“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Last year, I booked a short 3-day trip to New York City. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Despite traveling all over Europe, I’ve seen very little of my home country. Which in many ways is understandable—the United States is absolutely massive, and there are so many different places to see and visit.
When I knew I would be moving abroad to the UK soon, but with no idea when that would be (#visaprobs), I saw cheap flights from Minneapolis to NYC on one of my favorite travel blogs, Thrifty Traveler, for less than $200 round-trip. So I thought, why not just go to New York City for a few days by myself?! I had some credit card points (my Chase Sapphire Preferred) I could redeem, and the flights I found through my rewards program would cost just less than $200 and were actually direct.
So I booked them.
The trip was just 3 weeks away, probably the most spontaneous trip I’ve ever done.
I didn’t want to sit around on my ass, waiting for a visa to arrive, having no idea when I’d be moving abroad.
And out of every single destination in the country, New York City was the dream. It was the top of my bucket list.
I wanted to stand in Times Square, I wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, I wanted to stroll through Central Park, I wanted to see the sunset over the Empire State Building and the city skyline.
So I went!
For the most part, it worked out well: 4 days after booking my flights, I received my UK visa in the mail (so much for thinking I’d be waiting on it forever!!). I had just one month (30 days!!!) in which to organize my life, pack up everything I own, and move to another country. I planned my big bon voyage party for the afternoon/evening after I got back from NYC. And luckily, my flight wasn’t delayed and I made it to my own party on time!
In terms of logistics, my last-minute trip worked out perfectly. I was able to stay with my cousins (for free, thanks Karl and Emily!), who live outside of NYC. Going solo, I had a fabulous time doing whatever I felt like.
I saw so many iconic sights, and fell in love with New York City. The city never sleeps, and there is such an addictive atmosphere around the city. NYC will draw you in and keep you fascinated forever.
It was the perfect goodbye to the USA before I moved abroad for good. It was the best trip I could ask for. And all of it stemmed from a leap of faith—and booking those tickets.
Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”
I love this quote. To me, it means taking chances, following your heart, and making your dreams happen.
Dreams don’t just come true. You make them come true. Someone does something to make them happen.
You’ll always regret the shots you don’t take, and life is short. Don’t spend your life playing “what if?” What if you had applied for that job, what if you had told that person you liked them, what if you had booked those tickets. You don’t want to live a life of “what ifs.”
If you’re on the fence right now, I hope this quote encourages you to make an action. Book those tickets. Take that trip. Go see the world.
No, it’s not always as simple as that. There will always be more things to take into consideration. But for me, making my dream trip to New York City finally happen was just about as simple as booking the tickets.
I haven’t regretted my trip to New York City for a single second. It was definitely the right choice for me in that time of my life, and I can’t imagine my move abroad without going on that trip.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
Have you ever taken a leap of faith, to travel or otherwise?! Share your story in the comments below!