I think we, at some point in our lives, may have dreamed of traveling the world with someone we love or perhaps falling in love with someone we meet while traveling the world. I am not an exception. I want that. Probably because I travel solo most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making my own itinerary, keeping my own time, changing plan last minute and don’t have to worry anyone being upset about it, taking my time on photography without anyone telling me that we have to leave soon. I like to have a complete freedom on what to see and do and while meeting other travelers on the road who probably share the same interest as you.
The truth is, traveling solo can make you feel liberated and lonely at the same time. You may have a great time on your own, and then you see couples who travel together, taking photos with each other and deep inside you kinda wish you had something like that too. That lead to August 2017 when I applied for my US visa and actually got approved. I never dreamed of going or traveling to America. It’s just not my kind of dream destinations, unlike India, Turkey, Nepal, Jordan and other exotic places in the world that I always wanted to go. I was just trying out my luck after I got my Schengen and Australia visa secured inside my passport. I thought to have US tourist visa would add that extra mile since I can have visa-free and visa on arrival in more countries.
Bryan and I never planned to travel go to New York together. Heck, we never even thought about traveling together. Although, few times we talked about how nice it would be if ever I got a chance to visit him in America. New York was never popped into our conversation until one night, Bryan mentioned how cool it is to see NYC on New year. Just random thoughts. Never really thought on put it into a plan. But, I was pretty much sold on the idea. I booked my flight a week after. The rest is history.
1. Bryan and I haven’t seen each other in person for 13 years prior to our New York trip. We met in middle school, dating briefly, break up for childish reasons. I then left to study in the Philippines and he went to the US. We keep in touch over the years and became good friends. I would consider him as my “puppy love”. And that’s why I would say it again and again, “If it meant to be, it will be”. No matter how far, how long, how difficult, how impossible it seemed, if it meant for you and you are willing to work for it, it will be yours.
2. According to NY Post, that December was actually the coldest New Year Eve in New York City in 55 years. We were at Brooklyn Bridge Park that night, waiting in vain to see a spark of fireworks. Apparently, there were no fireworks anywhere but Time Square. 2 hours in -17 degree celcius weather, I almost can’t feel my legs, ears, and fingers. But to ring in the New Year looking over the beautiful Manhattan skyline while wrapped ourselves together like a burrito? Priceless.
3. So, he told me that we need to go to a pop-up store to see some sneakers. I didn’t ask about the store and just hoping the sneakers are not too expensive so I can buy a cute one. What I didn’t know is we actually went to Flynyon headquarter and he surprised me with a 30 minutes helicopter ride around New York City. I absolutely stoked and speechless. I never been in a helicopter before. That was my first time to be in one. Flynyon offers an open door heli experience but because it was winter, there’s no way we can do that. Nevertheless, New York looked amazing from the sky. You can see all the famous landmark like Statue of Libety, Central Park, Empire State building. If you think it was just a tour, then you are wrong. We can take our time taking photos of each landmark. The pilot even turn the helicopter several times to make sure both passenger on both window side can get a good shot. COOL, right?
3/365 Just got off our fancy Uber 😆 jk. My very own Christian Grey always has the best surprises up on his sleeve. First time on the @flynyon heli, exploring New York city from the sky was EPIC! Thank you for the wild ride, babe @bryanbrndn ! To many more firsts with you 💙 . #GRETAdventures #GretalovesNYC #traveldiaries #lavidabella
4. My flight home got canceled due to bad weather. There was a blizzard on the day of my departure. JFK shut down the airport. All the incoming flights were diverted to the nearest airport instead. The airport became a marketplace with all the lines, shouting, angry passangers, people sleeping on the floor. I had to extend my stay for a week, but I believe it was a blessing in disguise. More time to explore New York. Self-reminder: Please buy yourself a travel insurance that can safe your ass thousands of dollars from unfortunate event like this.
5. After 27 years, I finally saw real snow with my own eyes in New York. It looked magical, until it become brown slushie then you would want to avoid it.
Every city I traveled has its own story. New York is definitely my favorite simply because it was where my greatest love story began. It was the place where Bryan and I found each other. It’s the kind of story I don’t mind telling even for a hundred times. I guess the best things in life happen unexpectedly and sometimes the best adventures never planned as they turned out to be. It was our first time to travel together. I was nervous because if we can’t keep up with each other when traveling together, that would be a deal breaker for me. But we did complement each other and enjoy each other company, especially because of the cold weather lol. As turned out traveling together with le boyfriend makes everything so much easier; we create our itinerary together (of course I’m more demanding on this part), I have someone to share foods, drinks, room with, who also take my pictures, and help me navigate the way. I feel safer so I don’t have to carry rape whistle or pepper spray around anymore.. haha!. I can’t wait to unfold more destinations with Bryan. Where should we go next?
Ps: Watch a short video that he made from our trip!
Live to the fullest,