Ah the not so enchanting part of travel. Behind the scenes of all the glamorous photos featuring world renowned landmarks and smiling faces, there is a struggle that brought you there. ‘A journey of endeavors,’ if you will. It involves security checks, layovers that can last hours, adjusting to foreign time zones, & if you’re cheap like me, -layering. Lots & lots of layering. I’m talking sweaters & jackets. When your free carry-on just can’t quite fit all of your heavy wear, you gotta improvise. Which is what I did… about 7 layers worth of improvising. I’m just gonna say now, that this isn’t the most brilliant of ideas. In fact it’s probably never necessary unless you’re going to Russia for 3+ months. In my case of a brief week-long trip to one of the warmest winters in NYC, it was only a strenuous hassle. If you research packing methods (like I should have) you’ll find a common tip to pack only 2 jackets, because let’s be real here, when have we ever used absolutely EVERY one of our outfits that we packed for trips? It’s a helpful piece of advice to keep in mind, & one that I’m definitely going to use for future travels. I guess that’s the beauty in trial & error. The hardships of today will always come to our advantage later. But anyhow, long story short; just don’t do what I did unless you are in fact going to Russia or are willing to lug around a suitcase, half asleep, security check to security check, subway to subway – all while maintaining the trek of a cranky penguin.
It was about 7:00 a.m local time when our plane landed. I didn’t get much sleep on the flight there, seeing as to how I mistakenly drank a non decaf latte prior to our flight the night before, combined with the fact that I am absolutely terrified of flying. Ironic, I know. The sleepiness & discomfort of hauling around our suitcases & of course eagerness to see New York just prompted us to want to leave the airport as quickly as possible so we could check into our Airbnb. Even if it meant taking a cab that was 50 + dollars. But I mean, when in New York… *shrugs*
Besides, not taking a cab at least once when in the big city is like not hitting the slots when in Vegas, or refusing to eat a baguette when in France. You just gotta do it bc culture, duh. Jokes.
Brooklyn was our destination. We booked an Airbnb for a decent price in the neighboring city because everything else was either way out of budget in the New York, New York or already reserved because it was right around New Year’s Eve. It was a building over 100 years old with the most problematic lock I had ever encountered. The instructions on how to get in were inside of the envelope, along with a copy of the key to the apartment & a list of local shops & cafes to check out for our convenience. I remember the envelope being discreetly placed inside of the mailbox on the side of the entrance with our names printed on it. We hadn’t even stepped foot inside of the apartment yet & already I was consumed by excitement because of how the scavenger hunt-like process for arriving had been.
I don’t know if it was because we finally figured out how to unlock the doors, or if it was because we were inside away from the unfamiliar 40 degree weather or perhaps because we made it in one piece & were greeted with a puppy at the door but I was feeling cheery as soon as we were in our room. Our host prepared a super cozy place for us with hospitable amenities which included some tea & fresh towels. Such a simple gesture yet so comforting. There is something I just adore about Airbnbs. When you can get past the uneasiness about staying in a complete stranger’s home, & are some how able to connect, there is a sense of warmness about the whole thing. To be able to stay in a place that represents the said location first hand – I don’t think you can get in deeper when traveling than that. You are exposed to so much more in an Airbnb versus staying in some fancy hotel. But that’s just my perspective. After unpacking & checking my messages to reassure my mom that I made it across the country without dying, we decided to nap. Jet lag got the best of us til about 3 p.m. when we awoke recharged. It was time to get some coffee & plan out our long week ahead.