My Stint As a Manhattanite

Dan at the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland during his trip to Europe in June.

Dan at the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland during his trip to Europe in June.

Biking the Aran Islands. Riding the London Eye. Sampling sangria in Barcelona.

These activities seem far away now that I’m living in Manhattan, starting my post-grad life and chasing my ambitions in the most competitive city on Earth. But my Euro trip with my mom was two weeks of my life we’ll both never forget, and we both did things that we had always dreamed of doing.

Being mostly Irish, going to the old country is a pilgrimage you need to do if you’re Irish and want to get an understanding of where your people came from. Especially if you’re an American, with the Irish having built so much of this country, visiting the land of Guinness and green is a way to get the bigger picture of this country’s roots. My mom had never been but had always wanted to go, and after meeting the family she had heard so much about she realized what Ireland means to her.

Seeing the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter studios in London fulfilled a dream that I’ve had since I first started reading the Harry Potter books way back when I was in third grade in November 2000. I walked through the Great Hall, stood in the Gryffindor Common Room and Dumbledore’s office, saw the Knight Bus, Number 4 Privet Drive, the dungeon, and saw Buckbeak, Dobby and Arragog in the flesh. I still remind myself that I actually saw the real props that were used in the movies.

In Barcelona, standing inside the Sagrada Familia and feeling as if you’re in heaven, in addition to sampling tapas and learning how significant the city is to Spain and the rest of Europe, made me remember how much I adore southern Europe and the Mediterranean sunsets.

Now, I’m interning at Skift.com in New York, the top travel news site in the world. I love writing about the business side of travel and contributing to a market that has so much opportunity for growth.

I live less than three blocks from Central Park, two blocks from the East River, and one block from the subway that can take me anywhere in New York City. It’s a fast-paced city that isn’t for everyone, and if you don’t know what you’re doing or where you’re going, you step out-of-the-way until you figure it out. There’s more than eight million people in New York who want to chase their dreams, and if  you want to “be a part of it,” you must realize that.

It is a wonderful city though. Any time I want I can see a Broadway show, walk around SoHo, or one of the villages and take in every single ethnicity and nationality in the world.

I’ve been having a blast with my Instagram #WhatISawToday project, where I post a photo each day of something unique or special that I saw. These photos show up on the right side of this page under the Instagram heading, and my Twitter feed also shows up where I tweet out my Skift stories and other things I find amusing or interesting about the city that never sleeps (which, by the way, is 100% accurate).

Stay tuned for more posts about Europe and New York, and in the mean time check out my work on Skift. The company just turned two years old and is an exciting place to be to say the least, and I am extremely fortunate to be a part of a growing company that is the most respected source of news for the travel industry, and I’m excited to see where it takes me.

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