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.
You see – I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember.
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.
17 thoughts on “In a New York State Of Mind”
Lovely read! It always amazes me what we can learn from children! It’s sad that we expect an entire group of people to behave a certain way, when I’m fact they are all unique people with different hearts. Congrats to your kiddo for challenging stereotypes! Thanks for sharing!
Exactly! Thank you for the kind words!
This is so nice! This is what I love about travelling as well. Haha, I have been in New York this May for the first time ever (actually first time ever outside Europe) and was expecting to meet those rude New Yorkers. But no, everybody was so kind, positive and helpful!
Wow – first trip out of Europe and you headed to NYC – love that!
I love this post. It’s great that the usual unpleasant and rude New York was challenged. So cool because there are wonderful people everywhere. I’m glad you saw the other side of New York.
And hey, you’re an amazing writer.
Thank you for the kind words! Yes, there are wonderful people everywhere!
Wow, I love this! And you’re so right about travel opening our minds! Before we moved to Germany, we had so many stereotypes about Germans, French, and most of the other European countries we’ve visited. What we’ve found through our travels is that the majority of the population goes against the stereotypes we learned. Travel has truly helped us grow and expand our thinking.
I love hearing stories like this – so awesome! And – wow – you live in Germany!? We are heading to Munich in May and I can’t wait!
Lovely article, and I totally agree with how important travel is – it really does make us grow, and become more open-minded and tolerant. I’ve also discovered the healing effect it has on my anxiety, and I’m determined not to waste a moment in the pursuit of travel!
As a native New Yorker, I can attest that even though us locals may *look* unpleasant and unapproachable, we are in fact quite friendly and helpful – especially to tourists who have lost their way or are looking for something. However, I cannot contradict the inpatience – this is something I had to learn to fix about myself. And I did so mainly through travel! After coming back to New York after traveling long-term, I kept thinking to myself why is everyone in such a hurry!?
Loved this so much. Such an awesome message. Kids are just so good at being unaware of judgements or stereotypes. If only we were all like 3 year olds.
What a great read! We also love to explore new places and meet new people. It does change your perspectives on the world!
As a fellow New Yorker, I was so happy to get to read of your New York City trop and how perfect it was for you and your family! 🙂
Yay! What a great city, full of awesome, kind, interesting people. We try to visit at least a couple times of year – especially at Christmas when the whole city is so beautifully decorated.
Love your quote at the end of this, “When we travel, we open our minds.,” and I commend you that your 3-year-old is challenging this stereotype.
Amazing write-up, Great article. Thanks!