Humming Fran Sinatra’s song, I boarded the plane in Prague on Christmas Eve. A friend of mine told me I could look forward to a festive in-flight meal. The result? Inedible chicken, and the sounds of my stomach grumbling for the next five hours as I nibbled on peanuts from a microscopic packet, while the family sitting behind me feasted on a mile-high picnic of Wiener schnitzels.

New York at Christmas was cold but sunny. I couldn’t open my mouth wide enough for the legendary pastrami sandwich from Katz’s. Oh yeah, and the cheesecakes were to die for! Thankfully, whatever I ate I also walked off. That Manhattan skyscraper that you can see from Soho? It’s actually quite far away. I survived a visit to the Bronx, accommodation in a hostel on the men’s floor, and the loss of most of my (unbacked-up) photographs.