Last month one of my big grown up girl dreams came true. I finally made it to the Big Apple. And wow. Just WOW. It was everything I had hoped for and so much more.

Our first night in NYC was spent on the spectacular rooftop at 230-Fifth bar. AH-MAZING views as the sun set over the wondrous city. We were in NYC for a conference and what a way to kick off our New York Experience. I remember seeing the One World Trade Center glimmering as the last rays of the day slipped away. An American delegate next to me was staring bleary eyed at the new building as tears ran down her face. I asked her if she was ok and her response:

It’s a beacon of hope. It’s the ultimate act of defiance. A symbol that we will not let anyone terrorise us.

Those powerful words and that shared moment I will never forget. They resonated with me so deeply and I found myself thinking on them during my time in New York.

As we explored more of the city, inch by inch it unveiled its soul to me and I fell hard for New York. The people are resilient, warm, straight talking and diverse in a way you’ll never find anywhere else in the world.

It was an incredibly moving experience to visit the National September 11 Museum and Memorial. It left me speechless for days and even now writing about it is very difficult. I can only begin to feel how unimaginably painful it must be for the people of New York and all of America.

My husband was a career Firefighter and the events on September 11 partly shaped his career choice. Standing in front of the remnants of fire trucks, helmets and uniforms was truly crushing. In my hubby’s words:

They were just doing their job, like any fireman would. They are running in when everyone else is running out. 

The grand halls of the Museum and the peaceful Memorial are a beautiful tribute to those who lost their lives. There is a hush over the crowd as they explore the museum respectfully taking in the mammoth collection of artefacts. It truly is a credit to New Yorkers.

The One World Observatory opened the week before we arrived and we were lucky enough to go up and check out the incredible view.  The heart and soul that went into this building is palpable. From the construction workers to the cleaning staff: everyone was honoured to be a part of the building and I in turn felt privileged to experience it.

I hope to return to the Big Apple one day and discover more of the cities delights. For me, New York left me with that fuzzy feeling all over. A mixture of giddy excitement, wonder and the feeling of belonging. What does New York feel like for you?