a sahailiyon ka reunion // photo story

sahaili* : urdu for girlfriends

prologue : I have done this trip with Anya & this mom + kids girlfriends getaway but doing something on my own with friends has always been something very out of my comfort zone.. I don’t like leaving Anya behind (my friends here know that about me too hehe), it’s just deeply ingrained in me. But then the pandemic & this last year having to leave Anya & going back to Pakistan to take care of mama after she got diagnosed with cancer.. I think it changed the way I think a little & that’s how I ended up saying yes to this wishful plan my friend would mention often. (Isn’t it crazy how long it gets between seeing our old friends if we don’t prioritize it?)


AND HERE WE WERE; flying in from Toronto, bay area & Seattle; together in New York City for two July days on our own – three of us together after 17 years!

What I didn’t realize was how therapeutic it would be & how much I needed it (more ahead)!


Scroll down for an imperfect photo story, some NY links (if you have a trip coming up) , takeaways because they might be helpful ..

: a few favorites things about old friendships :
  • how we slip into that younger version of ourself when with friends we’ve known from school/ college/ university days.
  • despite how much us & our lives have changed, the things that can still feel the same.
  • how easily you can switch from raw heart-to-hearts to nonsense conversations you can laugh your head off at.
  • discovering random quirks when you are together every minute after such a long time, like who is the crankiest without their morning caffeine & who takes the most photos (lol)
  • & the late night conversations; they’re always my favorite most thing.

Day 1: We all arrived at JFK airport | Uber-ed to our hotel: New York Hilton Midtown | yummy brunch at Le Pain Quotidien | walking by the Hudson River & cooling down at a random splash park | checking out the Vessel | walking a little of the High Line trail | Dinner at Aiyara Thai & Uber-back to the hotel since I was too exhausted & sleepy to continue..

Day 2:
Brunch at Sarabeth’s by Central Park | Renting Bikes (linked) + heading to Central Park | Stops at Bethesda Fountain, Belvedere Castle & biking the whole of Central Park | Back to the hotel to freshen up & eat some street food we grabbed | Made ourselves some chai (always keep our Tapal teabags) | walking on 5th Ave & by Rockefeller Center | ending up at Times Square at dusk; just chatting about everything under the sky before heading for dinner followed by gelato at Amorino Gelato

I’d forgotten this feeling of being in each other’s presence; how easy and relaxed it had always felt. It’s such a gift when have these kind of connections & my personal takeaway was to make time to stay in touch & for these getaways when we can even if they feel difficult. It’s worth it!

  • Sahrash made sure we planned this months ago so there are no issues with schedules & not being able to find flights/hotels last minute.
  • New York City felt easy because we all had direct flights. We bought tickets together while on a call. We really wanted our flights to be within a few hours from each other to maximize our time together & it worked out perfectly (well almost, with a few adventures lol).
  • We had a Whatsapp group just for this plan.
  • Sahrash planned our full itinerary for the days. We just asked her what we were doing & followed her hahah.
  • New York heat: I didn’t realize it would be a little too much for me. Flowy, cotton/linen clothes are best. Would’ve been helpful to have a handheld fan.
  • Travelled light, only carry-on’s in fact my friend came in just a backpack!
  • Desi chai lovers: I always keep my teabags in my bag.
  • After the trip my friend made a shared photo album so we could all collect our memories there. Re-living these memories has been almost as beautiful as making them.
  • Our kids are all tweens or teens so they were happily home with their daddies, infact happier without mamas rules and disciplining (even our kids need a break from us sometimes lol)
  • Covid situation: All three of us had luckily had covid within the last 1-2 months so we felt okay being a little relaxed about masks. Otherwise, I had discussed bringing rapid tests & testing each day since we were sharing a room.

Did I forget something? Have you done a reunion with your old friends?

Love, Nataliya