It’s now been two and a half years since I left you, New York City. It marks the day that I flew back to England from the United States for the very last time. Leaving behind one of the most significant places of my life I left with you not only those evanescent footprints but also a figurative piece of my heart.
Dear New York City,
The first time I ever saw you was in June 2015. Id been hired to work at a summer resort in Connecticut earlier that year. I’d anticipated flying to America for months. I’d never even been on a airplane before. Yet, at that moment, all I could think about was what you would be like and how it would be.
My first real glimpse of you was when I arrived in Manhattan on that rainy afternoon. I arrived at Grand Central Station with an expectation of travelling to Connecticut. I was overwhelmed, I didn’t take it all in at the time. In hindsight, this was one of the key moments of my whole life. I revisited you several time that summer. By that time I’d already fallen in love with the United States. I’d had a taste of what life was like there and I was obsessed.
I always knew you would be a beautiful city as I’d seen you so many times. I’ve spent my whole life watching you on television and in photographs; hearing about you in the media. The greatest city in the whole world. The bright lights, it’s magical countenance: the “city that never sleeps” – it was somewhere I longed to be consumed in. But nothing I had ever seen compared to witnessing you first hand.
Returning to the States
The following year I returned to the United States. It felt right to fly back into JFK Airport again, albeit working in West Virginia this time around. I stayed there for only one night before heading to Washington D. C. I’d planned to travel the west coast subsequent to working there and didn’t know when I would possibly have the chance to revisit. I felt the need to see where it all began again that summer – before I left America for the final time.
I’ve had some unforgettable moments with you over those two years, some good and some less so. I still remember exactly where I was seeing Times Square for the first time. The day I visited the Brooklyn Bridge and Wall Street. Spending the afternoon in Central Park. The night I ended up lost in East Harlem. I remember how much I cried at JFK Airport when my flight took off to take me back to England.
The Last Goodbye
Leaving you in 2016 with no specific plan or expectation on when I would eventually return marks my saddest travel moment to date. I’ve missed you New York City. I’ve worked abroad every summer since flying here on my first adventure overseas. I’ve spent the past two years living and working abroad in Ibiza, yet I didn’t fall in love with the city. It didn’t make me feel the same way. I’ve never felt that way since.
It Changed My Life
New York City, you inspired me back then to seek the intangible success I always knew I was capable of. You made me realize I could do anything in life. Because I know that if I could make it over there back then, to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, I really can make it anywhere.
Perhaps you can relate to this article and how much New York City means to me. Please let us know in the comments about your feelings towards the city! Have you visited here recently?
Feature Image Source: @sorayaatherton on Instagram
Soraya Atherton is a content writer from the United Kingdom. She is a travel enthusiast that has most recently worked in Ibiza, Spain.