It all started when I was about 12. I saw New York City on TV – the episode of Dawson’s Creek when Joey visits the big apple for the first time – and I was obsessed. It was all I thought about. I finally made it to New York when I was 18 and I took my first overseas trip to Europe when I was 24.

I had no idea that when I returned home from that trip, nothing would ever be the same. I would never be the same. Exploring the world became the only thing I could think about. New York began to creep back into my mind until the thought of moving there became an addiction. After I got my first dose of travel, my ability to be satisfied nearly disappeared. I was never content again being in one place too long or living a normal life with a normal nine to five job.

A few years after my first trip to Europe I finally got restless enough. I had run out of excuses and I was staring into the inside of a cubicle for too many hours a day. I finally decided it was time to save money, quit my job, get rid of everything I owned and make two major life dreams come true. First, I would travel as much as I could. And second, I would finally make New York City my home.

I left Southern California with a one way ticket to New York, Boston and then Portugal. I spent four months bouncing around Europe before I landed back in New York with no job, no friends, and no permanent place to stay. This was a defining moment for me and I actually learned what it’s like to really start over.

Fifteen or so countries later and over four years of living in New York, my journey is just getting started. What I hope to do with this blog is inspire others to not only travel, but to take big jumps in life. Move away from home, quit your job, travel and gain the self-esteem and independence to do it on your own.

If I’ve learned anything over the last four years, it’s that it really is possible to live the life you have always wanted to. I moved to New York with very little, knowing next to nobody, and having no safety net to fall back on, and I know that if I can do it, so can you.

Then Krystal Says is a blog about me. I’m Krystal, a 30 year old bartender living in the most exciting city in the world. I travel as often as I can, and am still lovestruck by this big jungle of a city that I live in. I love sharing my home city with the rest of the world and you’ll find lots about living and visiting New York.