After 3 months abroad studying acting in New York, I arrived home in South Africa this week. What a stunning experience it was to have lived in that city!! Every single day felt like I was in a fairytale. Any energy lost during the 14-hour flight over there was quickly replaced with total vitality as I arrived and soaked in the dazzling array of lights and iconic buildings on every street corner around me. I can honestly say I was welcomed with open arms and fitted in very easily, which I was surprised with! I’d always imagined New York to be a somewhat of an intimidating place. Perhaps this is because I’m thinking ‘Sex in the City’ and famous stars like Beyonce & Jay Z walking the streets. Not to mention the financial capital of the world is right there at the Wall Street Stock Exchange! But I was pleasantly surprised with how friendly the people were and how do-able the city was! This is, after all, the place where all the TV shows we have come to know so well hail from – NBC’s ‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘Law & Order’, ‘CSI:NY’, ‘CNN’, ‘Boardwalk Empire’ and Donald Trump’s ‘The Apprentice’ to name a few. Not to mention Broadway, the place where all dancers, actors and singers from across the globe want to end up! How surreal to have been standing in Times Square itself, the Broadway stage only a few metres away. What a magical feeling it was to see all of the places I have heard so much about since I was a little girl… The New York Times Building, Grand Central Station, Bank of America, Google… walking down 5th avenue at night, yellow cabs zooming by, and visiting famous stores such as ‘Louis Vuitton’, ‘Armani’, ‘Gucci’, ‘Prada’, ’SAKS’, ‘Cartier’, ‘Tiffany & Co.’, ‘Michael Kors’ or ‘Victoria’s Secret’. My jaw was on the floor as I watched the world-famous 4th of July fireworks along the Hudson River, welcoming in Independence Day. Experiences like these can’t be topped! Watching a game at the US Open and attending fashion events in Brooklyn are burned into my memory. I could not have had a more surreal and exciting time! I remember one of my favourite routines became trawling bars in the East Village, surrounded by musicians, artists, rockstars and leather-studded citizens of the famous city. Having a beer in the same bar that Bob Dylan, Jimmy Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen were discovered. I won’t ever forget a ghost walk I did in Washington Square Park, where we saw and touched the building where Edgar Allen Poe lived and composed his famous poem ‘The Raven‘. I loved just walking around my neighbourhood of the Upper West Side and grabbing a latte at Starbucks (something we see in all the series but don’t have in South Africa). And who could forget looking out the window of my acting class every day to see the Empire State Building? I partied at famous rooftop bars and welcomed in my 25th birthday with my eyes looking at the Manhattan Skyline for the first time in my life. Unparalleled. To top it all off, my course in ‘Acting For Film’ at The New York Film Academy was superb. In between classes I tried to fit in as many historic places as I could. I even met some famous people and acted in a short film which I didn’t expect! I totally fell in love with New York and had the most sensational time seeing out the first quarter century of my life and welcoming in a new era!