My First Solo Trip to NYC

Years ago I never really considered traveling or really cared about it. Friends and random people would tell me about their travels but it didn’t really excite me. I wasn’t a fan to be honest. I was too busy working out and playing videos games. Even though I did not really care for travel, there were three places on my mind that I always wanted to go even as a teenager. People would mention these places and I always thought about them. One of these places was New York City.

I took this photo while I was inside the greyhound bus to NYC

I was 24 years old and I had just got a lovely new job. A proper adult job. As a gift to myself, I decided to go to New York City alone. I wanted to see if I would like it and potentially live there one day. I wanted to see it all, do it all, and live it all.

The view when entering NYC. After a 12 hour drive, seeing this wakes you up.

Apparently I have many cousins in the states so my dad made some calls and I had a free place to stay in Queens New York. This was awesome. This saved me tons of money and I would finally meet family, something I’ve never done. I was also afraid of taking an airplane and purchased the cheapest ticket through Greyhound. The roundtrip bus ticket was $170.00 CAD. The time it took to get from Toronto to NYC was well over 12 hours. The bus made several stops but I still found it to be very scenic. I went for 3 days and had the time of my life. This is the only city I have returned to due to the dense population, clothing boutiques, food, family, and ongoing attractions. I love the city so much and will return hopefully when the pandemic is over.

My first camera shot in Manhattan. Walking around lost in the city while trying to figure out how to contact my cousins.

On this trip I brought all of my best clothes, my Nikon D3100 camera, and anything that I thought was important in my life. Yes. I was that materialistic. The camera was bought last minute and I did not know how to use it. You will see what happens when you shoot in manual mode and you don’t know the basics of an DSLR camera. I apologize for these really bad pictures. My second and third returning are much better. They are better because I use my camera phone and quit my amateur photography dream from this failure.

My first purchase in Manhattan. This was around $40 – $50 Canadian! I didn’t even eat it. I was so tired I gave it to my cousins and passed out at their home.

The first day was ROUGH. The 12 hour bus ride was tiresome. I stayed awake the whole time. As soon as I entered Manhattan, I became very awake. As soon I left the underground bus terminal, I was handed a piece of paper by a NYPD officer providing tips on how not to get robbed (don’t look like a tourist). I then lost my cellular connection and had to find a way to call my cousins. Luckily I befriended a Puerto Rican hotel clerk who helped me out. I couldn’t believe how many people were speaking Spanish. It felt welcoming. I met my wonderful cousins for the first time in my life and proceeded to pass out in their lovely home. That was my first day. I also explored the city that day but I didn’t take too many pictures since I was caring a lot of things all over Manhattan and I didn’t want to flash all my expensive clothes and gear. My goal was not to be robbed on the first day. Success.

Day 2

The second day was interesting. My cousin took me out for breakfast and then threw me into the fire. He literally drove me to the subway station in Jamaica Queens New York and said, “have fun”. He left me at the subway station. I had to figure out how to get to Manhattan. This is what I needed, this is what I wanted. Me. Alone and loving it. I bought a subway day pass and figured out how to get from Jamaica Queens to Manhattan. The rest is history. E train for life!

Brekkie food with my cousin

Subway life from Queens to Manhattan

I enter Manhattan on a humid summer day and I begin to hunt for food and cool boutiques. The amount of times I got lost and went in and out of the subway was absurd. I managed to always find new pizza places, buy a slice, and continue exploring. I just started snapping photos of this busy city and hoped to get decent shots as an amateur photographer. I took the worst pictures but I kept trying.

The city of hustle
All day, everyday.
One reason to go to NYC. Their eats.
I see a tesla for the first time ever. These were not available in Canada at the time.
interesting art. This was brand known as kaws or original fake. It’s still a very recognized hypebeast -ish style.
I did a lot of people watching.
I walk into a store that sells bespoke denim. Custom denim to what the customer wants in their measurement.
The different material used for the bespoke denim.
I continue the walk. There are many expensive boutiques here.
I see this dog and snap a pic. It’s a miniature husky. A very expensive dog.
I go to Blue In Green Soho to buy Japanese denim. The service and products were amazing. I was in love with Japanese brands and raw denim at the time. I’ve changed style since then.
I snap a photo of the helpful sales associate.
I spend a lot of money and continue exploring. Did I mention I did not know how to shoot in manual?
Walking through NYC, you notice it is picturesque
I purchase gifts at Malin Goetz. The gifts were for my mom so she could continue looking young… and I fell in love with their rum soap.
Coney island at night

Night time approaches and I was taken to Coney Island. Ever since I saw the movie The Warriors I wanted to go to Coney Island.

The best corn dog I have ever had in my life. This was in Coney Island
Some pictures are blurry
The wonder wheel.
Wonder wheel + me
Me thinking I dress well. I do not. I cringe of this but I’m happy I can see myself
It looks lonely but there are tons of people.
One side is the road, the other is the festivities and the beach.
If you’ve seen the movie the warriors, you’ll know this location.
Open for business.
They love their sweets.
Go karts.
When it was all opened.
A neat map.

That wraps up day two. It was busy. I walked all day and all night. My feet were in incredible pain but this is what you do on vacation. You explore until your body gives out. AHAHA. I’m serious.

Day 3

Back in Manhattan
I love how busy it is. I enjoy feeling like ant.
A Tim Hortons. It feels good to be Canadian.
That heavy police presence is crazy. I felt safe all over the areas I walked through.
Just taking it all in.
Ads everywhere.
I asked a stranger to take a photo of me. I’m wild, I know.
Can you feel the chaos?
In the middle of the city.

That’s it! That’s all the photos I have. It was an eye opening trip. I learned more about myself and became much more open minded and excited of this new cultural experience. I got to spend time with myself which is what I love doing. This was my first trip alone and my first trip…ever. If you are looking to do a solo trip, I highly recommend NYC. There’s tons of things to do. If you like eating, shopping, and you just want to explore, this is a great city. There is also tons of other things to do but don’t get overwhelmed. Just go and do it. I will post my next solo trip which was in 2017. I have returned to New York City and there’s always too much to do, it’s such a vibrant city. I still have not made a dent in this city since it is so huge and there’s always events happening. If you’re reading this, go now!

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