I left NY as I often do, with a head full of inspiration and a fresh set of shin splints (walk much?).
Though I usually find myself in New York for dance class and auditions, I also had another reason for wandering this sleepless city. I was exploring NYC this time from a travel-bloggers’ perspective.
With the NY Trav Fest in full swing during my stay in mid-April I made sure to be a part of this celebration of Travel & Writing. I was skeptical the whole thing was too good to be true? But judging by their website (as you do) it seemed legit.
Turns out, the NY Travel Fest attractes quite the notable crowd. I had the privilege of hearing some of the industry’s most prominent journalists, bloggers and brands talk about their work and life. Writers from AFAR, National Geographic, VICE, The Smithsonian, and [gasp, clutches pearls] the New Yorker. It was a gathering of all of my personal celebrities, and my internal dialogue was that of a thirteen year-old at a T. Swift concert.
I stumbled into Lee Abbomonte (Youngest American to visit every country) as I was exiting the ladies bathroom (good start). I took this opportune moment to introduce myself and say a whole bunch on NOTHING that went something like this
“Oh Hey! Travel!…Dance…Cruise ships…Cool!…Neat!…Rad..Uh, yeah.”
So in short, I thought it a great time to whip out all my favorite 90’s expressions and throw them around in poorly executed sentences. What I meant to say was…
“Hey incredible talk in there, I really enjoyed your insight. It’s a pleasure to finally meet you. You’re a real inspiration to those attempting to travel the world.”
You know, articulate things that demonstrate I have a basic understanding of the English language…But no. Instead I said something garbled, shook his hand, took his card, and skipped away like a school girl. Nice, Kels. My networking at its finest.
I also had the opportunity to join a reader-meetup for one of my favorite travel blogs–World of Wanderlust. It’s at times like these that I’m grateful for Facebook and not cursing its annoying blue interface. I have to give the FB a big thanks for using its advertising algorithm magic on me, knowing the kind of events I’d like to attend during my short visit to NY. It pointed me right to the reader-meetup for this famous Aussie Blogger, Brooke Saward, as she was swinging through NYC during her travels (work?). At the meet-up we ate cupcakes and talked about travel.( The Everywhereist really should have been there.)
But there were heaps (how Aussie of me?!) of other travel-bloggers there that I was so excited to meet in person (and later stalk online). I got real creepster on Nikki from The Pin The Map Project, as she was speaking later that weekend at the NY Trav Fest alongside previously mentioned personal celebs.
Afterward I trekked to Central Park on New York’s most beautiful Spring day to eat (yes, more) cupcakes with my best friend in Sheep’s Meadow, while acquiring a fascinating tan line.
Back to the Travel Fest: My memory of the weekend was a bit foggy (because wine), but also because a lot of it was spent daydreaming about taking off to Cuba or Myanmar on assignment for notable coffee-table magazines (sigh. someday). What I loved most about the Fest was the camaraderie among the variety of people attending, all passionate about the future of the industry as travel and technology form a unique bond.
Though my trip to NY had its appointments and plans, I made sure to set aside time for wandering and getting lost. No one knows how to take a train in the wrong direction like I do (DO NOT try this on the J line). I saw an amazing Broadway production of “An American in Paris.” Made new friends over
glasses bottles of wine. Met up with an old high school buddy doing fabulous photography for dancers. And took those amazing dance classes I was talking about at STEPS on Broadway.
As much as I loved my trip to NY, I couldn’t leave without a reality check, courtesy of the City itself. Apparently enjoying yourself too much is not allowed and warrants a reprimand by the Gods who I imagine roam the city in the form of its pigeons. So a reality check is exactly what I got while enjoying an afternoon sitting on a sunny park bench, resting my legs and taking it all in. Message received NY, message received.