After years of planning, researching, and imagining, I am off to New York for the first leg of my World Voyage. The original plan was to meet my friend, Dr. Pat, and spend a few days enjoying Christmas decorations in the city. But COVID finally caught up with both of us, and that plan was scrapped. Instead, I flew up the night before, caught an UBER into Manhattan and just spent one night in the city before boarding.
I enjoy New York for a few days – the energy is infectious and invigorating. For a few days. Upon arrival at my hotel, I took my pre-cruise COVID test (at the time of this writing, this is still being required for longer voyages), danced a jig when it was negative, and set out to find something to eat.
After wandering the streets for a bit and deciding that the restaurants were too crowded to be pleasant, I defaulted to my preferred method of city exploration – street food. There was a gyro cart on the corner near my hotel which suited the purpose. Notice the steam coming up from the underground – such an iconic winter NYC sight.
For me, the best part of travel is talking to people. In New York, people come from everywhere in the world. Taurek is from Egypt, and while he grilled my gyro, he told me about his home in Giza, his new wife and shared honeymoon pictures – many, many of them 🙂 He encouraged my dream of travel to Egypt and gave me so many suggestions. When I asked him why he came to New York, he replied, “I came to work”. I think that exchange with Taurek in the street was superior to a restaurant by far.
The next morning, I did a marathon of course work, since my clinical license needs to be renewed while I’m at sea in March, then took another UBER to Brooklyn for my first view of the Queen Mary 2. It was cold and raining and perfect. She’s gorgeous! Here’s my first look at the world’s only true ocean liner which will be my home for the next 8 nights. In my next post, I’ll talk about life at sea and the QM2. See y’all then!