December 30, 2013

How to plan for 12 hours in NYC

After graduating college and entering the rat race like a good, normal adult, I rather forgot what it's like to have the week between Christmas and New Year's completely free of obligations.  It's glorious.  It's liberating.

It also means it's time to take a trip.  Like you didn't see that coming.

Chris has most of this week off, too, so we made a last-minute plan to take a quick day trip to New York City.  So how does one plan for only half a day in the city that never sleeps?  It's pretty easy:  you don't.

Don't make a plan.  Just buy bus tickets (or plane or train tickets.  Or drive, if you're into torturing yourself) and show up.  The only other alternative to this is to plan one thing, and one thing only.  Nothing else.  If you try to make a detailed plan, you're going to rush yourself and get stressed out that you won't check everything off your list.  You won't feel like you can linger in one spot if the mood strikes you, because you must go see ALL THE OTHER THINGS.  You won't relax.  And you'll probably miss the guy dressed in a panda suit giving out hugs just for the hell of it because you were in such a rush to get to Times Square.  What would you rather see - a bunch of tourons gawking at an overkill of neon lights, or a panda giving out hugs?

Now, just because I'm advising you to not formulate a plan doesn't mean that you should show up freakin' clueless.  By all means, look up some things that sound interesting to you.  Write them down. And get a subway map. Then if something (or hell, if all things) on your list strikes your fancy when you get there, rock on, my friend.  But if you only have one day or less, just enjoy whatever comes your way, and be open to doing something else entirely if you happen upon something awesome. That way you'll be grateful for your experience, no matter what it is.  You won't go home feeling like you failed because you didn't check everything off your to-do list.

So with nothing but bus tickets and a couple of ideas that I jotted down, Chris and I made our way to the Big Apple.  We had no plans, but we had a blast.  And don't worry, there will be details on this blast later on.

Just remember:  go forth and plan not.

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