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What I Learned from My First Trip to New York

Hello! My name is Iliana and recently I went to New York City to compete as a part of the NMSU Model UN team. It was my first time in NY and I learned quite a bit so I thought I’d share some tips for people headed to the Big Apple for the first time. Note: This trip was with an organization for a purpose and not just vacation, but we did have free days to be as touristy as we wanted to be.

  • Always carry a change of shoes if you plan on dressing up.

The biggest thing I learned through painful experience is to always have a pair of comfy shoes on hand at all times. During conference, we were in business attire all day with breaks for lunch and my mistake was thinking I could walk New York blocks in heals and not face the repercussions. Same goes for going out. One can only walk and dance for so long before just completely losing their feet to pain. The best thing to do is always carry flats to change into for walking then change back into your heels when you to your destination. Please do this, risking it is absolutely not worth the cuts, blisters, and overwhelming pain.

  • Depending on how long you’re there, get a subway pass.

We were in NY for a week and getting a seven-day subway pass was more than worth it. It comes out to around $30 and really pays off, especially on free days that lend themselves to exploring the city. Walking is always an option but the subways is a convenient option to get around town.

  • If you can get it where you’re from, don’t get it in NY

Sometimes it’s hard to step out of our comfort zone and try new things; however, in a city as big as New York, you have to be willing to try new things. Don’t go to McDonalds because it’s close and familiar, go to the 99-cent pizza down the street for authentic (and cheap!) NY pizza. Take advantage of the ability to get any type of food at any time of the day or night.

  • Take the size of museums into account.

One thing I was not ready for was the size of the museums. If you’re a museum buff and want to get to all the big ones during your trip make sure to set enough time aside. For example, a friend and I decided to go the Metropolitan Museum of Art and thought we could see a majority of the museum in a few hours and four hours later we had only been through half of the first floor. The buildings are huge and if you want to see more than one floor of exhibits, schedule most of the day to be dedicated to museums.

  • Don’t be afraid of the city.

I’m a small-town girl. I grew up in small towns and had never been in a city as big as NY before so of course I was terrified. The one thing I learned is that as long as you’re aware of your surroundings and stay alert, the city is an amazing place to be. Take the subway! Walk through times square! Central Park! Do everything and anything because there is always something for everyone in New York.

Ultimately, New York city is everything I imagined it to be and more and I can’t wait to travel to more amazing and beautiful cities. To anyone afraid of traveling, take the leap and you’ll experience some amazing things.  


Student at NMSU double majoring in Journalism and Government. 
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