I’m starting a new job tomorrow- same company, different job. It’s basically a writing job. I’ll be creating content and copy for my company’s website and social media channels. This is exactly the kind of step I have wanted to take for years, and I’ve tried to find every little extra thing I could do outside of my regular job responsibilities to put on my resume while trying to convince a anyone that would give me an interview that what I don’t know, I will learn quickly. It’s pretty incredible to have someone finally believe you and give you a shot.

The first step in the interview process was a writing test. Part of it was a sample blog that would go on the website and a sample e-mail that would go to prospective clients. The final piece was just to write about the last trip I took, and I think this is what got me the job based on comments I received in interviews.

So…here it is. Approximately 600 words about the last trip I took.

For the last nine years, my partner and I have gone to New York to visit his family for Christmas. When I tell people that my partner grew up about an hour from New York City, and that I have spent Christmas there for so many years, the typical reaction is, “You are so lucky!” It’s true. I am lucky to have a reason to go to the greatest city in the world during the most wonderful time of year.

It probably surprises no one that the most wonderful time of the year is also the most crowded time of the year in New York City. Sometime around my seventh New York Christmas, the novelty had worn off. I was tired of the holiday traveling and the crowded city.

Still, I begrudgingly packed my bags for my ninth New York Christmas last December. This was a bit of a special Christmas for my partner’s family. His sister had recently gotten engaged, and his brother had returned to the United States after spending several years teaching English in Turkey, where he also met a girl and got married. It would be her first Christmas in the states after receiving her Green Card.  

My partner and I always try to sneak away from family to spend a few days in the city, avoiding the areas overrun with tourists if we can. On our first train ride into the city, we had yet to establish any plan for when we arrived at Grand Central Station. Being musical theater fans on a budget, Broadway can be a challenge. We are both skeptics of secondary ticketing services, but we decided to give it a try. Much to our surprise, we found tickets to Moulin Rouge for a steal. Moulin Rouge happens to be one of my favorite movies and was recently turned into a Broadway show. My attitude about our trip shifted immediately. We arrived to the theater just in time after a mad dash through Times Square.

The last night of our trip, we visited a cat café near Chinatown after eating some delicious vegan food and visiting a chemistry inspired tea shop. While we were trying to lure some kittens out of a cave in the wall with a toy, we decided to check the ticket app one more time. Tickets to Hadestown were available for a fraction of what they would normally cost. We were elated. How was it possible that we would see two of most acclaimed shows of the year within just a few days? Again, we weaved through the crowds of mid-town Manhattan and arrived at the theater just in time.

I left New York on an emotional high and with a cold I picked up somewhere along the way. From vegan food to cat cafes to Broadway shows, we made that city uniquely ours for a few days. That’s what makes New York City special.

Broadway went dark just a few months later as New York City became the biggest COVID-19 hotspot in the country. The cat café we visited had to place all of their cats in fosters and began selling cloth face masks to survive. Knowing now how quickly things can change, I treasure that trip. It’s likely we will not be traveling at all this year, New York or otherwise. It will truly be an extraordinary thing when we can get back to the experiences connect us and bring us joy.

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