My name is Ann Massey and I am an author and blogger.When I was a young girl I had a dream. To visit New York.
New York -The Dream
As I grew older that dream became an ache inside, a missing part of my life puzzle. Sadly a myriad of life curveballs and a morbid fear of flying meant it would remain an unfulfilled ambition – until now.
Yet another huge change to my life forced me to take a hard look at all the opportunities I was missing, the experiences I was forsaking and it was time to stop letting life pass me by.
I turned to writing, a passion I had since school and saw that my dreams of being a published author were coming true. When one of your dreams is realized, you begin to take the others a lot more seriously and fears become something you can conquer.
New York -The Goal
I met a man who not only wanted me to fly metaphorically speaking, but literally too. He wanted me to realize my ambitions, especially as we had both recently lost parents and understood you only get one crack at the great adventure called life.
So late 2018 I found a hotel in central Manhattan called The Carnegie Hotel and I booked it for January of this year. We found ourselves googling everything we could on New York and I was crazy with Google Maps and street view. It was still all a dream, I was still a small girl wishing on a chance to visit the Big Apple, until Dominic bought our plane tickets and the reality, excitement and yes, dread and panic kicked in.
So on January 10th 2019 I found myself nervously gripping Dominic’s hand as I stared out of the departure lounge window at London Heathrow Airport, straight into the mechanical wonder of the British Airways 777 before me as I waited to board a flight to JFK, New York.
Me. ME! I had already survived the short flight from Dublin to Heathrow somehow, excitement edging out my fear, but this gigantic bird before me was a different challenge altogether.
New York – The Journey
Dominic is not a small man so Premium Economy was a necessity for him, but psychologically it played a huge part for me in my experience of a transatlantic flight on a cold January day. I kept myself distracted with movies, music and a glass or two of wine. I even managed to enjoy my meal! Everyone was so calm and every bump was gently explained by the pilot that I actually was able to sit back, look out at the clouds and set free the excitement of the young girl having a dream come true.
I hadn’t actually looked at the route the plane was following before we left and I was astounded (and relieved!) to discover we were mainly flying over land. One of my major fears and a recurring nightmare was crashing into the icy waters of the Atlantic.
As I sipped on my Chardonnay I watched the monitor as we skirted Canada, then down over Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island. The captain advised there were crosswinds so we would experience some turbulence upon preparing to land so the nerves began to skyrocket.
Suddenly I could see it, New York and New Jersey, opening up before me as we descended through the clouds. The turbulence seemed like gentle rocking to me as I was clapping my hands with glee as I am prone to doing!
New York – The Arrival
The smile breaking out across my face was as bright and sparkling as the evening sun beginning to set on the East Coast. As the toy cars and planes below us suddenly became very lifesize and real, I held my breath and Dominic’s hand as we touched down on the runway and began our taxi to our arrivals gate.
Unfortunately we were so early landing, we had to hold for some forty minutes and excitement turned to agitation and a bout of claustrophobia began to set in as the realization of the journey I had just made began to overwhelm me.
Thankfully I had a patient travel companion who calmed me down and we just had to get past my negative belief that somehow my luggage would be on the other side of the world.
I was already terrified at the prospect of New York Airport security as I have a naturally cheeky and guilty looking face, go red at the drop of a hat and blurt out things without thinking.
As I stood before the long-suffering employee of Immigration and Customs, he patiently explained for the third time I needed to remove the plastic cover from my passport. During this meeting we also discovered that under extreme pressure and anxiety I could not count to five, remember key facts such as where I was staying or tell my left hand from my right. “Your left thumb m’am, Your LEFT thumb m’am, LEFT…THUMB!”
Whether my garbled answers had satisfied this gentleman or his patience was giving way to despair I don’t know, but I was waved through and Dominic was able to stop pretending he didn’t know me as we went forward to collect our luggage. Thankfully a friend had lent me a suitcase the colour of a banana so my lost luggage panic was soon abated.
New York – I’m Here!
It was dark when we arrived at the taxi exit of JFK, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much smaller and more civil the experience had been against my expectations. A taxi the colour of my suitcase pulled up and as we slammed the door shut and exited the airport onto the bright lights of the freeway, I embraced the fact that this was all really happening to me, my 30 year dream had come true and my New York adventure had begun!
Thank you for joining me on the start of my NYC journey and please stay with me as in the coming weeks and months I share the locations, attractions, history, people and experiences of the most wonderful place I have ever been!
One thought on “New York – The Journey Begins”
Ann you are a very talented writer looking forward to reading the wonderful way you have with the written word ENJOY!!!