New York City honeymoon, YMCA-style

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 over the weekend, I feel like I’ve been endlessly reading about New York but not always in a good way. I adore New York – and this is saying a lot since I’m really not a “big city” kind of girl. But New York is something very special and one of my dreams is to spend a few months living there one day – to immerse myself in all things New York.

Ubiquitous New York cabs

I’ve only been there once so far, and that was for part of our honeymoon trip. You might be a little shocked to learn that on this honeymoon trip to New York we stayed near Central Park … in the YMCA hostel! We were a little short on cash at the time, as we were just preparing to move from Germany to Australia (if you’ve looked at the costs of shipping containers over that distance you may understand where I’m coming from) and had the prospect of being jobless for a few months. The rates for real hotels were ridiculously high (we thought) and we decided to stay centrally in the YMCA for a whole lot less. We did have the foresight to get our own double room though – before you imagine we spent part of our honeymoon in a dorm room with a dozen other backpackers!

New York apartments, just like in the movies!

As I predicted, I certainly didn’t miss anything by not splashing out on a fancy hotel. We barely spent any time at the hostel anyway, because we were so busy being out and about in New York. With fantastic galleries ย (and we just scratched the surface with MoMA and the Guggenheim) and just the excitement of seeing so many familiar streets and scenes, I was enthralled. We sat in Starbucks and heard people talking about a sit-com script development at the next table. This is New York! We ate donuts and bagels and pizza and Hershey’s chocolate (I still wear my Hershey’s cap from Times Square) and just soaked up New York’s one-off atmosphere.

I guess New York’s particularly sad this week, and understandably so. But that city is so much more than its absence of towers and I will be back there one day, I promise!


  1. I watched the doco on last night by the two French film makers who happened to be making a film on the NY firefighters at 9/11. So very sad. I have never been to New York but I would love to. One day…


  2. You must definitely keep New York on your must-do list, Gill – it has something for everyone. There have been so many sad docos etc on TV this week – to be honest I have tried to avoid most of them. Too sad!

  3. i love that your honeymoon was so down to earth ๐Ÿ™‚ just goes to show that its not about the amount of money you spend but the destination and who you are there with that is really important.
    we have always travelled on a budget because it has meant that we can do more and see more places which is infinitely better than staying at the ritz IMO!
    we never really had a honeymoon. a few months after getting married we packed our bags and went to live in Japan which ultimately funded more travel through S.E. Asia so I don’t regret it one little bit – i love that we have this amazing overseas experience together. ahhh the memories…. ๐Ÿ™‚
    lovely to hear of New York in a happier light. thanks Amanda! it’s probably one of the only places in the US that I would really love to visit… ahhh one day…

  4. Ha ha thanks Rach. Having said all that I wouldn’t say no to a luxury Maldives vacation for a second honeymoon though?! But only if it wasn’t my money because as you say I definitely prefer to see/do more rather than blow all my $ on a week by the beach – especially when we live in a bit of a beach paradise anyway …

    Agree re other US places – I’m not that keen on most either – but NY is very different. Like its own country!

  5. “that city is so much more than its absence of towers”

    Well said. I think the anniversary day was bittersweet, because we can’t help but remember our losses and our fears, but we were also reminded to celebrate the good — in New York, in mankind, and in the world.

  6. Thanks Kristan. Glad to have a US-perspective too! Glad the anniversary came across there as having some positives, too (hard to tell from all the way over here!)

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