New York

I have felt somewhat anxious in taking time to write down my experience in New York, and I can’t seem to grasp the reason as to why this is the case.

My flight was delayed, which I saw as a perfect opportunity to get some training in so that I can achieve this ‘happy go lucky’ vibe that I envy of others (I forced myself to see it from this perspective!). The flight was perfect, thank you to my dear friend Dustin who got me in business class. I ate, I slept, I even slipped in a little pamper session (peel-off mask and some hydrating mist dahling).

I also had a little nap. Whenever I have flown First or Business in the past, I have always seen it as a massive ‘all you can drink‘ session. It was amazing. This flight was equally amazing; more enjoyable in fact, as I did not mind asking for another ginger beer without feeling self-conscious.

As soon as I landed, I realised that I had booked my hostel from Saturday and not Friday. Bring on the anxiety. I was doing so well!? How could I!?In a panic, I found the cheapest (nice) hotel available and booked it. Done. Don’t fear Ben; we have got this under control.

Checking into the hotel did not make me feel excited or special, but in fact, quite the opposite. I felt dissapointed in myself for having to spend that money, and the whole ordeal made me feel somewhat uncomfortable and lonely. I had checked into a lovely hotel in the centre of New York, on Time Square’s doorstep, and all I could feel was ‘ugh’. This made me feel even more ‘urgh’. URGH.

I already noticed a massive difference between here and Paris. What I found more challenging here than in Paris is the contrast of lifestyle. It is very much london, with a more extravagent edge, but with that comes the chaos, the noise….and, the marching. It was back with a vengence.

I did not let it taint me and my first experience of New York. NEW YORK CITY!

This has been THE only place that I have ever really been desperate to visit. I marched to Times Square and absorbed the lights. I stood in the pit of one of the most iconic locations in the world and..yup, seen it now bye. Maybe I was tired.

I woke up and felt so ill. My spirits remained dampened, and the downfall of rain outside was not helping. URGH. Give me a break. What is happening!? This is NOT going to plan!I escaped out of the hotel and ventured to my ‘home’ for the next four nights…a little security and a base is what I need.

So I got there, unpacked, sorted out my room, and tried to sort out my attitude. I just did not feel that rush of excitement that I was so sure of feeling when arriving here.

I will stop right there, and express what I am feeling, as this just feels like a numbing recount of what I did during my visit.

Everything was great, it really was. I saw everything I wanted to see;The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, art galleries, the Easter Parade, Brooklyn Bridge, Empire State Building, The Rockefella, Broadway, Times Square, Ellen’s Stardust Diner, The World Trade Centre’s ‘Ground Zero’; EVERTYHING. I just experienced it all on my own. THAT was the thing I have come away realising. It wasn’t that I didn’t find all of these things that I have dreamt of seeing exciting, it was that I didn’t have someone to share the excitement of those dreams being fulfilled. It felt really lonely. I felt really lonely.

It makes me feel almost sad that I did not experience New York to the extent that I had always expected to.

The sun was shining on my last day; just like it was in Paris. Once again, I felt that warm glow from within begin to rise and resonate. It all changed. Maybe it was the sunshine, maybe it was the fact that I was leaving and knew I had to make the most of my limited time here. Who knows if or when I will ever get the chance to come back! I had done EVERYTHING a tourist needed to go to get their Big Apple fix during their time in New York, so I strolled. Yup, I strolled; in the sunshine.

I strolled for a couple of hours, writing music and recording it on my phone, as I headed towards Central Park. I felt happy, excited, and…RELAXED. I had not felt that way since arriving here.

My last day felt really special. I took myself out for breakfast at a really nice cafe, strolled past the hustle and bustle of business men and women, had an ice cream in Central Park, and went for something nice to eat before I went to the theatre to watch a show.

It was a lovely summers day. I enjoyed it, albeit on my own.

I sat and watched ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ with awe, and listened to the words that were being sung in the main number ‘You Will Be Found’, and I could not help but well up.

Have you ever felt like nobody was there?
Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere?
Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall, and no one would hear?
Well, let that lonely feeling wash away
Maybe there’s a reason to believe you’ll be okay
‘Cause when you don’t feel strong enough to stand
You can reach, reach out your hand
And oh, someone will come running
And I know, they’ll take you home
Even when the dark comes crashing through
When you need a friend to carry you
And when you’re broken on the ground
You will be found
So let the sun come streaming in
‘Cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again
Lift your head and look around You will be found

This experience for me has been one of the many challenges and eye-openers that I hoped to endure in order to gain more of understanding of me as a person as well as the world I live in. I’ve realised that it’s ok to feel lost at times because, in time, we will be found.

One comment

  1. Ah Ben, The difference between travelling and taking a holiday……..
    Holidays are relaxing, which is a chance to rest and recharge your batteries…Bali and Thailand are waiting for you!
    Travelling must be a challenge. I bet its been sometimes frustrating, sometimes infuriating. I admire you for travelling alone, getting outside your comfort zone, taking chances, taking risks. And I imagine not always fun! And not exactly relaxing either!
    But it is memorable, and very often life-changing.
    You learn things about other cultures, and about the world, that a trip to a resort or a stay in a villa will never teach you. You also learn, crucially, about yourself when you travel – what you’re capable of, how you react, what you love and what you hate, what inspires you, what angers you. In other words, who you really are!
    And remember my darling Ben…
    you do not have to travel alone’! It’s a challenge you chose.
    Great blog Benjy xxxxxx


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