Inside: What I learned on my first trip to NYC with my daughter.
Have you been to New York City? Does the very name conjure up images in your mind? Skyscrapers? People walking by super fast and always in a hurry?
I’ve always been in love with New York City. Different cultures, an amazing food scene, and something interesting on every corner.
I couldn’t WAIT to share the experience with my daughter. For those of you familiar with NYC, you know there’s no other place quite like it. And for those of you who haven’t visited – check out this incredible guide for visiting NYC for the first time!
And while I knew it’d be a fun trip for our little family, I never imagined what I would learn from the experience.
But let me back up.
For years, I would write in journals and scrapbooks and keep them hidden. After all, my parents were both writers, and who wants to go into the family business?
Being a writer means you often do weird things – like collect interesting words, phrases and quotes. (Or maybe that’s just me?)
And one of my favorite quotes comes from Mark Twain.
In his book, Innocents Abroad, he writes “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Isn’t that the truth, though?
I’ve long adored this quote. My favorite part of travel is not the architecture, landscape, or even (surprisingly) the food.
While I love experiencing each of those things, I’m most excited about meeting new people and learning about their unique perspectives.
What I love most about traveling is the way that it changes me.
And on our trip to New York City, I watched my three-year-old challenge the notion that New Yorkers are rude, impatient, unpleasant, and unapproachable.
While wandering around this amazing city, we constantly ran into wonderful people.
The sweet lady in Chinatown who insisted on holding her parasol over my daughter to protect her from the relentless summer sun.
The bus drivers who all smiled and joked around with her as she exclaimed how much she loved riding buses.
All the passengers who let her pull the yellow cord for their stops.
Everywhere we went – restaurants, cafes, and even Central Park, she made friends with strangers through easy conversations.
Not once did someone shrug her off. She never encountered any rudeness. Nobody was so busy that they couldn’t give her a smile or a wave.
At three-years-old, my daughter has a favorite city.
As pure an extrovert as one can be, she’s exhilarated by the people all around her. She’s energized by the hustle bustle of the city – that constant movement all around.
Things to see and discover at every turn. “Mommy, it’s not boring here.”
If you were to tell her the stereotype that New Yorkers are rude and impatient, unpleasant and unapproachable, she’d quickly set you straight.
Without visiting this part of the country, so different from our home, she never would have had this perspective.
When we travel, we open up our minds.