On her first trip to New York City, Jaycee Dugard attended a star-studded awards ceremony, took in a Broadway play and was awed by the city's skyscrapers. But for her, the most memorable part of the trip was going for pizza. "Just walking down the street. With everybody. It was my favorite moment," Dugard told ABC News' Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.
"For eighteen years I had to hide, and to be out in public, to go to a restaurant and not – because even now I feel like I have to hide," Dugard told Sawyer. "I want my girls to have a normal life as much as possible. … I feel like on some things I have to do it a little bit differently … not be recognized … for their sake."
She doesn't intend to always live in hiding, but that will have to wait until her two daughters, 17 and 14, are more mature and better able to cope with their mother's story.
"I think in time as they get older they'll know how to deal with it better and that would be the time that we would come out," she said.
Dugard, 31, was in New York City for the Diane von Furstenberg Awards and although she was surrounded by some of the most powerful and influential women in the world at the event it was Dugard who stole the show.
Oprah Winfrey, who was also honored, used part of her speech to tell Dugard, "I am so proud of you, your courage, your ability to press onward toward the future."
Dugard, who received the Inspiration Award, told Sawyer the thing she loves the most every day is freedom. "Just being free to do what I want to do, when I want to do it," she said. "That's the whole learning process to, to know that you can."
Part of enjoying her freedom is making sure the past does not have hold of her, and Dugard told Sawyer that the traumatic ordeal is not on her mind every day and that she decided to forgive Phillip and Nancy Garrido in order to move on with her life.
"It's not with me every day. That is over. Nancy and Philip are behind bars," she said. "There is so much out here to do and feel. … I feel like I can make a difference. … I don't want to be remembered for what happened." Dugard wants to be remembered for the work of her foundation, the JAYC Foundation, which stands for Just Ask Yourself to Care.
The foundation uses animal-assisted therapy, along with other support services to treat families recovering from abduction and the aftermath of traumatic experiences.
Dugard is also trying to make memories, crossing life experiences off a list she made when it seemed freedom was impossible.
So far she has gone on a hot air balloon, learned to drive and regularly rides a horse as part of her therapy, and bragged she has advanced to cantering with her horse and is now saddling the horse by herself. Working with horses, she said, teaches her confidence and assertiveness.
"You have to be very sure of yourself when you're riding. You don't want to have any doubts in your mind because they'll sense that," she said. "I had a little fall, so yeah."
She still wants to see the pyramids, swim with dolphins, touch a whale and take a train ride. And she hopes to write another book.