I’ve had a handful of moments where I actually had to pinch myself. Moving to New York this May was one of those moments. I’m a Long Island-raised girl who went to Gettysburg College for my undergraduate degree, and now works in Manhattan at a media firm. As many creatives do, I have several “side gigs” that keep my creative juices flowing and a smile on my face. One of those passions is being a travel and lifestyle blogger.
A lot of people ask me how I started my blog or most importantly why. The most satisfying part of this all is that it happened naturally. For years people asked me how I was able to travel the world on a $7.25/hour college student budget. Each country that I visited had a different method, but the important part was that by age 21, I have visited 33 countries. For a while I was writing emails individually to people based on their desired destination, but then I realized I could really help a ton of people by creating a platform that shared my tips and tricks. My website, So Sydney NY, became a safe haven for people to get honest and raw advice (both the good and the bad) about traveling and how to do it affordably.
Since I’ve graduated and moved into Manhattan, so many doors have opened up for me. Now I can make last minute plans to attend an event after I get out of work and not think twice about it because my apartment is just a few subway stops away. I have had the chance to network with brilliant people because I live in one of the biggest hubs in the world. Most importantly, I feel positively overwhelmed by the excess of creativity, passion, and drive that New York has to offer. Every day I feel like a new idea pops into my head because I’m surrounded by likeminded people.
I dreamed of moving into New York for my entire life. I knew that despite wanting to travel the world, I would always have a home base in Manhattan. Now that I’m finally here, there are so many things to do and people to meet and places to see. If you’re a new professional, creative at heart, or just someone who wants to live their life filled with fun experiences, here’s a few things I’ve done in New York City that have helped me blossom as a person. I hope they can resonate with you or inspire you to get out there and do something different today!
1. Reach out to your favorite Instagram bloggers or friends that live in your city and ask them to coffee. I think there’s a generalization that if you have x amount of followers then you’re “untouchable.” That’s so untrue! (Well, maybe unless you’re Kim K or Beyonce). Anyway, since I’ve moved to NYC, I have reached out to girls that I’ve admired for a long time and asked them to meet up, grab coffee or lunch, or even tag along to some of my events with me. Guess what! They’re real human beings and more likely than not, they’ll say yes! I have really enjoyed making new friends and sometimes it requires you to take a jump and just ask.
2. Join a gym & go to fitness classes. I swear this is the new social outing for people. Going to the gym and attending classes with friends or even just by yourself is so fun! It makes you feel great and also gives you a chance to interact with other people motivated to improve their health and wellness. Class Pass is a great way to test out several fitness classes in your city or just reach out to studios and ask to do a trial class to see if you like it. I try to make it to the gym 4-5 times a week and I’ve found it has improved my overall mindset since I spend 8 hours a day at a desk in a cubicle! (Not glamorous, I know…)
3. Take a Walk! This sounds so simple, but I’ve found the best restaurants, cafes, murals, and shops by simply walking around aimlessly. It’s so tempting to go home straight after work, cook dinner, and go to bed. That’s not going to help you at all! If you want to acclimate to a new city, you have to get out there. Some of my favorite places that I’ve just wandered into are Bar Pa Tea, Pietro Nolita, The Butcher’s Daughter, Strand Bookstore, Buffalo Exchange, Artist & Fleas…the list could go on & on. I’m still discovering new corners in this city and I’m looking forward to many more happenstance adventures.
The best way I find out about events is following people on Instagram that live in NYC. Often times they co-host events or share events that they recommend. If you put yourself in their shoes, they obviously want to fill those seats, so never feel like you’re not “big enough” or “popular enough” to attend events. Every day I grow in my creative pursuit and I always strive to exude confidence. I think that’s an incredibly attractive quality in people.
So, if you’ve recently moved to a new city or are looking to make a fresh start, take my advice because it’s helped me tremendously as a 22-year-old living in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. If you need a boost, I’m always here to chat!