I might just be a little obsessed with New York. My wife is just as obsessed.
We have 13 framed pictures of New York around our house. We have been to New York City a combined 13 times. We are travelling to New York again next year. That will be my seventh trip. We made a pact back in 2006 that we would visit every two years. So far we have kept our end of the pact. And each and every-time, New York keeps its end of the pact too!
It all started for me back in 1995.
I had just booked a trip of a lifetime to go follow the Tour de France on my bicycle for three weeks and decided I would stop off in New York and San Francisco before heading back home to Sydney, Australia.
Being my first overseas trip I was guided by the local travel agents as to the best sights to see and activities to do. The stay in New York was a quick one at five days. A visit where I had to fit in all of the obligatory and standard sight seeing activities. Thankfully I had purchased a package deal that included the hotel stay, a comprehensive bus tour of the city, a harbour cruise and visit to Liberty Island to scale the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and a Broadway Show performance of Miss Saigon. Naturally I had enough spare time to visit Central Park on my own and to immerse myself in the city, but the stay was enough to make me want to return some time in the future.
Fast forward to 2006, I was married and we were thinking about somewhere special to travel to for our second wedding anniversary. We both unanimously decided we would celebrate in New York. At the time of meeting my future wife, I had no idea that she had been to New York, let alone that she also had an obsession with all things New York. Even more interesting to me was the she also had a love of Major League Baseball, specifically the New York Yankees who I also followed. Being from Australia, Baseball was not, at the time, a mainstream sport in Australia. So to find someone that loved it as much as me and followed the same team was a dream come true.
So 2006 was the start of our travel to New York every two years bucket list.
I have had many people over the years raise their eyebrows, frown and question why we have been so many times. A combined 15 times that is. My answer was always the same: “What’s not to love about New York?”.
It’s ok that people don’t get what New York is all about. It just means I get the city all to myself.
It has a non-stop feeling of electricity flowing through the air that is exhilarating.
My wife often says I love the project of researching our next trip to New York. It is something that I can become obsessed with, always wanting to find as many things possible to fill every minute of everyday so that we don’t miss anything. After all, when you spend so much on flights just to get somewhere why waste your time wandering around trying to figure out what to do.
That is exactly the reason that I thought I would document my own personal photos and to tell the story of what we did and saw on the day that relates to the photo. It was on either our first or second flight to New York we overheard two families discuss with each other that they were going to New York and they did not have any plans. They would wait until they arrived, have a walk around and see what they could do. I am sorry, but…. what? My wife and I looked at each other in horror and couldn’t believe how much time they would waste and how little they would see. We know the benefit in planning our travel.
When researching New York online there are a multitude of sites that list the “Top 10 things to do in New York”, or “The Top 10 Places to Eat in New York” etc. But these lists are just lists with their inherent limitations.
My images and our travel plans and stories are more about a personal experience, broken down to what we did each day on our visits. Our itineraries if you will, not just lists.