2 things I learnt in New York
I want to start with a very simple questions: What things do you need in Las Palmas and what things do you want? 👏 Take a few minutes to reply to yourself because what I’m about to share is really mind blowing (or at least it was for me when I heard it some days ago). There are 2 important things I learnt in New York:
✔ Don’t buy the things you want, buy the things you need
When I arrived in New York city I was amazed by the number of people who commute to Manhattan to work and their lifestyle. I didn’t meet any local in NYC, but I did get a great (first) impression after a week.
Generally speaking (and that’s really based on what I saw with my own eyes in the streets of Manhattan), people in New York wear 3 main colours: blue, black and white. 🤍💙🖤 Complete opposite to what I see on a daily basis where I live, in Las Palmas.
To be honest, I was expecting something much more glamorous (maybe too much Sex & The City when I was a teen), so I was really positively surprised by seeing that they actually care more about the comfort than about high fashion. They spend 80% of their day at work, so it somehow makes sense. Another clear piece of evidence of the “moto” stated above is that they will mainly wear flip flops or some cool comfy sandals like Bikkemberg. 👟 Their top goal is to eventually buy a house (not to inherit it from the parents), or to save and then be able to enjoy the holidays when it’s time for them.
Now it’s our turn: what can you change in your life to stick to the same moto? 👍✔🤍
I‘m an absolute saver anyway, but I think I could save money on stationary like notebooks and highlighters or on some food I sometimes buy and then never eat (it doesn’t happen frequently but I could work on it: you know, these puddings from Lidl you don’t manage to eat before they’re out of date). Also, as you know, living with the master of savings @travel2getthere, it is very difficult to waste, when it comes to important things. Here are some tips from this month, about how to save when traveling
So, that was the number 1 thing I have learnt (Remeber, there were 2 things I learnt on my trip to New York🎇). I think learning languages plays a very important role here as it is fundamental for any of your future trips if you ever want to do something similar and travel to different countries of the world (and I know you do!).✈
✔ The solution to your problems is probably already created.
What one of the most common characteristics of a life overseas is that you usually spend plenty of time commuting (what is the maximum time spent commuting where you live? 30 min or 60 min?
In NYC the average commuting time is 2 hours, so many companies decided to invest in apps that make you save time and doing so, make you happy 😁
Let me tell you the Starbucks story!☕☕
I was shocked when I saw it (just keep reading!):
While you’re on the metro/bus/uber, you take your mobile out of your bag or pocket (well, I think you always have your phone in your hands anyway😉) and you order your coffee. If you are hungry, you order something for breakfast too. It all sounds very clear and familiar right? Like, yeah, I also order pizza in Telepizza and then I go to pick it up and take it home to eat it with my Spanish familia, but folks, this is about ordering a Cup of coffee! 🍕
People are not willing to queue for a coffee any more or (carefully listen to the next one): to sit down for a morning coffee. Under no circumstances.❌ I do not know whether that second part is good or bad, but the idea of an app is genius and as you thought before: it already existed! It was just updated and adapted to the new needs.
There are basically no queues for orders at the till thanks to this new system when you are in Starbucks.
Hahah, I dared to ask a waiter (I usually make conversation with strangers while I’m abroad – professional handicap or advantage, I don’t know🤷♀️):
Our conversation was:
Nika: “Who are all these cups for? There is nobody waiting”.😅
Waiter: “Did you order through the app?”
Nika: “Excuse me, what do you mean by app? I ordered there at the till (pointing to the till)”.
Waiter: “Ok, than please wait, I’ll call you”.
Silence while I’m thinking about all the cups of coffee that were ready on the counter.
I started a conversation again:
Nika: “So all these people ordered their coffee via an app?”😇
Nika: “WOW; When did you start using this app system?”
The waiter looks at me like he doesn’t understand my question:
Waiter: “You mean what? Like the pick up coffee?
Nika: “Yes, I mean, I haven’t seen it before, it’s fantastic.”
Waiter: “I don’t remember, I think we always had this option*!”
Hahah, ok no more questions from my side, I felt like a dinasour from another planet 😅 Don’t worry, it didn’t stop me from having more conversations further on my trip. 🤦♀️ I use every situation to learn, so these were 2 very important things I learnt.
*noted after the trip: Our student Raul was in New York 3 years ago and he told me they had that system when he was there back then.
Well! This is only a great reminder that many solutions already exist, we only need to be creative and use them when we have a problem.
✔ What about Las Palmas?
From 2 things I learnt in New York + from what I’ve seen in Las Palmas, THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE: having a coffee to take away isn’t that popular in Las Palmas. However, it exists.
You can grab a coffee at La Regina paying 0,20€ extra for the cup (>for a coffee latte you spend 1,80€) or Starbucks coffee (3€ onwards). If you are a foreigner with an NIE, you should get yourself a What’s hot card from El Corte Inglés and you will get a discount for your coffee in both places. Just show your card!
So, what have you learnt today from my “2 things I learnt in New York”? Probably 2 important things:
Buy things you need, not things you want and re-create 😉
I want you to answer this question in the comments below now:
What things you do not necessarily need but very frequently buy?👇