I hope you are enjoying this humid summer week! I am so excited to finally tell you guys all about my mini-trip to New York City and the meet-and-greet I attended while I was there. I normally don’t blog about my day-to-day life because I don’t think it’s that interesting, but this trip was definitely an exciting experience that I will remember forever.
I should start off by saying I wasn’t even planning on taking a vacation this summer, mostly because traveling can quickly trigger my anxiety. I also just tend to get tired of being away from home for too long, and usually start to miss my bed after just the first night. This vacation was inherently successful because I was only gone for one night, and I had so much to do within the two days I was there, I didn’t even have time to think about missing home.
Anywho, I was scrolling through Instagram a couple weeks ago when I saw a post from Julia Zelg announcing her U.S. Meet and Greet dates. Julia and her wife Eileen are amongst my favorite youtubers, as some of you may know, and I have even written an article about her on my blog before (I’ll link it down below). Like I said, I normally don’t care for traveling or social events, but this one really stood out to me. For one thing, New York isn’t that far from me- I could have compacted this trip into one day if I wanted to. Secondly, Julia and Eileen live in London, so for them to be just a few hours away from me for a free meet-and-greet felt too special to pass up. I also felt that I deserved a little break from my dog-sitting summer job, because I usually work between 5-7 days a week. If I was going to take this trip, it was going to be the highlight of my summer, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity. I immediately RSVP’d, without even figuring out how I was going to get there. The good news is, it ended up being a very cost-effective trip. The meet-and-greet itself was free, so all I had to pay for was my train ticket and a little extra spending money for food/shopping. Once I got my mom and grandmother on board, we planned to leave Friday, August 9th (the day before the event), so we could spend some extra time enjoying the city.
Rather than taking the bus from Boston to New York City, which would have been the fastest option, we decided to drive part way to Connecticut, pick up my grandmother and then take the train to Grand Central Station. It definitely extended traveling, but I was so happy to see my family and meet my lil baby nephew for the first time. The train ended up being easy, too, and I caught up on a lot of reading for my book club. Despite the fact that it was close to eight by the time we got to our hotel, that’s still considered quite early in New York City! We spent the evening dining, shopping, and just taking in the incredible chaos of the city. It was beautiful, but also extremely over-stimulating for an anxious person such as myself. I did a lot of laughing and smiling, but I also cried a few times seeing lost, homeless animals on the streets. I certainly could never live in New York, but I appreciated the artistic, bustling culture of the city.
I had a lovely time getting ready for the event the next morning. Because Julia Zelg is considered a lesbian icon in the YouTube community, I decided to wear this two-piece rainbow crop top with matching pants. One of the biggest reasons I was so excited for this event is because it meant I would get to meet other young, colorful, proud lesbian women, including Julia herself, and I’m happy to say that’s exactly what happened. I was expecting a ton of people to be there, but there were actually only about 15-20 people or so. This worked out great for us, because it meant we all got to have a chance to really meet Julia and have individual conversations with her. Sadly, Eileen was unable to attend due to a personal emergency, so it meant a lot to me that Julia put on a happy face nonetheless and carried on with the event (and good news, Eileen is doing much better now!). I met some beautiful, wonderful queer women at this event who obviously shared a similar love for Julia, and we had a delightful time picnicking in Washington Square Park. Julia also told me she loved my outfit, so that was a huge perk.
Before I left, I had the opportunity to hug Julia and thank her for all she has done for our community, on top of inspiring me personally. She is the absolute sweetest person to talk to, and like I said, it meant a lot to all of us that she kept the event running despite her family emergency. I also told her that I am interested in pursuing media professionally and possibly exploring having a YouTube channel, and she was very supportive of that. All in all, she gave me some great advice, and just being there in such a wholesome, beautiful environment made the entire trip worth it. Like, 1000 percent.
The meet and greet was the main highlight of our trip, but we also visited some other areas in the city, such as the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial. If you are ever in New York City and have the time, I highly suggest visiting this beautiful memorial. The way the water fell silently in the north and south pools was strikingly eerie and humbling. I found it really touching that a rose is placed on the names of the victims on their birth dates.
I wasn’t aware that a shopping center was constructed at the World Trade Center as well, and I was immediately struck by the architecture of the building. To me, it does look like an airplane (I can’t decide if that was intentional), but it also looks to me like a pair of angel wings. What do you think?
We headed back to the train after seeing the memorial, and then, after a few more hours of driving, we arrived back home around 1am on Sunday. I slept for a straight twelve hours, and I am perfectly okay with that. And now, on Monday when I’m writing this, it’s back to work for me!
This was overall a fulfilling, beautiful, eye-opening experience for me. I feel grateful for having supportive family members, for being lucky enough meeting Julia, and for making a handful of lovely new friends on my trip. The more I travel, the more prepared I feel to eventually move across the country to start my adult life after college. There’s a good chance I’ll be taking another trip this year with my friend Eli, so I look forward to planning that as well! Thank you so much for reading.
Julia’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUIBkpuyXKU4B6dFv32LpRg
Where I got the rainbow outfit: https://us.shein.com/Rainbow-Striped-Tie-Front-Crop-Top-With-Wide-Leg-Pants-p-765939-cat-1780.html?url_from=adplaswtwop01190611421XL&gclid=CjwKCAjwnMTqBRAzEiwAEF3ndq83tsFdFgHHso9RMxU3AlhTD2-S6YaVAUmOMPGLMw613eeFBg6wwBoC0zkQAvD_BwE
Coming up next: Taco Tuesday: Traditional-Style Vegan Spicy“ Beef” Taco