Last summer I found myself discontent and unsatisfied with the current state of mind. Living in a small, rural town in northern Georgia I often find myself disoriented from the general interests and beliefs of those around me. Not that they’re not good people, its just that when one is enthralled by any form of art, a small town is not the most enjoyable environment to be in. After much contemplation I decided I would go on a trip. Even though I had a relatively small amount of money I would not let this hinder my ambitions – I did not care whether I would be comfortable or well fed during this trip. I decided my destination would be New York City.
Before starting in on my actual trip I should make clear that I am completely absorbed in fine art photography and visual arts in general. Some of the people that I planned on staying with were other photographers I had met online. The city’s gigantic art scene and accumulation of museums and galleries were also included in my decision to travel there.
My method of transportation, chosen with the mindset of saving money, was bus. My mother drove me to Atlanta the night of my departure and I boarded the bus behind a Chinese restaurant. The journey itself was a great experience – the bus was ran entirely by Asian Americans and the passengers, aside from me, were of the same ethnicity as the operators. During the entire 16-hour drive I heard no English. This created an atmosphere, which I imagined to be similar to traveling in a foreign country. It was an entirely unique experience to me and I loved it. I went to sleep only to occasionally wake up occasionally throughout the night at restaurants. Upon waking up once I glanced out the window to see the sun rising over Washington D.C. and the Washington Monument and White House clearly visible. Several hours later the bus dropped everyone off on a seemingly random sidewalk in the Chinatown district of Manhattan. From here my cousin found me and I went back to his apartment in Queens.
The next day was a notable one. It was the fourth of July and after walking dogs in Central Park with my cousin and his wife, I met up with my photographer friends. We wandered around Manhattan together, went to the galleries in Chelsea, and concluded the day by standing next to the Brooklyn Bridge watching the fireworks set off from barges on the East River. The fireworks were somewhat of a disappointment due to rain and fog, but for me, a kid who lives on a farm in Georgia, it was an amazing day.
The next five or so days linger as a blur of excitement in my brain. In a relatively short period of time, I saw three live music shows, went to the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, and explored large amounts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The day of my departure I sat in a park in Brooklyn, facing the Manhattan skyline, thinking about what an entirely positive experience my trip was. The short time I was in the city left me feeling completely rejuvenated and somewhat matured. New York’s overwhelming environment brought my life into a different perspective. I was upset that I had to leave so soon, but I had ordered my bus ticket in advance and that night boarded the bus in Chinatown behind a small restaurant. Fifteen hours later I was back at the same parking lot in Atlanta.
Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.