A layover!! Autumn in Manhatten, NYC; U.S.A

A Travel Diary.

 NYC, November 2017

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It was the night after the Thanksgiving holiday. We were at dinner, in a co-living space and I was mingling. This was just before loosing myself to myself introvert-ing as a result of being over-saturated with my company when I was asked if I travel often. I didn't think so. I travel when and how I can. I don't desire to visit every continent on the planet neither do I care to count the number of countries I visit. I've never desired to touch down on every country. It is not on my bucket list. I do desire to experience certain things in my lifetime and that is what I make the time for. What are those things? they asked.

Experiences like the gloomy London skyline, the city life in Paris, the southern French countryside, Italy, the mountains and hot springs in Japan. In Japan, I dream of places like Koyoto, Kurokawa, Koyasan, Kiso and I dream of returning to the Mid West, USA where I studied during college. And New York City, time and time again. 

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No Plans on going to Africa? They asked. I dream of Morocco but funny thing I never dreamed of travel to Africa in any other capacity. For a brief moment, I had family stationed in Togo and Nigeria so we did mention planning a family visit, but this never materialized.

So what I am writing about today, it's simple I am on the heels of my last vacation. A two-week break I took, to visit my brother in his new hometown for his birthday (wish him happy belated birthday, it was November 19th) and I extended the stay to share Thanksgiving and then until the end of the month. I am home four days now and still operating on Seattle time, 4 hours ahead and it's rough. I am adjusting. I love the routine of home and I love at the same time travel. I love being able to return to the kitchen, make our meals. Feed the fish. Water the plants. Visit West Park. Return to work. 

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Something strange happened to me on my way back from this trip. I had a scheduled layover in NYC. I spent the night in the city, woke up, had a lengthy and slow breakfast and then headed out to Central Park.

I love NYC, the streets, the pulse of the city and I always dream of revisiting Central Park, so when my connecting flight between Seattle and home were not working out I decided to spend the last day of November, where fall departs and winter beckons, in the city. The trees, most are without their leaves and those with leaves, are beautiful shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. The evergreens remain beautifully green. I had to visit Central Park. It was my only agenda apart from just being present. 

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What happened that was strange for the first time while traveling/ doing something that I long to do, in this case visiting Central Park during autumn, I couldn't help thinking why did I want to be here. I longed to be here, I made it happen and now that I am here, I questioned it. It felt strange. Almost. I couldn't comprehend the feeling. I questioned why was it so important to me. Was it worth it? The time, the money, the cold 4-degree weather. Should I have not bothered? Should I have been elsewhere, leaving my money in my pocket? Should I be home?

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New York was marvelously herself. The people busy, steam rising up onto 5th Avenue, traffic jams, sounds of car horns, and November chill.

I think I was thinking of the long way home. I had already traveled approximately 6 and a half hours, I was on this almost 24-hour layover and I still had a 4-hour plane ride plus time in customs ahead. I was dreading it. 

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This raised questions on travel. Why do we go? What happens when we get there? What happens when we return?

I couldn't help but think it so easy to utter "life is not a destination but a journey" when you are enjoying the journey. I was indeed on a journey, like literally but I only wanted the destination. No amount of self-introspection to bring myself into my present moment was helping at the time. I couldn't help but think only about my destination and how much I longed to just be there. Perhaps if I can just click my heels but I was here, not there. I was still at the moment some 12 hours away.

When home at the end of a long travel day is the destination "ain't nobody got no time" for any talk 'bout "Enjoy the journey!!"

I began the 12 hours with a walk back to my hotel enjoying it, loving NYC, knowing I was ready to be home. I do declare this is one of my least favourite parts of travel. 

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With love from Freeport,

Chan.

A travel diary, NYC November 30th 2017.

Do you ever dream of NYC?