Travel diary: New York, New York

My time in the big apple was much like an actual apple, short and very sweet. We spent 3 intense days in this bustling city, packing in as many activities (and pizzas) as we possibly could.

My first word of warning is: layer up (during the winter). I had spent the previous 4 months in sunny San Diego and naively assumed that New York would have a similar climate in November. I was wrong. The icy air slapped me right across the face as I stepped off the plane in my Californian attire and in that moment, I thought I might just die. Once we had purchased gloves and layered up, we were ready to start our NYC adventure…which actually began in New Jersey.

To explain, Hannah and I made the decision to rent our AirBnb in New Jersey (NJ) and commute to and from NYC. The NJ accommodation prices were a lot kinder to our student budgets and the journey was quick and easy. One bus took us straight from outside our AirBnb to the NYC bus terminal in about 30mins. Nowadays, I am an advocate of paying slightly more for comfort and convenience, as I have learnt that you will inevitably end up paying up in time and frustration. This decision however, was an exception to my rule. The bus provided little-to-no stress (except the time we missed the last one and were left stranded in the city for the night, but we’ll save that story for another time), and our location meant we woke up every day to breathtaking views of the NYC skyline.

Not to mention, the pizza I bought around the corner from our NJ AirBnb was (sorry New Yorkers) the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life.

So what did we actually do besides eat pizza, I hear you ask? We woke up disgustingly early every morning and tried to tick off as many activities as we could from our travel itinerary (attached below). Now I’m usually not a major planner when it comes to trips, but when you only have 3 days I definitely recommend a bit of pre-planning.

On Friday morning, we went to the infamous Devachan Curly hair salon. If you don’t have curly hair this won’t be even remotely interesting to you, but for me this was a dream come true. I got my first ever big curly chop from one of their esteemed hairdressers and was feeling myself for the rest of the trip (if you are a fellow curly girl I would 100% recommend).

We then went on to tick various activities off of our list, including a visit to the Met Museum, where we obviously channelled our inner Blair Waldorf by eating lunch on the met steps. We then took a trip to the ‘Top of the Rock’- The Rockefeller Centre’s 70th floor open-air roof deck, where we were treated to incredible 360-degree views of the entire city (it was worth the chilblains). We ended the day with a visit to Black Tap, the viral milkshake shop that was most definitely worth the hype.

I won’t give you the ins and outs of the next few days, as you have our handy travel itinerary above, but a couple of notable mentions include our bike ride through Central Park, watching Chicago on Broadway and visiting the larger than life Times Square.

When it comes to travel plans, one piece of advice is to be fluid with them. Our Saturday evening was slightly derailed in the best possible way. I bumped into an old school friend who at the time, was studying at NYU. She brought Hannah and I along to a college party and I’ll admit my memory of this night is a little patchy, but I know drunk Kyra was living her best life. 

Our weekend away in New York was full of laughs, tears and great food. My initial assumption was that it would just be like London but bigger, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. There is something distinct about New York that has left me longing to return… though I think I’ll make it a summer trip next time.

Stay curious

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