Have you ever played tourist in your own city?
Living in a place like NYC, I can play tourist every weekend and almost always have a different experience. Between the countless restaurants to try, festivals to explore, activities to do, margaritas to drink… my days in New York are never exactly the same, but I know this place like the back of my hand.
Then I stumbled upon Serenflipity (I actually don’t remember where or when I found it, probably trolling around on Instagram) and it gave me a whole new way of exploring my home.
Serenflipity is an adventure card “game” that helps you get out of your comfort zone. The rules are simple: just pick a card and complete the adventure. Take as long as you need, and when you’re done, pick a new card and start all over.
So I dedicated one full weekend to using these cards – trying out the three categories, one for each day of the weekend – and seeing where it took me.
Here’s how I sparked, explored and connected around New York City with Serenflipity.
Day 1: Connect
FRIDAY was all about connections.
Both with people I already knew, and total strangers. The first card I flipped really started my Friday in a new way. It asked me to go to my morning coffee joint (aka Culture Espresso on 38th Street) and buy the person behind me their cup of coffee.
This was different than those #PayItForward stories where someone drops $20 on the car behind them at the drive-thru. I had to actually turn around and start a conversation with this stranger, that started with “hey, I’m going to buy your coffee right now” without it being totally weird or seem like I was hitting on them.
Fortunately for me, the person behind me that day was a cute older woman who laughed and loved the idea, and ran out with her large black coffee before I could really say much more to her.
Another card I flipped asked me to reach out to some pals I hadn’t talked to in a while, which I gladly did.
It’s not like I choose to lose touch with my friends, but it happens – WE’RE BUSY – and life can sometimes get in the way of, like, everything.
So when I hit up some of my best pals to see what they were up to – it ended up that they had no plans after work, I had no plans after work, and an impromptu wine get together occurred.
Cheers to good friendships that can pick up right where they left off.
Day 2: Explore
SATURDAY was for full blown exploration.
What better place to get off the beaten path then in my own concrete jungle. First card I pulled said “explore your current city as if you’re a world-famous travel writer” … well, that was easy. Minus the world-famous part ;)
Next was “do something that scares you.”
Does going up 102 floors above New York City count? F yeah.
I’m not terrified of heights, but I’d never been that high in the Empire State Building before. You could feel every gust of wind! Get scared: mission accomplished.
Next I refueled by “eating something I’ve never tried before” – which meant that when we (me + boyfriend) sat down at the Manzo counter of Eataly Flatiron, I ordered the duck. (I was almost more scared of this then the Empire State’s top floor… I’m not a fan of meats of any variety.)
But it was actually really delicious! So thank you Serenflipity for expanding my palate.
We headed home feeling accomplished to have stepped a little further outside our comfort zones.
Day 3: Spark
SUNDAY was about sparking new ideas.
“Explore a culture different than your own” in a place like NYC? Shouldn’t be hard to do that.
I lucked out actually, because when I pulled this card on Sunday, it just so happened that the day before was Chinese New Year and celebrations were still going on all over the city.
Chinatown was ALIVE with festivities and food and culture everywhere. I even did some research into the traditions of this New Year on the Chinese calendar.
I learned that 2017 was the year of the Fire Rooster, and that my birth year was not included. Turns out my Chinese zodiac is the goat (1991) and the next one wouldn’t be until 2027.
To top it off, I learned that dumplings are eaten to celebrate the New Year because they symbolize good luck. I’m way to superstitious to pass up an opportunity for extra luck in my life, so I popped over to a traditional Chinese restaurant and got some (vegetarian) dumplings.
Sunday left me feeling extra cultured and extra lucky.
And that completed my weekend in New York City with Serenflipity! Think you want to give Serenflipity a try yourself? The deck is super affordable, and perfect for putting a little adventure into an otherwise normal weekend.