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I took a spontaneous trip to New York City; here’s what I learned

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utah chapter.

I decided I needed to get out of Utah for a weekend and have a nice relaxing vacation, so naturally, I booked a trip to New York City. Relaxing? Nope. Fun? Oh, 100%. With honestly no real plans, not much money but an adventurous heart I headed with my best friend to The Big Apple. I had only been to New York one other time, a question I frequently got at the mention of going spontaneously. It was for a basketball game and I was with the entirety of my family so this trip was bound to be a bit different. I experienced and I learned on my short weekend trip. 

Big cities really never sleep but if you’re willing to soak it all in, you don’t need much sleep anyway. After taking a red-eye and navigating the subway I wandered around New York with less than 2 hours of sleep on my belt. By the time dinner hit I was practically falling asleep over my (seriously incredible) pasta. It was not even 10 pm and as soon as my head hit the pillow I was out, but the lights in Time Square were not. It was not an hour before I finally slept that I was basking in the bright lights of a city I had only seen once on a different scale and soaking in the moment of being a part of this city for the first time. It’s weird how night time feels more lively than the day and the lights are more piercing when it’s pitch black outside. I looked around and was blissfully happy. 

times square mean girls billboard
Photo by Mathias Arlund on Unsplash

The city can also be beautifully quiet if you allow it to be. The number of times I told locals I was staying at Times Square and got met with a face of horror was boggling. So I decided to try out where they said to go. We spent a whole day meandering through Soho, The West Village, and The Meatpacking District. Although still lively it felt as though the rest of the city was an entirely different world itself. It was cobblestone streets and friendly faces on street corners and it was nice. 

New York Coffee Shop
Alanna Martine Kilkeary / Her Campus

I learned to just go with it. I was stressed about having the best weekend in New York I could possibly have and doing everything I could possibly do. Instead, I had the best weekend because I did none of that. I just took in the city for what it was, a bit more like what I should do every day. I tried to Yelp the best restaurants but ended up with random ones that tasted just as incredible as I anticipated them to. It wasn’t everything New York was supposed to be, but it was a trip that didn’t need to be. 

The biggest thing I learned, as I attempted to get on the subway to the airport is that I would be happy to be back home. A spontaneous trip is wonderful, and I’d recommend it to anyone, but it reminds you to be just as blissfully happy where you are. I couldn’t wait to be back on Utah soil, a feeling I would have never believed just four days prior. So although I loved my trip and the city, my spontaneous trip did exactly what I suppose I wanted it to; give me a break and a reason to come back.

girl laying on a bed

U of U Journalism Major! BIG sports girl.
Her Campus Utah Chapter Contributor