Today, I look back at how different two weeks can be. As last Friday had me in the middle of vacation, this past Friday morning was welcomed with a blood-curdling scream. Sleepy eyes and seconds after lifting the toilet lid, I realized that the porcelain throne was already taken. The gray fuzzy blob was a TOAD! The good news: it was the only one seen yesterday, as I consciously became the toad patrol of all toilets that came my way.
Perhaps it was a needed scream. Reality was truly back, and I did a great job this week resuming my work life and pretending not to have vacation withdrawal syndrome.
So, I’ve recently come back from New York City, and I had the best time possible. For a city whose soundscape is composed of frequent sirens, loud chatter, and other general street noise, I still found moments of peace and gained better self-perception. I learned that if I really want something, I’m willing to make it happen.
As I look back on all the iconic spots, statues, and buildings, I smile at the little details like sitting on a train and being surrounded by five languages talking all at once—none of which were English. I also ran into one of my music heroes on the streets, only to be kicking myself later that I didn’t say anything. I will forever remember how we both stopped, smiled, and nodded at each other.
There was also a bagpipe player on the subway. And at Central Park, there was a man on a bicycle singing karaoke, “Prince Ali, yes it is he, Prince Ababwaaa!” He even had his own mic, amp, and music track. Why isn’t biking karaoke-ing an actualy thing?
A week later, and my calves have recovered from all the feet travel between the walks. From the two hour coffee shop hunt to the two hour Central Park hike, I victoriously attended a Carnegie Hall concert in a cleanly state the same night. It was miraculous to have squeezed in a shower beforehand, for the NYC winds had covered me in dirt and all kinds of smells beforehand, some which I unfortunately inhaled.
But all the dust in the nose didn’t stop me from having a blast. My soul still hums the goosebump-filled serenades from the Hall, and it’s still infatuated by all the sightseeing from those few days.
By the time I returned home, I was a bit shocked. The hushed traffic and the absence of all other sounds questioned my ears. I also noticed my quick impatience with the slowest drivers and walkers in the world. To start the day in a different state and to end it in another challenged how quickly I could adapt to diverse environments.
This was the first big trip that I single-handedly planned from beginning to end. And it tested me in different areas like travel planning, decision making, and instinct. The personal wins included finishing all work in advance, arriving to destinations on time, and resolving issues when technology wasn’t working half the time.
I thank up above for helping me make it through all nine yards. To go to NYC not knowing a soul was an adventure in itself.
Most importantly, the whole trip was frog-free.