I love traveling and exploring new places, but traveling takes time and money. With short and efficient trips anyone can see the world.
I have always wanted to travel to New York, so I booked a weekend getaway for myself in March 2018. It was a quick trip, fly in on Friday and fly out on Sunday. When I landed at the LaGuardia Airport I had a front seat to see the beautiful Manhattan. I booked a hotel in the heart of Manhattan so I could be close to a variety of restaurants and attractions, and also experience the true feel of New York.
I caught a shuttle van to my hotel and realized I had not checked the weather before coming. I was thinking March is nice and the weather will be like spring. Oh man, was I wrong. Come to find out a snow storm had come and gone just days before my arrival leaving the air freezing cold in the aftermath. Thankfully I had both a hoodie and a jacket, even though my mind drifted more than once to a nice warm coat hanging up at home.
Nevertheless, I made it work and thoroughly enjoyed my time in the city. After checking in at the hotel I caught a cab to Times Square. I was utterly amazed at the height of the buildings and all of the bright lights fighting for your attention. This was the moment it finally dawned on me, I was truly in New York. This was one of my dreams. And I was living it.
Still on that high I went on as many tours as I could so I could soak everything up. A tour of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Harlem, the list goes on and on. But that night I ended up back in Times Square for a night tour. I highly recommend it, the lights are striking at night. After a long day of playing tourist I got a cab back to my hotel.
There was a vegan food parlor next to where I was staying so I stopped in for a bite. This was perfect because at the time I was a vegan. I had some soup and rice pudding, which I know is not a full meal, but it was amazing! A perfect ending to a day in New York.
I started early the following day early because I had quite a few attractions planned. First stop was the famous Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour. I met up with the tour group and guide for the ferry boat to the island with the Statue of Liberty. The sun was shining bright despite it being freezing, especially so near the water. Both the inside and the outside of the Statue of Liberty were beautiful and was truly a sight to behold.
Next it was back onto the ferry for a quick ride over to Ellis Island, which was for years operated as the entry point to New York for immigrants. After touring Ellis Island we took a group photo with everyone from the tour. Not only did I get a chance to see the history of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in person, but I got to explore it with a great group of people. It was a lot of fun!
After I got back to the mainland via ferry I headed to my next attraction. I could not leave New York without visiting the 9/11 Tribute Museum. It reflects an absolutely devastating time for our country as a whole. It was a blessing to be able to learn more about this historic event, to see the photos and hear the testimonies of city workers who witnessed it all.
After the meaningful experience at the 9/11 Tribute Museum, I headed towards the Empire State Building. The soaring high-rise was genuinely lavish on the inside. I took an elevator all the way to the top of the building, over one hundred floors up. There I had a view of the entirety of New York. It was absolutely breathtaking. To be able to soak up the whole of New York from that vantage point was life changing. I took some photos and decided to call it a day, knowing that nothing would be able to follow this view.
After coming back down to Earth, I realized that my hotel was not far and decided to walk the couple of blocks back. It was nice hearing the hustle and bustle of New York. I stopped at a pizza parlor that was nearby and headed back to the hotel room for the night.
The next morning it was back to reality and back to the airport. I left feeling grateful for the trip and the opportunity to see New York. It had always been a dream and I was so happy I did it. It was the best solo travel experience and I can not wait to travel even more.
If you are considering solo travel but are worried, just do it! You learn just how brave you truly are and of course you get to experience new places, and cultures, and don’t forget about the food! There is so much out there just waiting to be seen.
Food, Hotel and Attractions booked through Expedia
DoubleTree by Hilton Metropolitan Hotel
Uber for transportation
Nighttime Lights Bus Tour
Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour
9/11 Tribute Museum
Empire State Building
My Pie Pizzeria Romana