New York, we grew in both confidence and life experience. J-term is always full of surprises.