In New York, Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of there’s nothing you cant do now that you’re in New York. Empire State of Mind- JAY-Z ft Alicia Keys.
Hahaha! Hella cheesy, I know. But I do feel like you can’t write or talk about New York, and not think of this famous song!
I adore New York City!
The streets of Manhattan give me childhood memories of Gossip Girl. The busyness, and the food. Everything! It’s a jungle with class!
For those bougie ones (like me) that love the fast pace movements of a city! Every single time I arrive in New York, I always wonder what it would be like to actually move there.
I visited New York for 3 days for my birthday in 2018, and was surprised at how much I got done by myself. New York is well known to be an expensive ciy! And to be honest with you I can agree and say that the accommodation is quite expensive!
For me I was very lucky to have a friend that lived in Manhattan at the time, so was able to reap the benefits of free accommodation!! Yeah me!!! If you have friends or family in New York I would suggest staying with them, because I hear even Airbnb’s are not that cheap!
Anyways, despite the expenses! New York can and still is an incredible city to visit. Below are 6 things you must do when you are in New York City!
Top 6 Things to Do in New York City
As my friends had to work – because annual leave/vacation days are terrible in America, I was able to explore the city on my own. I purchased a tour ticket for the day at a reasonable price and off I went solo. Here is what I got up too.
1. Empire State Building
The first place I headed to was the Empire State Building. The building has a roof height of 1,250 feet and stands a total of 1,454 feet tall. I wanted a couple of snaps at the top, and can say I was very impressed with how beautiful the city was from the top!
Visit Brooklyn Bridge
I then headed over to Brooklyn Bridge! This is an Instagrammable location and one not to be missed when in New York City.
Interesting Facts: The Brooklyn Bridge is a hybrid cable-stayed/suspension bridge in New York City. It connects the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Take a Ferry to The Statue of Liberty.
I then hopped on to a ferry. Be mindful of knowing the times of the ferries, I wouldn’t want you waiting around for ages. I was able to head over The Statue of Liberty! The ferry I was on got pretty close—another beautiful site to see.
While I was on the ferry I was able to learn that New York is divided into five administrative boroughs – Brooklyn, Queen, Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx. All these five boroughs were consolidated into a city in 1898.
Head over to Grand Central and reminisce on Gossip Girl
Haha! Grand Central Station will forever take me back to XoXo days when I was able to binge-watch Gossip Girl. While you are in New York, you might as well go and sit on the met steps.
Only real Gossip Girl fans will know what I am talking about.
Tour Central Park
The next day I woke up early to head over to Central Park for a stroll and some ice cream. Central Park is the fifth-largest park in New York City.
Do a photo shoot in Times Square
In the evening I headed over to Times Square! My friend has said it was better in the night, but I would still check out both!
There we have it. Have you ever considered travelling to New York City? Let me know if you’ve been before and what you got up too! And don’t forget to subscribe for more travel journals and tips!
The friends you go travelling with can literally make or break a trip! Here are a few examples of friends you need to have the patience for when travelling with them.
– The friends that can’t take a good picture
I mean girl come on, we need a friend that can break her back go on top of a mountain like because yeah, we require that excellent picture! Allow them friends that take a picture with their thumb in the right-hand corner or where you are bare blurry the person is just not needed!
– The friends that don’t embrace a culture.
Them ones that travel, but don’t know how to experience and live in the culture surrounding them. They complain about everything! It can be the weather, the fact that people are speaking another language around them or worse that they can’t stand the food!. FYI traveller – you are in another country – embrace what is around you or STAY AT HOME!
-The friends that need you to hold something for them – like every two seconds!
Oh my gosh! I can’t. I recently went away with someone, and they always needed me to put something in their bag. If it wasn’t that, then they wanted me to hold something. Now I think I wear my emotions on my face so this person could see this was getting on my nerves.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with holding something for someone here and there; every second can be extremely annoying!
– The friends that don’t do anything!
Lucky for me I haven’t yet been on holiday with anyone like that – tell a lie I have been with someone like this, and it can really ruin a holiday! I have a friend who went on holiday with someone that was basically terrified of going anywhere and basically ruined the holiday and can you believe we both had that experience when we went to Barcelona – I need to go back!
-The friends that rush you to get ready
Hunnie I am a black girl, and when I am on holiday I like to slay! I have a massive obsession with doing my face up – adding my eyelashes and just trying on a few outfits and planning how I am going to look! If you are rushing me, this gets me angry. Just don’t rush me but please don’t be the person that is always the very last to get ready that will get annoying when everyone’s still sitting around waiting for you.
– The friends that rely on you for everything
We can agree that if you are travelling with someone who plans or decides to do nothing that can be a hell of annoying! I have been on a few trips with people who rely on you for everything, and it can be incredibly frustrating. However, what I will say is at least you get to do everything you enjoy.
-The friends who always need the toilet
Look, I get it. I am someone who should always go to the toilet when I leave a location. But some people don’t have self-control! This person will slow you or the group down, and you don’t need this.
– The friends that are always on social media
I am very guilty of this so I can’t really talk – *wait yes, I can it’s my blog*
Let’s face it when you are Instagramming, Facebooking, snap chatting, and whatever there is nowadays it can get very annoying! As I am very guilty of doing this, I think I have learnt that it is ok to take videos and pictures and whatever, but spend some time trying to enjoy the moment and then do all of that stuff letter.
– The friends that are CHEAP
Now I know this isn’t me, so LISTEN and listen well!
Please don’t go on holiday with stingy people and I mean people that are happy with you to pay for everything and they give you an I.O.U tab on your head. I’ve been on holiday with some CHEAP people and trust me it can hurt one’s soul! Let’s be real when you are on holiday you want to participate in activities and if you have a friend that doesn’t want to pay up you are going to be a little irritated trust me!
Some people solo travel to escape their 9 to 5, get a break from reality, family or the simple difficulty in gathering friends to go away with. Whatever your reason is. I believe everyone should travel at least once in their life. Solo travelling is an exciting topic for many reasons.
So What is Solo Travel?
Solo travel is where you go somewhere alone. This can be anywhere you want. Wherever you go, you spend a significant chunk of time alone once you get to your destination. Now, as I said before, I never actually feel like I’m alone when I solo travel. And it’s real, just because you travel alone doesn’t mean you’ll always be alone during your travels. Unless you really want to be.
I absolutely adore solo travelling, but I don’t feel like I do it enough. This year I solo travelled to Singapore, Bali and Ireland. You can go wherever you like, whenever you want. It’s incredible how you are entitled to do exactly what you want when you want.
However, I do understand that booking the first solo trip can be quite a daunting experience. That is why I’m going to give you the tools to schedule your first trip with real confidence.
How to Travel With Confidence as A Solo Traveller
1. Take Baby Steps…
This is advice from someone that has travelled solo for over 5 years. Please don’t do your first solo trip thousands of miles away from home. It might be a shock to the system, and you don’t want it to go to waste. Instead, start small. I recently went to Ireland for the day. It was great and was only a 55 min flight from home. Why not go for the day by yourself ? Or even do a one-night stopover in a city close to you. It doesn’t have to be a huge jump! Make it easy and start off small.
When travelling alone, you have to feel so comfortable in your own company.
You don’t even have to actually leave your city. You could go to the park alone. Or maybe cinemas/movies. Perhaps even think about heading to a restaurant alone. Whatever you do, do something that you are comfortable with. When solo travelling, you have to feel so comfortable in your own company.
I’m someone that enjoys my own company – a little too much in fact. Travelling solo pushes, you to be by yourself most of the time, so think where you want to go first. You will always feel nervous wherever you go (I still get worried, and I’ve been going solo for five years!!) but the more you practise going sooo and test your limits the further you can go. Trust me.
2. Get yourself booked onto a tour
As cheesy as it sounds, it’s actually a good idea and a perfect way to make friends when travelling solo. When I was in Bali this year, I booked an Instagram tour.
Now if I didn’t book that tour, I would have never met another traveller and experienced another side of Bali. Going on tours and meeting with other travellers is an excellent way of sharing stories and tips, too!
3. Do a little you know research
I say this quite lightly because you can do all the research in the world and still be shocked upon arrival! I would say make sure you go with an open mind ready to learn and eager for a new experience.
4. Plan the first couple of nights’ accommodations for your solo travels
This won’t be necessary if you’re only staying for a day.
However, it is essential if you have never travelled before to book accommodation. It’s just so you know where to go upon arrival. I’ve done solo travelling and have booked my accommodation on the day to my destination. This is fine, but I wouldn’t suggest it on your first solo trip. I want you to enjoy your first solo trip, so making sure you have everything planned is key to having to a smooth experience. I would suggest booking.com and Airbnb.
5. Stay active on social media
This doesn’t apply to everyone, of course (not everyone has social media) but if you have a phone, I would suggest keeping your friends and family aware of things you are doing while travelling solo.
When I travelled solo to Las Vegas last year, I was always checking in with friends and family to let them know that I was okay.
6. Carry cash and a credit card and keep your money safe – In several places
I tend to use my credit card everywhere I go. However, I do understand that this might not be an option in some areas. In Ireland and Singapore, this was and is fine. Countries like Bali or Malaysia you may want to have some cash with you – don’t carry massive amounts but enough for you to get by.
My advice to you is, only take what you need for a day’s spend, you will know what to take through lots of planning. And if you have to hide some money in several places and only carry one plastic and have one at home. Do so. Travelling solo you always need back up.
7.Present yourself with confidence hunnie when solo
After all these tools I have stated above, you should have NO problems with travelling solo. Walk with an air of confidence everywhere you go. You’ll give off a self-assured vibe, rather than a vulnerable one, and be less likely to attract unwelcome attention.
It can be hard to not look like a tourist, or a solo traveller, but never tell people where you’re staying unless you feel safe to do so. Although I was solo travelling in the States last year, I never once said to people where I was staying. In fact, I always made out that my boyfriend was at the hotel.
If you ever find yourself lost, which can be fun sometimes (not always) go into a busy local bar, a restaurant or a hotel. Worst case scenario is you will have to pay for a taxi to get you home. I’ve done this before and felt no shame about it!
Never worry about coming across as dismissive if you reject a seemingly kind local’s offers; your safety always comes first. Trust your instincts; they are your best defence.
Use these tools, and I can assure you that solo travelling will be a smooth and one to remember.
Thank you so much for having a read. If you have time, read on my other solo travel posts:
It seems like more and more people are doing study exchanges, moving abroad, and travelling nowadays. This is great! I LOVE people going and seeing the world. In travelling, moving abroad people can make lifetime international friends around the globe.
I LOVE people going and seeing the world
If you’re like me and have friends or even family that live abroad. Then I’m sure you know that it can be hard to keep in contact with all of them. So, I’ve shared some tips on how to stay in touch with your international friends.
I have been doing this for more than six years now so I would say I have done pretty well. Follow these, and you will be absolutely beautiful!
Make Good use of Social Media
I have all my international friends and family on all my socials, this includes Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and whatever else there is! Use these tools to your own advantage.
They are relatively easy to use and free (as long as you have internet). It can also be used at any time of the day, month and year. I like to watch my friends and families stories. It sparks up conversation, rather than the long-winded how are you and hi conversations.
Treat WhatsApp Like Your Best Friend
Use WhatsApp to make calls and message of course! Why I like this app is because you can send voice notes, which can make someone feel like they are right next to you. The app is pretty much free as long as you have internet! The time difference might be a significant pain in the neck – so I would suggest making time for your friends or family. Book in a time when you can speak. Or message them they will get it when they wake up.
If you’re like me, you sleep with your phone in your hand (literally) so are always awake to speak to your loved one.
Arrange to meet in a different country
The other two are being pretty obvious things to do, but this is the best tool I can give you. I have been meeting one of my international friends every year since my study exchange in Singapore. That was in 2013. We have met in several countries around the world, which has been amazing to catch up. Read – 8 Things To Know Before Studying Abroad.
Pay them a visit
Why not head over and pay them a visit? I love having international friends because it means I have several countries to visit and get this – accommodation is free! I recently went to New York and was able to stay with my friend that now lives in Manhattan! I’m also lucky to have family that live in Nigeria and a Dad that lives in the states. Free accommodation!
Send Christmas Cards or Postcards
I only started this last year, and it seemed to work out really well. It can be quite expensive, but if you can send them why not? I live in the UK (London), so I sent Christmas cards that had a London Theme. It’s an excellent small token gift for your loved ones.
Do you have international friends? How do you keep in contact with them?
So, it’s been just over a week since I wrote my post on ‘How Travelling Helped Deal with My Depression and Anxiety’ and the responses I’ve received have been amazing! I just want to thank every single one of you that has taken the time to read my story and have shared your own experiences with me. Since my last post, I thought it would only be wise to share how I manage my post-travel blues when returning back from holiday. I know from experience, that when I travel I am always on a high! I’m ALWAYS so excited about just getting on a flight, seeing a new country, experiencing the culture, the beautiful views and most importantly learning more about myself, which I do every singletime I leave for my travels. You never want to leave but…
You’re enjoying yourself and just like that, it’s time to come back to the reality. I have to start remembering what I have to deal with when I get back and at that moment you are reminded that you are now coming to the end of an amazing trip. Returning home, whether it’s from a day trip, two-week-long vacation or a multi-year-round-the-world trip can hit you hard; for me, it hits me so hard I plan my next trip from the moment I get back from my current one! Post-travel depression can affect everyone, and people don’t know how sometimes it can affect you. In this article, I suggest some ways to overcome post-travel blues! Please note – I am not an expert in this; as I’ve said before I only know how to deal with my own mental health.
Sooo… What is the Post-Travel Depression?
Just as it sounds, post-travel depression is a feeling of depression
that hits you at the end of a trip. Sometimes it can even begin in the
days running up to the end of your trip. I always end up feeling a
little sad in the days before I head home. It’s that feeling where
you’re like ‘man it ended too soon or I just need a little longer’. As well as a sense of depression,
other symptoms you may experience include exhaustion, loss of appetite,
a lack of motivation, feelings of nostalgia, and for me immediately
researching the next trip!
In all seriousness, though, post-travel depression can seriously affect your mental well being and last for as long as weeks or months. Friends of mine who have taken year-long trips around-the-world have confessed they still don’t feel as though they’re fully back to normal, even up to a year after returning home. It is hard to just go back to normal life again! One huge reason why this is the case is travelling is transformative. Once you leave your comfort zone and have explored a country of the world you’ll feel like a different person, you will feel refreshed, sometimes you will even look different because while you’re away you meet people from all walks of life. Your attitude changes and you begin to have a different outlook on life.
When did it happen to me?
I can give you an example – when I travelled to Cambodia in 2013, I met some young people who knew so much about the United Kingdom and barely went to school because they were on the streets making money for their families. These young people had very little, but the kindness and positive nature they gave out assured me that it’s actually OK to just be nice. Not everyone is as fortunate to have the same opportunities so when you are presented with a good opportunity you should take it seriously!
The other issue is everyone you return to is often the same. Nothing has really changed. There are in the exact same place they were when you last saw them and that can also be depressing in itself. I remember really feeling this when I came back from living in Singapore. I had travelled all over South East Asia and almost faced near to death experiences I had changed in person and it was such a strange feeling seeing everything was exactly the same. I couldn’t explain it. I remember it so vividly, I had just finished university and couldn’t comprehend how nothing had changed and chose to keep myself busy because I could feel myself falling back into the trap of a repetitive reality. Even now I see people who are lost, lost in a system that doesn’t allow them to enjoy life and they have given up and fallen into the stereotypical life that the system expects of them.And the saddest thing is we all have.
It’s a strange feeling to slow back into your old life as if nothing has changed, while deeply knowing that everything has changed. And when friends and family take interest in your trip for a week or two then don’t care to hear any more, it can be tough to deal with so many incredible memories that nobody wants to hear about. I do remember having my study-exchange friends that I met up with on a number of occasions; this was so helpful – James, Jade and Georgina shout out to you three!! You truly made returning home bearable.
Even now I see people who are lost, lost in a system that doesn’t allow them to enjoy life and they have given up and fallen into the stereotypical life that the system expects of them.And the saddest thing is we all have.
So, what can you do to prepare yourself for post-travel depression, and how can you minimise its effects? As I said before I am not an expert in other mental health, only my own.
7 Tips on How to Beat Post-Travel Depression
1. Catch Up with Friends
I understand listening to me talk about my travels can be annoying especially if you haven’t been anywhere for a while. And I do apologise. I remember wanting to share my stories with a former friend, she hadn’t travelled then and I felt bad talking about them – so I stopped. When she started to travel I really enjoyed her stories because I knew what it was like to experience something new.
Talking to friends that are travellers when battling with post-travel blues, can be a blessing in disguise. I remember meeting up with my friends that I met on my study abroad, we spent hours talking about our memories abroad. If you know my friends, you will know there are endless stories that I don’t even know where to begin! I am always left with laughter and a warm fuzzy feeling inside. If you can meet with your friends, it could help keep you distracted and lessen your attention on how you wish you were still abroad.
2. Take Care of Yourself
When we travel, you are having so much (well I do) it can be hard to take proper care of yourselves. Maybe that body you worked so hard for in the gym is now disappearing from all the junk food! You are lying by the pool doing nothing or sightseeing all day, drinking and clubbing every night. Your body will become exhausted. Write a list of things you want to do when you get back. For example, my list – I would like to start eating clean, reading more uplifting books, go to bed early, go to the gym and dream more and most importantly get closer to God.
3. Share Your Photos with Friends/Social Platforms
Now I know Drake in his most recent album recently said ‘I know a girl that saves pictures from places she’s flown to post later and make it look like she still on the go.’
But sorry Drake I don’t care what you say.
Some of us don’t have the opportunity to be constantly on the go. We must save those memories and keep reminding ourselves how amazing the trip was! Post pictures not to impress people, but yourself for your own memories. My social media is my collage of all my best pictures. I post pictures on Instagram and my other social media platforms because I want people to see the beautiful sites I have captured.
Sorry not sorry! #MyBreakingViews #BTravelCreators
4. Return back to Work or Study Immediately
Some people will disagree with me, but in my opinion there nothing worse than sitting at home doing nothing when you can be keeping yourself busy! If you don’t throw yourself back into your normal routine you will regret it when you do start!
5. Start Planning Your Next Trip
Hahaha! I don’t know how many times I have mentioned this already! Best way to get your mind of post-travel
blues is by of course planning your next trip! Write down a list of
places you want to go! Then start the planning! And then book your
flight, you will enjoy counting down the days to your next trip that the
days will fly by!
I have a travel
bucket list. In 2016 I wrote that I wanted to go to Italy and America
… Guess what I went to both… Write down your visions.
6. Start A Travel Diary or Travel Blog
If you’re like me, you’ll love to keep a record of those life-changing moments of your travels. If you have a travel blog write about your experiences! Share your tips you will be so happy you went! And if you don’t have a travel blog start one and comment below with a link to your blog! I love learning from other travel bloggers!
If you have a diary then use that. I always carry my diary around with me. I am so relaxed I think differently I can write and see my God-given vision, clearly and write this down for the universe.
7. Use the #BTravelCreators
I am sure you have seen that I am trying to do so many new things this year! I and Debbie for Wanderlustcalls have started a platform for Black Travel Creators! And it is going soooo well! We are both on Instagram and Twitter@btravelcreators so if you want us to share your lovely post and pictures please use the # or @ us. Oh and of course follow us!
Starting this platform has really given me so much confidence because there are so many other people with similar outlooks in life. This has given me the ability to share my experiences and be more open with my readers. I want to thank you all because really, I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you all.
I hope these tips do help deal with travel depression. Do you have any tips to share please do so below!