The accommodation arrangements for the trip was very adventurous
because I did something I’ve never done before and I was warned by many friends
that I shouldn’t do it from another country because of all bad stories they
heard, but I did it anyway.
After spending so long working on the film editing,
colouring, sound levels, marketing, etc etc, my budget to make it to NY to
attend the festival was quite challenged, so I had to do a lot of search to
find the best deal, and summer time everything is booked out and/or very
expensive, including hostels, so I decided to explore craigslist.
While browsing craigslist, I would look but wouldn’t believe
in the ads that look too good to be true,
and how I did this, was how I do many things that require making big
decision, I always secretly pray that the best answer will come to me and that
my instincts will show me the right path, and most times this works, I actually
learned a lot through the years that 99% of the times that I follow my
instincts, I do the right thing, it is a great thing when we learn to
feel/see/listen and trust that.
So eventually after browsing through lots of ads, I found 1
that really grabbed my attention and everything I read about it felt right, so
I wrote to him an email introducing myself, and telling about the purpose of my
The next day or so he replied, and somehow it continue to
feel right, he sounded like a genuine person. But then the scary voices kept
going on my head about all the negative things, from the possibility of not
being a real person and I end up homeless in New York, or something worst like
from those crime shows that I don’t even watch so I don’t get horrible things
in my head, but I know enough about them from my friends that watch and tell me
all the horrible stories, and I was also scared of my decision all together of
actually going on with the plan because of the financial challenge included in
So I wrote back to him and said I probably wasn’t going
anymore, specially because he needed a reply by the weekend before his plans of
going overseas, so he had to close all the deals before he hit the road, and I
was totally confused about hitting the road myself. And I wrote thank you for
the reply, but just go on and rent it to someone else.
Then I finally decided not to go, because everything besides
that was ridiculously expensive, and unless I would go just for 1 week, which
for me doesn’t make sense considering that just to arrive there from Australia
takes an entire day, and just 1 week of New York I knew that wouldn’t be
enough, I know that New York is too much fun to only stay 1 week.
After deciding not to go, I felt like I was dead.
I know, sounds dramatic, but somehow I have this weird way
of being that everything for me feels so intense, and it just didn’t feel right
not to go and be part of something that I’ve dream for so long, and worked so
hard to achieve, which was to have my own film showing in a prestigious
festival, specially when the festival was going to be in my favourite city in
the world, out of all the places in the world that I sent the film to, New York
was the city that the universe choose to have the premiere at. I had to go. Not
going really felt wrong. And that was my instinct screaming at me that I had to
go. I couldn’t ignore it.
To my amazement, the universe was really working its way to
make me get there, seriously, probably sounds too cheesy, but I swear, that’s
how it felt a couple of days later when I got another email from the guy, Jake,
that’s his name, saying that somehow, he rented the room for July, and somehow
even though with all the requests he had, the room was still available for
august, and because he is also a filmmaker, he would like to support another
filmmaker, and if I changed my mind and decided to go, he would make half price
of the advertised price!
Now, how can we deny that the universe was making obvious
for me to realize that I had to go no matter what?
So I told Jake I was going to check if the flight tickets
were still the same price that they gave me about 2 weeks before, because they
said that price wouldn’t last, and my way of confirming everything would be if
the price was still the same, I would go on and confirm everything. And just to make sure my instincts were right and
that he was a real person, I asked him to add me on facebook, so I could see
his photos, look in his eyes, read it, and confirm that his eyes match his
emails, and he could know more about me too. And he did, so we became friends,
don’t you love facebook?
Oh, by the way, another little thing on the way was that I
was still waiting for my passport to get ready, and I was concerned of booking
everything, and then the passport gets delayed and I lose the ticket (which was
non-refundable) or make a mess with the accommodation etc, so that was another
risk I had to take.
But once again, the universe showed me that to decide to
book everything and go was the right decision, when I checked the flight
tickets online was still the same, and then I went on to book then in person at
the travel agency, and the only thing I missed was the better connection flight,
and I would have to wait 9 hours in LA till the next available flight to NY,
which was ok, LA airport sounds a fun place to hang out, why not?!
So I booked the flight tickets, and wrote back to Jake
confirming that I booked the flight and I was confirming to sublet his room
from the 9th of august, till the 29th of august. And after
I confirmed everything, everything felt perfectly right. I was in peace with my
decisions and actions.
Except for 1 thing that I started to worry a bit, he wasn’t
going to be there because he was going to Europe, and my flight would arrive
12:45am at the JFK, and his friend who was I going to pay the rent to and get
the keys from, could only be at the place at 7am, which would be a lot of hours
to wait after an around the world flight, so I made a plan and was hoping I
would remain awake for it: I would sit somewhere at the JFK, grab a coffee, and
read a book, till about 5am to get the shuttle to Upper West Side. He said that
shuttle could take about 90minutes to 2hours from the JFK to UWS, so I booked
the shuttle to pick me up at 4:30am, this way I would be there about 6:30pm,
and be on time to get the key, and have spare time in case of traffic, since
his friend was going to bring me key on his way to work, I wouldn’t want to take
the risk of making him wait and be late.
My plan involved a lot of waiting, but at least I wouldn’t
have to chase accommodation again just for 1 night, specially when most hostels
only rent for a minimum of 2 nights.
Deep inside I was in peace about the room rental deal with
Jake, but a little bit worried about the JFK waiting idea, because I checked
the website to find out about which cafes would be open 24h so I would know
exactly where to go, but must of them close a midnight, and most of them were
at terminal 4, and I was going to arrive at terminal 2, nearly 1am, with a very
big luggage with all my choices of dresses and shoes for the festival, I’m a
girly girl after all and I like shoes and dresses!
1 more thing: I didn’t get travel insurance. I travel many
times before with it and never used it, and without it and never needed it, and I always have faith that only good
things will happen, and I never get sick, so why waste money in it? But
somehow, the pressure at the travel agency to get one was so intense, that I
even had to sign a paper declaring that they did their job warning me that I
should get insurance, and it was my choice of not getting, and if something
happen they were not responsible. So serious, somehow all this pressure also
made me worry about it, I hate when sales people use so much negativism to
pressure us into buying things! I didn’t get it and choose to spend into eating
good food in NY J
much more fun than travel insurance! Well, I kind of regret later for not
taking it. I ended up needing it.
NEXT: CHAPTER 2:
THE TRIP & DAY ONE: THE FLIGHS, THE PHONE CHASE & THE
FOREVER HEAVY RAIN.