This november 2017, I got a slot of one week in between jobs. Acting on a calculated impulse, I booked a trip to NYC. The Big Apple is a traveling destination that has slowly been growing on me – it has never been on top of my bucket list of places to see. Through some kind of mysterious background mental process, however, this apple had ripened and was ready to be harvested. I had a chat with a friend who was supposed to visit me in Sweden and we decided quite spontaneously to relocate our reunion to a different continent altogether.
It proved to be a really good choice for many reasons. Seeing my friend who also happens to be one of my favourite traveling companions on the one hand, and melting into the bee-hive called New York City are just two of them.
I think I am a city-tripper at heart. I have made the very conscious choice of living in a small town as the hustle of crowded places, trafic jams and loud noise is not my daily cup of tea. But unleash me in a place like NYC for some days and I feel happy and free as a bird. Because there are so many things to see. And so many things to do. It is like food for my brain that relishes on new impressions. It makes my inside jump for joy. At the same time, I get a sense of inner peace.
I don’t know how many hours I spent looking up information and planning the trip, but they were many. My friend had made her homework too. We merged our plans, adapted them to life as it happens, put on our walking shoes, bought metro cards and set out to scratch on the surface of this huge kinder egg. On the very first night, after meeting up in our shoe-box sized YMCA room we went for dinner to Astoria.
Oh my, I do love the woods, creeks and parks of my neighbourhood, but the manmade urban landscape of the city that never sleeps does also have its soothing qualities. Sparkling skylines and soaring buildings make your neck muscles extend to the infinite. My brain neurons – aka electrically excitable cells – found a lot of power to tap into.
There is a lot to be said about the post traveling syndrome….If overseas traveling fails to give you a jetlag in the proper sense, it nevertheless affects your body, mind and feelings at all kinds of different, subtle levels. Emotional jetlag is a traveler’s reality and not at all a fictitious condition….
What is the state of affairs after returning from my first ever trip to the US? Well, I lost one night’s sleep on my flight back, broke a personal record by sleeping for 9 hours straight the night after, started a new job and went away for a long yoga-related weekend to Gothenburg.
As I am writing this I am back to normal, timid snowflakes are softly making their way to the ground and my heart feels light and full of thanks.