Good travel is about taking risks. It’s not rocket science, just good life mantra. On a trip to New York I learnt this more than ever.
It’s about not 100 per cent calculating that this is the right metro train to get on, but gliding into the sliding doors and getting to your destination directly and quickly. Or going the complete wrong way and making friends who get you back on the right track, or checking out a side of town you may not have previously struck upon.
It’s about playing the hero game. My best friend and her boyfriend introduced me to this game on their European jaunt together. In a nutshell you receive nominations throughout the day for navigating somewhere, choosing a great restaurant, or simply keeping calm in a shitty situation. Do enough and become the hero of the day. Why does this silly game work? Because we often are too afraid to take charge when travelling with others. We are often all ‘meh, I’m easy’, and far too indecisive. We don’t want to be blamed for a bad entree, an expensive drink, or a wrong turn. Fuck it. Choose glory.
It’s about going off on your own to do something you really want to do. Your travel pals don’t? No biggie. You’re not the same people, and that’s a damn good thing. Imagine if we all enjoyed artichoke. The lines. The horror.
It’s about walking into the seediest looking restaurant and having the best meal of your life. It’s also about not being embarrassed to turn on your heels and exit.
It’s about spending hundreds of dollars on New Year’s Eve tickets, to sit dressed to the nines in subzero temperatures, thinking what have I done. Only to get some hot toddies into you and have one of the best nights of your life.
It’s about following your gut, your heart, even listening to the uneasy. You do you. Throw caution to the wind generated by the subway. That breeze in your hair, chilling you to your bones is a good indication adventure awaits.
If it’s wrong, bad, scary, you’re doing it right or making one hell of a good story. When you’re old and grey and you tell your grandkids not to do something and they ask you that petulant “why not”? You can say because this one time in New York…