New York, USA
"On my last day in the city, I saw a man dressed as the Queen of England on the subway and nobody batted an eyelid. That's why I love New York. It lets you be yourself."
"Blame it on my Sex and the City obsession, but I wanted to spend my 32nd birthday exploring NYC by myself. Since it was going to be a month-long vacation, I stayed at a friend's apartment in Manhattan. During my first few days there, I attended an open mic night in Brooklyn, where people sang, played instruments and recited poetry. And that's exactly what I needed: inspiration. From the guy who played the piano right in the middle of George Washington Park, to the one who sketched in Union Square, the city is home to artists of all kinds—and I felt completely at home. I had the opportunity to interact with a tonne of people as well. On a typical day, I'd walk around, shop, eat, repeat. I'd spend plenty of time just sitting in parks and squares, watching people. Never did I feel lonely or unsafe. Thank you, New York. It was truly one of the best birthdays."
"Everybody should travel by themselves at least once in their lives."
"I opened the map of EU on a whim, and decided I'd go wherever my finger landed.
A few weeks later I found myself in Amsterdam for the first solo trip of my life! With full liberty to plan the itinerary, I chose to do less tourist-y things like visiting Begijnhof and the Albert Cuyp, and exploring the city on foot. I ended up making friends with a Brazilian couple and an Argentinian singer at the dorm I was staying at—we spent a night out karaoke-ing, visiting the Van Gogh and film museums, and walking around Vondelpark. Though I sprained my ankle on landing, I just walked it off—and I'm glad I did! I met a bunch of amazing people I'm still in touch with, and came away with some of the best memories."