Driving is driving me mad!

I’ve been driving for about 3 years now and I’m still not confident on the road. I guess me as a person and my edge of anxiety has something to do with it. I hate the unknown and the feeling of not knowing what lies ahead on the journey or whether I’ll be able to park when I get there scares me.

Whilst learning I couldn’t wait to pass my test and be free to explore the places that I grew up in but when my pink card finally arrived I couldn’t have been more anxious to get in the car. I’d make excuses for driving or walk to the shop instead of driving because it was ‘only 10 minutes away’. If me and my friends were going anywhere and they asked for someone to drive in our group chat I’d stay quiet, preferring to come across as rude and selfish than throwing myself out of my comfort zone. I’d get the train to Meadowhall and spend 40 minutes in the cold rather than getting in my nice warm car, putting my favourite songs on and enjoying the drive. Why? I guess I’d overanalysed driving so much that I put a barrier between it and myself.

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On new journeys with friends I’d feel more comfortable but I’d still ask questions even though the sat nav was on. ‘Do I turn right here?’, ‘Can I go?’… I always knew the answers but I needed that reassurance.

I’m going to be honest, sometimes I still avoid driving unless it’s a route I do often but here’s how I’m getting better:

  • Don’t think about it too much. If I’m going somewhere with Tom it goes without saying that he’ll probably be driving. However lately when we’ve locked up and are walking towards our cars I say ‘I’m driving’ before I even have time to think about it and change my mind.
  • If i’m driving home from my parents or a friends etc, I’ll put the sat nav on and I’ll purposely take a wrong turn or something from the way I know. This means I’m throwing myself out of my comfort zone and driving along new streets with new hazards.
  • Offer to drive more. Once you’ve told someone you’ll help them or visit them it’s a lot harder to turn them down and even though it might be scary getting in the car, once you’re there you’ll learn to handle anything that comes along

So to round it up, most of these tips are to drive on impulse. Get in your car before you have the chance to change your mind. For me, once I take the exit for the motorway there’s not really any going back is there? Keep practising, some routes I’ve been terrified of and now I could do them in my sleep. Keep adding new journeys to your list of ‘drives I can handle’ and you’ll be a confident driver in no time (or so I’m hoping)!

New York: Day 3 & 4

 

On our third day in New York I got my first glimpse of New York in the snow. After spending a good 20 minutes admiring the blanketed rooftops I pulled on some clothes and headed to the Starbucks down the road for breakfast, not before stopping to take a few photos along the way!

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A hour or so later it turned rainy so not wanting to venture too far we headed to Madam Tussauds. To be honest this wasn’t really my cup of tea and more something that Tom wanted to do but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I had an amazing orange slush and discovered I have the same size hands as Victoria Beckham…so there’s that?

For lunch we headed to Shake Shack where I ordered cheese fries and the hot dog. Believe it or not it was my first time visiting and although the cheese fries were seriously tasty I’d definitely try the hamburger next time. I also got a fanta red grape which was deeeesgusting. When in Rome…

Earlier that day we’d got tickets to a comedy show from a ticket tout on the streets. You do get a lot of people pestering you but it’s worth listening sometimes as this can be the best way to find some of the hidden gems in the city as we soon discovered. The guy we met also gave us a handy tip about an app called Today Tix (more on that on my next blog post)! The show was a good 45 minutes away so we headed back to the hotel and I plotted all the things on our list that were on the way as well as making a reservation for dinner that night. I suggested that we try and fit in Byrant Park, Grand Central, Macy’s, dinner and the show. I’m tired just thinking about it!

Bryant Park was pretty flooded but that didn’t stop us jumping in and out of all the stalls. With the Christmas tree in the distance it really was like a scene from a Christmas film. Of course, our favourite stall was one that served food and I got a Nutella crepe and Tom chose the dark chocolate and hazelnut one. YUM! They also served some wonderful yet wacky creations such as maple bacon fries, nutella fries, pizza fries, etc etc.Must try some next time!

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After making a whistle stop tour at Grand Central Station we headed to Macy’s and then Victoria Secrets. It wasn’t much cheaper than in the UK but I did get a free throw which has come in very handy for those cosy nights on the sofa!

From VS we headed to Don Antonio where I got the enchiladas and Tom went for the fajitas. I also ordered an extra side of guacamole because what is Mexican food without guacamole? Don Antonio is a family run restaurant and both the service and food were very authentic. I’d definitely recommend. Next, we headed to the comedy show. I can’t remember the exact figure but I think the tickets were around $20 each but then you have to buy 2 drinks whilst watching the show. These are around $15 each so the ‘true’ entry price is around $50. I’d still highly recommend it as we were both in stitches all night and it’s just a really good way to spend a night in New York and not something I think is that well known to people visiting. Seriously, seek those touts out and get yourself there for some serious belly laughs – we went to the New York Comedy Club on 24th Street.

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Finally we got an Uber home and as you can image, slept like a log!