Heartwarming moment a man, 25, is reunited with his family after making a 3,300-mile journey home from New York just in time for Christmas
- Ethan Leyland moved to New York and spent his five weeks struggling to adapt
- He thought he had to spend the holiday season alone as flights cost £1,200
- Ethan found tickets costing £600 and decided to surprise his friends and family
- The fashion student said: ‘My sister cried. She really missed me’
This is the heartwarming moment a man surprised his family after making a 3,300 mile flight to make it home for Christmas.
Ethan Leyland, 25, from St Helens, Merseyside, moved to New York, USA, in November and has spent the last five weeks struggling to adapt.
But with return flights costing £1,200 Ethan, and his family, thought he would have to spend the holiday season alone in New York.
Ethan said: ‘I was feeling lonely. I had been living with my two best friends before, but I am living alone in New York.
‘It’s a lonely city. If you’re a millionaire, you can have the best time of your life, but if you’re from a council estate like me it’s not great.’
Ethan studies fashion at Central Saint Martins, in London, but is doing an internship in New York.
He had not seen his family for more than a month, and was looking forward to being reunited with them for Christmas.
But the cost of a flight home was too costly and Ethan realised it wouldn’t be possible.
This the heartwarming moment Ethan Leyland, 25, from Merseyside, flies home from New York City to surprise his family for Christmas and New Years Eve
He said: ‘I was going to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve alone. I knew I could do it, but it wasn’t going to be the best experience.’
Just one week before Christmas, however, Ethan found tickets costing £600 and decided to surprise his friends and family.
Ethan’s mother, Debra Ronan, knew about his return and organised the surprise, telling the family that she had just fostered a rescue dog and they should gather on Christmas Eve.
Ethan had moved to New York in November but had been struggling being so far away from him home. When he first checked flight prices it was going to cost him £1,200 but just a week before Christmas they were being sold for half price
Ethan said: ‘When I arrived I was still a bit anxious because I had a lot of people to see still, but once I settled in I knew it was going to be a good Christmas.
‘I always go to the pub with my best friends on Christmas Eve, and it was really great to have some normalcy and sanity.
‘Seeing everyone really completed Christmas. We all finally got together on Boxing day and the missing piece was connected.
‘My sister cried. She really missed me. We had been calling every day while I was gone.
‘I feel like I’m ready to do it again after coming back for Christmas. I needed this time away to realise what I could get from the city.’