NYC Prepared Me For Travel?

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TLDR: I love New York City, there’s no place like it. I always say that it is a place that can make you or break you. I was a bit nervous to travel at first because you never know what you will encounter, but to my surprise NYC prepared me for it. However, as I traveled I saw some things I was missing out on.

For more details, read below.

It is true, New York City is the big apple, full of lights, condensed and where the hustle is real.  This life is my “norm”. With time I came to realize that New York City indirectly ingrained several “survival tactics” that I still use when I travel.


There are at least three traits I built while being in NYC:

  1. Being independent – Many families like mine are working hard to make ends meet, it would be nice if the situation was different, but it’s my reality. I know that the world doesn’t revolve around me and I had to come to terms early on that there will be many times I will have to rely on myself to get things done.
  2. Hustling – This city is no joke, it’s not only an expensive city, but also to live a decent life you have to work hard, many times overtime and for many have multiple jobs.
  3. Being Aware – With more than 8 million people best believe there is something happening every day at all hours. No matter how busy it can get observing your surroundings is what has saved me from many situations. Like we say, “You don’t want to be caught slippin.”

I did not know how valuable these traits were until my own travel plans change unexpectedly and I had to come up with a new plan or a solution. These traits I built up in New York City is what got me through those obstacles.

Public Transportation

I have many MTA stories and that is because it is not the best service, but it gets you where you need to be. Being able to maneuver your way through the many buses and train line can give you an extra boost of confidence. Knowing how to read a map, follow the directions, move on my own and remain calm has helped me tremendously when taking public transportation outside this city.


New York City is filled with different cultures, I love it! You can experience different cultural events, dishes, neighborhoods such as :

  • Little Italy (Lower Manhattan & The Bronx)
  • Chinatown (Lower Manhattan & Flushing, Queens)
  • Latin community (Uptown Manhattan)
  • Koreatown (Midtown)
  • Senegalese Community (Harlem)
  • Guyanese (Richmond, Queens)

and more.

This alone opened my eyes to other cultural values, moral and traditions that made me open-minded and have a respect towards others.

Traveling to other cities has showed me other ways of living that I did not realize I was missing.

Appreciation for Nature

NYC is the concrete jungle. Yes, we have Central Park, but it doesn’t benefit those who don’t live near it. I live quite far from it so I can only rely on the small children parks in my neighborhood or my backyard. When you are able to take advantage of outdoor activities such as hiking, boating, camping, swimming in the lake etc. you see what nature truly has to offer.


Millions of people ride the train and buses everyday like myself, it is our mode of transportation. Driving is not my priority; therefore, I am not a confident driver. Unfortunately, not being able to drive can be an inconvenience in many places like California and Washington where driving is the best option.

Be Present

Hustling is ingrained in many New Yorkers, we work, we stay busy and it can be exhausting, but it’s our lifestyle. Knowing how to slow down is important and beneficial because time flies already, appreciate the moment cause it will soon be gone.

I am constantly learning and changing as I travel and experience new things. I love being a New Yorker, it has a lot to do with who I am today. However, I have a lot to see, the journey is just getting started.

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