This Runawaykiwi has done many an overseas trip; but since I am such a planner and amateur risk assessor I don’t normally go in for adventures in the true sense of the word. A key part of adventure is daring, which if you are me and have worked out plans B to E doesn’t often get a look in. But there is one occasion that springs to mind that I was intrepid, brave and audaciously bold – the time I went shopping for a family in New York.
When I was about 14 I was in NYC with my family, Dad was working so us girls decided to go shopping. Well I say us girls, I threw a teenage strop and refused to go saying I wanted to read instead. Mum and sister hopped off to Bloomingdales and I settled in for a relaxing afternoon in the hotel. That is until being a typical teenager I changed my mind and wanted to go shopping after all.
Problem being that I was a 14 year old with no cell phone and only $1o in my pocket. Time to be audaciously bold. Without thinking of any consequences whatsoever I left the hotel and hopped in a cab, feeling breathtakingly grownup as I asked the driver to take me to Bloomingdales.
It was about this point that I realised that I had left the hotel key back in the room (oh hush, I was a silly little teenager), so it was no going back. Either I found my whanau or become a NYC sewer rat. As to what would happen if they had decided to go to Macys instead, well to be honest it didn’t really bother me because I was on an adventure.
When I got to the behemoth that is Bloomingdales I thought I would be a bit logical, I went straight to the info desk and asked them to page my Mum. Turns out they had done away with the intercom system in the late 90’s. So I went all Indiana Jones on the situation, I reacted to nothing but gut instinct and empathy and went straight to the skinny jeans section.
My reasoning was that there was no way in hell Mum would be able to shop for something she liked when shopping with a teenager, and what does an older sister shop for if not skinny jeans?
I know this mini trip doesn’t seem like a big adventure, but for me it was the start of my wanderlust. It was the first time I had been by myself in a big city, it was scary, I was momentarily independent and it was the best thing ever.
I have carried this early adventure with me around the globe. Whenever I get that niggle of itchy feet self doubt I just think, I traversed NYC at 14 so I can bloody well do anything.
GapYear.com are running an amazing competition where someone is going to win their own big adventure around New Zealand, check them out here!