Noise. So much noise. I cannot even sleep through the night without waking up to loud sirens and endless hooting (nothing pierces your soul like the sound of someone honking his car horn for 5 minutes straight; and no, I am not exaggerating). Yes, it is the city that never sleeps, because at night all New Yorkers go outside and make disruptive noises to wake up the innocent visitors (like me). Or so it seems!

I haven’t been in New York for over a year. Being newly married and booking jobs in Europe just made it a bit trickier to come and stay here for a while. But, my visit was long overdue and now I find myself here in the Big Apple, where I will be for the next 6 weeks. I am renting a studio apartment Midtown which has me right in the belly of the beast, and the goal for the upcoming weeks is to do some “publicity/marketing” and to book some cool jobs.

A view of the concrete jungle as seen from Central Park.

This is the first time I’ve been away from home for such a long period since Cilliers and I got married (it’s been almost a year and a half now, marking the best 18 months of my life). And I can promise you that, even after years of traveling, the week leading up to my departure I was quite stressed and anxious. But, I had to put on my big girl pants and prepare for my trip. Luckily I’ve been blessed with the most amazing life partner. Cilliers has always been so supportive of my work and travels, which allowed me to do what I needed to do without ever feeling lonely or too overwhelmed.

So, as I mentioned before: I haven’t been to New York for quite some time. And, oh my word! I have forgotten that this city is a total attack on the senses. The smells (mostly questionable), the sights (massive skyscrapers everywhere), the noise (honking, shouting, cursing), the people (everyone in a hurry)  – it’s A LOT to take in! But there is an energy, a buzz, something intangible, that pulses through the city and makes you feel like you’ve arrived. To quote Alicia Keys, “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do …” (from her song New York). Yes, this city makes you feel invincible! Only for you to walk past a construction site and have greasy men whistle at you, shattering your confidence and hope for humanity. But putting that aside, you realise this city is really like no other. Here the people live to work, not work to live. Everything is fast and everyone is impatient. Busy, busy, busy! This is my absolute favourite city! There is no language barrier like when I am in Europe; moving around the city is very easy, whether you take the subway or make use of the famous yellow cabs, and everything is accessible to you 24/7, making life that much easier.

These massive skyscrapers are very impressive!

I’ve spent my weekend doing lots of yoga (there is a studio right on my doorstep – how cool?!), catching up on my studies and going for walks around the city (I spent a great deal of Saturday strolling through Central Park with a large, or grande, coffee from Starbucks). On Sunday I did some shopping in Soho (obviously) and met up with an old friend of mine (she is also a model and it was great seeing her after such a long time). I also visited one of my favourite places: the High Line. It is an old train track converted into a sustainable garden. it is also elevated, allowing you a beautiful view of the city on one side and of the Hudson River.

The High Line curls between tall buildings and offers an elevated view of the city.

Just a little side note: the whole time I’ve been writing this, cars have been honking non-stop. I feel a strong headache and annoyance brooding. I can also hear my neighbour battling (and losing) a cough attack. I assume Carol (not her name, but that’s what I call her … not that she responds – I’ve tried) is a chain smoker, has four fat cats, and orders all her groceries online. But back to business. Welcome to New York!

I’ve only been here a few days, but I have to admit that I am handling the homesickness better than I thought I would. I miss Cilliers terribly, but thanks to technology we are able to stay in touch the whole time. Sure, the 6-hour time difference makes it a bit trickier, but we are able to Facetime often, text, and send voice notes over WhatsApp. This way I can also keep track of our little household, but it sounds like Cilliers is enjoying the freedom (now that he doesn’t have to throw his clothes in the laundry basket, he allows them to grow in numbers on the floor, forming a community of socks-without-partners and hospital scrubs with questionable stains on them). I can forgive him since he is actually a very neat guy and since I am not there to shudder at the above-mentioned situation. How we cope with the long distance, what we do to make it work, etc., I will write about in a later post. Just know that it takes practice and patience (and a huge phone bill)

How to pass for a New Yorker: sunnies and earphones!

Even though it is only Week One, I am happy to be back in the Big Apple. We’ll see how I feel in a month’s time, because I might be singing a very different tune by then. No more listening to Alicia Keys, but perhaps Joni Mitchell’s River. But thanks to my great support system, a Netflix subscription, and endless amounts of yoga classes, I think it will be a good stay.

Love and light,