“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”
– Anais Nin
I was looking out of the airplane window gloomily as I left New York city. I almost wanted to take a bite of the cloudy sky just to savour one last taste of the city.
The air in New York has a peculiar smell. It has the warmth of the peanut sellers and waffle carts, the halal food cart and coffee aromas floating around mixed with the cold winds penetrating through the thickest jacket.
It’s no wonder that Manhattan is so hyped. With its modern glass architecture combined with the antique and ornate buildings, it is picture perfect. The city is a rollercoaster of cuisine. It has thousands of ice cream types, sweet wonders and is paradise for cheese lovers. The city is sprawled with parks giving you moments to sit and watch New York City zoom by in a yellow cab. Nothing can be compared to the green of Central Park. An afternoon can be spent basking in the sun while some hoola hooping or yoga class goes on nearby.
It is spectacular to stand at the tip of Manhattan and catch a glimpse of lady liberty. Biking across the Brooklyn Bridge over the east river or being mesmerized by the lights of Time’s Square; It is all part of the city’s glamour, not just the glittery shops of 5th Avenue.
Every street is a pleasure for there’s always something new to be found. The $5 mimosas being my best discovery. The graffiti filled streets of Brooklyn have an artsy vibe. The people, the cafes where soft rock plays on. There’s not a moment that I didn’t love the city.
No, New York is not my favourite city. But it makes me feel my most favourite feeling- Freedom. Walking amongst the stylish crowd without a care in the world. You could be the CEO of a firm on Wall Street or a mere labourer, you could be dressed from head to toe in Givenchy or in the worst pair of jeans. New York does not discriminate. You can be on the streets till whenever you please. You can go from 125th street to 20th street, all at your own ease. It’s a miracle, how much of your own self you can be. And how much more you want to be.
I think that’s what travel does. It invariably broadens your mind, opens windows to a rounder world. To be able to see things differently is an art, and actually living a new culture for a short time helps us imbibe that art as a practice.
Seeing a new place feels like breathing outside Bombay, in a hill station. It feels like your lungs have expanded.