Ah, New York… The Big Apple… The city that never sleeps… And my greatest love of all.

I first came to New York City in 2011 on a trip with my family. My 16-year-old self fell head over heels for this infectious, vibrant and over the top city. Fast forward eight years – it’s currently 8:12 pm, Sunday 15th April and I am sitting in my Air Bnb in the East Village, sipping on a cuppa tea enjoying a moment of downtime whilst constantly pinching myself that I am in The Big Apple.

So what is it about this city that I fell for? Aside from its physical beauty and stunning architecture, New York is full of energy that is addicting and inspiring. It’s a place that means business. It’s non-stop, sassy and very full on and if you’re not prepared it can eat you alive. But no great love story is ever easy and for the relationship with this wild city to work, you have to expect the unexpected at all times and get ready to bring out your inner sass queen. The bipolar weather, waiting for a table at a restaurant for hours or not being able to get on the subway when you need to because it’s packed to the brim are just some experiences you are faced with in New York and these “negative” moments are all a part of the journey. No one is perfect and New York is far from that, but I have learned to love the bad elements of it and compromise to find a happy medium between myself and NYC.

The same as the city they live in, locals of New York mean business and aren’t here to f*ck around. Each and every individual is on a different path to becoming something they want to become. With 24 million people who call this place home, the walks of life you stumble across on the street or in the subway or at a bar or wherever you may be is truly mindblowing, everyone on a different path of life. While traveling here solo, I have met some incredible people and it has been liberating. Every day you learn something new from someone new and I have gained so much knowledge in all aspects of life after just a short week and a bit. Imagine what you could learn in a lifetime!

After trying to live here like a local, my love for New York has only grown. Even though at times I can’t stand the number of people or the weather or the dirtiness, I still manage to fall in love with all of its craziness at least ten times a day and I wouldn’t change this city for the world. Just like any relationship, finding someone who pushes you to become an even better person is so important and for me, New York pushes me to the limits to be the best version of me every day and it has only made me stronger. Living in New York certainly wouldn’t be a fairy tale, however, it would be a great love story.