New York | A Love Letter To My Favourite City

new york times square night

It’s 9:16 am and I’m sat on my sofa, cradling my first coffee of the day. After a terrible night of broken sleep, I definitely need a caffeine hit. Although it is spring, there’s still a slight chill in the air and my cold fingertips welcome the warmth of this somewhat comically oversized coffee mug.

starbucks nyc mug

It’s the mug I bought on my first visit to NYC and I reach for it every morning. Embellished with iconic yellow cabs and skyscrapers, it holds more coffee than you’ll actually ever want to drink in one sitting and I absolutely love it. Although I have plenty of work to do today, I’ve once again found myself dreaming of one of my favourite places to be. Like an old familiar friend, New York often creeps into my thoughts and makes me smile. There’s always a slight longing to return, an itch lingering beneath the surface. One that only NYC can scratch.

Bryant Park picture

At a time when I needed it the most, this beautiful city helped to shape my outlook and gave me the wake up call I needed. After a couple of severely traumatic life events, I found myself a little bit lost. I was generally ‘okay’ but do you ever find yourself just existing rather than really living? That’s what I realised I was doing.

The decision to face my fears, book the flights and say yes to an amazing opportunity a few years ago was the first step in changing things, and as corny as it sounds – in finding myself again. When people call NYC ‘the city of dreams’ – they are absolutely right. You see, there’s something special about New York. The Big Apple. The city that never sleeps! It’s the most captivating and vibrant place, and one that somehow has us all completely under its spell. Whether you’ve gazed wide-eyed at it on the big screen or read about it online, chances are you’ve dreamed of experiencing New York for yourself.

view from brooklyn bridge

Our first visit to NYC was part work, part family vacation. Myself, my husband and our teenage daughter arrived during one of the hottest summers the city had ever seen. Even the locals were struggling and the heat was intense! Trust me though, nothing beats that feeling of walking around the city in beautiful sunshine and exploring new places and sights.

Everything is vibrant, bustling and alive. The city has so much energy and an irresistible charm. Returning to New York after a long time away is like reuniting with an old friend. You instantly feel safe and content.

Like any city, New York has its flaws but you’ll happily forgive the pungent smell of garbage on the sidewalk, and learn to kid yourself that it wasn’t a cockroach that scurried across your foot in a souvenir store in Times Square. It was just a leaf…. a really  cockroachy looking leaf.

central park lake

In a city filled with skyscrapers and towering buildings, I find it so endearing that there are also plenty of green areas and beautiful parks with endless places to relax. It really is like having the best of both worlds and don’t worry, New Yorkers know just how lucky they are to call it home. You can spend the day boating around a lake in Central Park and then walk straight outside to hit up your favourite designer stores and restaurants in the evening.

new york times square night

As someone who had once become quite isolated after dealing with grief and anxiety, I knew that this city and the amount of people, sights and experiences to take in at once would either make or break me pretty fast. Luckily as soon as I arrived, something just clicked and I felt happy and excited to be a part of it all. Maybe I was always meant to be a city dweller?

During our time in NYC I found my confidence again, I revelled in my work commitments and met some amazing people as a result. As a family we did things that were so out of our comfort zone, but they lead to life changing events that will stay with us forever.

We ended up having a complimentary VIP press trip to a Yankees game on the very same day that one of their biggest players retired. The atmosphere was electric and the stadium was at full capacity. I know nothing about baseball but it is impossible not to get swept up in the moment! So in true Carrie Bradshaw style, I grabbed a drink, put my feet up and soaked up the vibe. It was an all time bucket list tick-off for my husband and a day that none of us will ever forget.

We jetted off to exciting events, Broadway shows and launches all over the city and ‘popped into Gucci’ as you do where I ended up sipping champagne and chatting to staff, before leaving with the designer bag of dreams. Not your every day occurrence that’s for sure!

I’ll definitely write more about those experiences soon as there are so many stories to be told from our various trips. For now, let me just say that if you are debating booking a trip to NYC then I wholeheartedly recommend it. It’s the best experience and an amazing place to spend time with friends and family.

New York, I love you. 

What to read next? – 7 Amazing NYC activities you need to experience.

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