notes from the road

America: lessons learned, less than expected earned

So my time here in New York and America is coming to an end, and I think it is time to assess the goals that I laid out for myself. The Walking Tours is something that I am quite proud of. Not because they were outstandingly successful, but because it was all my idea and I followed through with it. I ended up making close to $200 in profit and would have shown around 28 people around Harlem, a place they probably wouldn’t have visited otherwise. It didn’t provide me with my main source of income, but I’m not sure how things would have worked out if I had started them sooner in the peak summer season as I had planned. So ill planning there – but if it wasn’t for Mike’s pushing me on, then I wouldn’t have started them at all. I remember having a sunken, defeated feeling when I was living here and not doing what I had planned to do, and I don’t have that anymore.


Yesterday I emailed all the 21 hostels that I displayed posters at and told them that the tours are no longer operating. This might normally be a sad moment, but I was still quite happy. They had served their purpose. So I got to experience what it was like running the whole show myself, and I have learned from it. Just as I did being a cog in the big TOMS machine, and I know that there are benefits to both. Experiencing life lived on a tight budget has also been beneficial, I now know that I don’t want to live my life on a tight budget, but I can if I have to. Which is still quite handy, as I’m not exactly going to have any unneeded money for the next few months and I’m not sure where my next paying job will be. Currently I still have not heard back from the job that I applied for in LA, so I will just plan for what I know and see what comes. Either way I will be facing a new adventure with different positives – I’ll have a steady job, or I’ll be in a foreign country where they don’t speak English. Whatever’s clever.


I have also been quite fortunate to meet some very cool people along the way who I have really learned from. I’m sure we’ll keep in touch and see each other again somewhere down the track. Right now I’m going to head on out to catch up with Devika for some Doughnuts. I’ve had a stellar day so far which has differed substantially to my normal working ways. I’ve met up with Kim for a coffee, Mia for lunch and later on tonight I’ve got a dinner party to attend – fancy that! What a way to get sent off. Tomorrow morning we are planning on seeing the film Precious which is set in 80’s Harlem, in the Magic Johnson theatres actually in Harlem. I’m quite excited as I have spoken a fair bit about the cinemas on my tour.


Not only have I had a good time in the US but I think I have learned new skills. It was a worthwhile venture.


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