They say – eventually – wherever you go, you will find your corner. You will find people and space to nurture you as an individual. A similar feeling of hope pumped in me when I boarded for an unplanned 10 days to the far west in October, 2015. After a 22 hour journey via Shanghai, I touched down what they call the largest city in the world.
Travelling within the city is easy thanks to the well connected train lines, and local government and Uber taxi provisions. However, not quite much when you are a student looking to get transported from JFK to Manhattan with three good sized luggage pieces.
Thanks to the generous African-American woman who offered to share the 40+ kilos from my hands and helped me up to the street. There I stood, with a small cabin size suitcase, with a bag (with no wheels) weighing nearly 18kgs and a handbag with a 3 kilo laptop hanging down my front. My first mark on the city streets and there I wished myself. Welcome to the US sweetie !
After some wait, and moving across streets with my luggage I managed to get a yellow taxi to take me down the 34th street. As I dropped my luggage at the concierge and lightened my load, I realized how this short travel from Airport to Manhattan taught me to ignore the usual stereotypes and biases and trust the locals already – the lady who helped me up with my luggage and the taxi driver.
Day #1 adventure walk was much of exploration around Manhattan 34th street. Directed towards the tallest and fanciest looking building on the street, I walked along observing the buzz and the bling, until I dropped to reach nothing but The most famous Empire State Building. I reached the top to receive an intelligent suggestion from an old assistant to come back tomorrow to enjoy a perfect sunset.Duly accepted the advice, I moved around the streets, quickly bought an AT&T for connectivity, and grabbed my Starbucks for some warmth. As I lingered around, I came across a Canadian first time travelling with his mother to New York. Interestingly, we exchanged a light conversation of how the city had so much to offer to tourists from around the world.
With the excitement of being in a new city and amidst people from varied cultures, I headed back to my host, observing the small and big things, and closed my Day #1.
3 full days ahead and I was confused on where to start off from. Given the suggestion from my smart sister cum friend and host, I cuddled up in my couch to explore the south the next day. First night in NYC, no sign of jet lag from the 22 hour travel for I was ready to color the coming days in the shades of the eventful city.
Save. Travel. Live. Repeat.
To be contd..