New York has always been on Belinda Crossingham’s bucket list and just four days ago she was riding along the same stretch of road where eight people were killed overnight in an alleged terrorist attack.
“People keep saying ‘it could have been you’ and it could have been.”
Belinda, a self-confessed insomniac, is in Boston for a work conference and flew over early to spend a few days in ‘the city that never sleeps’.
“It’s always been on my bucket list. I’m not a great sleeper and have just always wanted to go. I went to the Apple store at 1am in the morning and there were heaps of people around – it was great.”
A keen cyclist herself and member of the Manning Valley Cycle Club she was keen to experience the hustle and bustle from a rider’s perspective.
“Nobody wears helmets and they weave in and out of the traffic. Lots of corporate types ride around in their suits with briefcases in their bike baskets as it’s the quickest way to get around.”
The first she heard of the attacks was from her daughter via a Facebook message who would have been getting ready for school and hearing the early reports of the attack filtering through on Australian media.
“I got her message and Googled it and saw it was right where I had been riding four days ago. It’s just so surreal and it makes me feel very homesick.
“I just want to jump on a plane and go home but then they would be winning and we can’t let them win.”
In an extraordinary run of close calls she was in Las Vegas just three days after a lone gun man opened fire on crowds attending the Route 91 Harvest music festival, killing 58 people and injuring well over 500.
I just want to jump on a plane and go home but then they would be winning and we can’t let them winBelinda Crossingham
She had been in Las Vegas with her family and returned to Australia for seven days before taking off again for the work conference which is being attended by delegates from all over the world.
“We’re at dinner at the moment and people keep saying to me ‘we need to come to Australia, you’re pretty safe over there’ and I suppose we are, we’re just an island so far away.
“Twice now I’ve been to America and twice I’ve been within days of something like this it just makes you miss home. I feel very protected at home.”
She returns home to Taree on the weekend.