Winning a trip to New York City

Entering a competition online feels like how all the men in your life felt after that pic of Justin Bieber came out, while winning feels like how all the women felt.

Winning a free trip to New York City

When I received my boohoo package and a flyer fell out featuring a competition to win a trip to New York for the boohoo X Charli XCX launch party, I decided to enter it.

Then, just as everyone should with the new white girl Pumpkin Spice hair trend, I forgot all about it. I even forgot about the fact I had entered it, because let’s be real this basic bitch wasn’t going to win it.

Weeks later, at 3:00am AEST, my phone lit up with the message ‘You are one of our winners for the Charli XCX launch party’.

The next morning I responded and stared at my Gmail inbox for a solid 20 minutes without blinking only to realise that Australia is literally nowhere on a map. I did the math to get the time difference, then Google’d the real answer, and figured I’d have to wait until around 7:00pm AEST for a response.

Hannah, the social media manager of boohoo, responded and it was real. I, Sarah O’Brien basic bitch number 3,111,267,980, won the competition of a lifetime – a free trip for two to New York and access to a VIP launch party.

I screamed like my jam in the club just came on and then I went to my group chat on Facebook and bragged, finally receiving a response after all these times of being ignored.

Winning a trip to NY

Replicas of our faces when we found out we won a trip to NY

I was able to take a friend, and as much as I wanted my friends to each send in an audition tape, there was no time and I settled for my boyfriend so I could hold it over him and win any fight for the next year or two (Him: You spent all the money on a Simba outfit for a cat? Me: Yeah but I took you to NY for free so..).

The days leading up went slower than the minutes on a microwave, but the day finally arrived and we were at Sydney International Airport boarding a 14 hour flight to LA. I took a few sneaky snooze tablets and they decided not to sink in until we got to LA so I was going through customs like I was Snoop Dogg at his 420 party. I made it though and we boarded our six hour flight from LA to NYC.

New York City

We landed at nighttime, which worked well so we could get rid of the jet lag, and then got to our hotel somehow (quite vague as the tablets were still in full force). We were put up in the amazing DoubleTree by Hilton in Midtown and received a warm cookie on arrival. I MEAN WHAT!? I don’t think I have ever received a warm cookie on arrival – #basicbitchlife.

We decided to hit a pub, because STRAYA, and then went to bed in preparation for the launch party the next night.

Sarah in Central Park

Classic model shot of a basic bitch in Central Park

We got the whole day to do what we wanted, so we did touristy things (video recorded squirrels while yelling “ALAN, ALAN”, in Central Park) – and then went back to the hotel to get ready.

Once we were dressed we tried to get a subway to our meeting point in SoHo, but that was a flop that set us back and decided to hail down a taxi instead.


So I was in the back of the taxi having a huge panic attack half because we were going to be very late, half because I had no idea if the taxi’s car alarm was going off or it was just our driver on the horn.

Charli XCX for boohoo

We arrived, and while we were late everyone understood it was because we were from STRAYA. Once I recovered from my panic attack I took in what we were about to do. Get on a giant double decker bus with the face of the beautiful Charli XCX sprawled across and drive all the way to Brooklyn with the wind in our hair.

Then out came Charli, making me feel like my basic bitch status just went down to number 6,789,723,980. She gave us each hugs and I tried not to wet myself because I was wearing white. Then she got on the bus, YASSS!!

We jumped on board and each scored some beers, which is so STRAYA. The view as we were crossing the bridge on the top of a double decker bus was incredible – not to mention surreal.

View from the double decker bus

View from the roof of the bus

Once we arrived we took part in some interviews, during which Joe Jonas got out of a van with his crew and I realised I was not even worthy of a basic bitch status anymore.

We walked in and I walked straight past the photo lounge because all this excitement had turned me into a nanbots and my bladder was going to explode. Once I could take it in, it was incredible.

The Villian venue in Brooklyn had transformed into this amazing neon-lit party featuring pac man machines, hot girls on stilts, a mechanical bull, and most importantly free Charli XCX cocktails.

Joe Jonas came out and started DJing and I had no idea what I was doing with my life. Then the Queen herself, Charli, slayed the stage and I realised the morning after I was slut dropping to Boom Clap – I really need to stop doing that.

Charli XCX with Sarah and Ryan

Charli XCX – with her besties obviously

After the performances were done we got to go up and take photos with Charli herself, which I then obviously posted on Instagram pretending like we were total besties and this was just another day in my amazing life.

After the party we headed back to our hotel and I tried to get more warm cookies because I felt like a Queen and Queen’s probably get unlimited warm cookies.

We then got a few extra days to explore the beautiful and exciting city of New York, where we hit comedy clubs, saw Cold War Kids live at Terminal 5, and harassed the front desk for more warm cookies because now I am a #basicqueen.