#1. Crosswalks & traffic lanes are a mere suggestion here. – Seriously. Don’t be nervous when your taxi merges with another lane during rush hour, only to be pushed back into the lane you thought you were in. There are no rules except get where you need to be. As for the crosswalks, own them. That’s all I can say. Just don’t forget that jay-walking isn’t legal in all cities and when you return home, be aware of your surrounding officer surveillance.
What To Know When Traveling To NYC For Business! – When I traveled to NYC for the #SMWNYC conference, I did meet some great people and explored a city I hadn’t visited in over 10 years, but the entire week was an experience… here’s why:
#2. This city NEVER sleeps. – No matter how snowy, rainy, foggy or early it is, do not underestimate the rudeness of an open window in the middle of the night. On the flip side, remember that if you treat them the way they treat you, they’ll respect you and you’ll get better service, no matter what hour it is.
#3. Big critters are normal & probably due in part to trash bags left piled on the sidewalks. – Trash bags line the streets. When the garbage men can make it around, they will. Don’t be surprised to see cockroaches the size of your thumb and rats the size of small cats in plain sight. It comes with the territory.
#4. People who are famous don’t say they’re famous. – Not everyone in New York is a celebrity, although many think they are or should be. But running into a hairy chested, gold chain wearing, greased hair suave who is paparazzi’d by an event attendee doesn’t mean a tandem selfie is required. When the accompanying bleached groupie in suede points out that ‘he’s famous’, know she’s pulling your leg and proceed to the nearest exit. You’ll be glad you saved your breath.
#5. Mothers from this area must forget to teach their sons manners. – It simply amazes me how many lazy and/or ignorant males there are in a city so full of ‘sophistication’. Don’t be surprised when the guy in front of you doesn’t hold the door, or the taxi driver motions to ‘get in the cab’ when you have (3) awkward bags and a line of cars waiting for you to load the taxi trunk.
#6. Take EVERYTHING in stride. Can’t change people & changing situations is only an option when you’re ACTUALLY in control. – No matter what, perspective is a choice. I can’t change the angry volunteer who yelled at us to ‘raise your hand… it’s like kindergarden people’. I won’t argue with the housekeeper who is all but calling me a liar to my face, especially when I know I was NOT lying. Trying to explain yourself to a taxi driver is often times just not worth it. Give them the address and let them drive.
#7. Taxi drivers who listen to Snoop are my FAV! – When in doubt, turn off the ads playing on the backseat taxi TV and tell the driver to ‘turn that up’ when Snoop and B.I.G. cycle through the Pandora radio. Trust me. You’ll remember your experience (and your childhood) fondly. At least they have some appreciation of the classics!
#8. Style doesn’t always have to be sacrificed for comfort. – Boots are smart for winter weather, but nothing beats in-soles and good sox.
#9. My hair is softer when washed at home. – No matter what shampoo and conditioner I use, my hair is partial to home.
#10. When packing for a trip, remember security lines are a hassle and dress accordingly. – Forty layers, belts, boots, laptops, a carry-on, liquids pulled outside in a ziplock and a shoulder bag make for an interestingly time-consuming security line check point. Next time: slip-ons, no coat or belt, check the bag and carry a purse only.
#11. Spending money is inevitable. Might as well go with the flow because you certainly can’t take it with you. – No matter how well you plan, there are always unforeseen expenses. Breathe and buck up. At least you have the means.
#12. Walk more. – That is all.
#13. If you plan ahead & know where you’re going, other out-of-towners you encounter will think you’re a local. – This is also true for locals… When you hold your head up and walk with a confident purpose, there is no opportunity to believe you’re a visitor.
#14. Not every airline is created equal. – When booking a ‘cheap flight’ be prepared to trade good prices for great service or consumer care. I learned this the hard way. Paying for checked bags is one thing, paying $50 for a carry-on is just ridiculous! Then to hear the plane had run out of food even BEFORE we had been rerouted to Albany due to LGA closures (then reopens, then closures, then reopens) where we were forced to wait for 2 1/2 hours just seemed like poor planning. I will never choose to fly Frontier Airlines again.
#15. You’ve got about a 15% chance of sitting next to somebody cool on the plane. – This is just math. Between the four flights it required to travel to and from New York, I landed exactly two conversations that were anything even remotely resembling kind. For my last leg (Dallas to Portland) I ended up next to a Texan that thought chatting up a storm, passing crude jokes and spewing foul language was funny and completely appropriate at 9:30pm.
#16. Taking pictures of what you’ve packed in your luggage isn’t completely neurotic, it’s actually reassuring. – When given the ultimatum of needing to check every bag you brought, even when you put all of the ‘most essential necessities’ in, what was meant to be your carry-on, it’s easier to part with said bag knowing I will remember exactly what was in the bag. If one encounters the need to replace a bag, this reassurance is just soothing.
#17. Jet lag is really just sleep deprivation while traveling backward through time zones. You can get it even if you’re just crossing the U.S., & it gets worse when flying at night. – Jet lag is actually possible without the need for travel through and/or to another country. With flight delays, layovers in different time zones and arriving at my final destination (back home in Portland, Oregon) at 3:30am EST, Saturday was quite foggy. Luckily I had two days to ‘recover’ before hitting the office again.
Overall, the trip was, as you can see, one experience after another. Armed with these lessons, my next trip to the Big Apple will be even more enjoyable! Have you experienced any of my lessons? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts!