Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Missing New Hampshire

New York City is a difficult location to experience your first “business trip,” especially as an eighteen-year-old. I’ve flown alone, driven solo all over creation, and held down the house for a few days while my parents were away, but taking the bus down to Manhattan and being plopped down into the heart of a neighborhood that doesn’t seem to want to have anything to do with you, even at 10:30 at night, is difficult. I can imagine older business travelers taking a taxi straight from the airport to the front step of their hotel, but having to kill an hour in the city before I can head off to where I’m spending the night threw me into a situation I struggled to handle.

Going into last night I had tremendous confidence. Whenever I traveled with my parents I would walk quickly through the airport ahead of them, noticing how I ended up taking all the right turns and making it to the gate without consulting a directory or trying to locate where I was. In my eyes, whenever I traveled with others I thought I was doing a much better job.

The fact of the matter is that I did do alright; I made it from South Station to the Upper East Side with no help, but I was not confident in the least. As a measure of how turned around I was, once I got off the bus on 34th street it took me almost ten minutes of embarrassing walking and rewalking of the same city blocks (with a fair share of walking in circles) to locate an ATM, one of the easiest tasks I could imagine in New York.

Yesterday may not have been the crowning success of independent travel I had hoped for, but today brought new successes, even with a handful of failures.

Traveling through New York is nothing like the traveling I’ve done in New Hampshire. Ask me turn by turn directions to Daniel Webster College or the Puritan Backroom in Manchester, I can do that. Ask me where the nearest subway stop is from where I’m staying in New York….I’m stuck.

I miss New Hampshire.

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