Side travel – where I’ve been, what I’ve seen and done in America.

Read all about Claudia’s NYC experiences! 

There are three words that sums up the entire spectrum of emotions that are stemmed from the best of the best of connotations.

Three words which are as magical, exciting, crazy, full of life, colorful, whimsical and incredible as one can dream or imagine it to be.

Three words that surpassed my dreams and fantasies if I ever had the luckiest chance to step foot in.

Three words that made me want to never leave.

Three words that describe a force, lifestyle, and dreamland, all in one city.

Three words that sums it all up as one entity of wonderment,

And those three words is laid out in capitals that still does not do it justice:
NEW YORK CITY.
A bit dramatic maybe? Maybe. But let me be honest here…this fantastic city does entail for a little bit of hype (even if it seems unnecessary) to describe it.

One of the reasons I decided to go on an exchange to the United States, was because of my longing to step foot in the city I’ve always had the need to explore ever since I could remember not having to worry about what happens after puberty strikes.

Yes, that seems pretty long ago now. But it still took me a while to register that I was finally here I soaked in the ambience of this amazing city I finally had the blessing to experience and most excitingly, stay in for a week’s worth with my best friend Vanessa Seng who is on the exchange with me.

In the week’s stay the both of us had spent in living in Manhattan (YMCA to be exact. Extremely helps with budget living), we managed to do what all wide-eyed tourists do in New York on every single day of the week…

Visit tourists spots.

Here’s a list to where we went and what we did:

  1. Times Square. Twice. Day and Night. (Not enough, obviously)
  2.  Witnessed an unplanned proposal in Times Square (awww)
  3. Entertained for 20 seconds by a loud dancing African-American girl  belting out Demi Lovato on the streets of NY. Ghetto style.
    ‘IF I EVA DID DAT…I DINK I HAVA HART ADACKK’.
  4. Central Park (Don’t get me started on the size of the place)
  5. Street performers everywhere (dancers, acrobats, musicians, horse carriages, you name it)
  6. 30 Rock, Rockefeller Center. (Vanessa was crying)
  7. NBC Store. (Got ‘Friends’ merchandise. Sat on ‘The Voice’ chair. Vanessa cried even more)
  8. Columbus Circle, Manhattan. (Prettiest view at night)
  9. Manhattan in general. (Duh. Such an amazing place though)
  10. Grand Central (My turn to cry)
  11. Chinatown (Yep. It’s like I never left my home country Malaysia)
  12. Madison Square Garden. (Cause famous people are always there. I heard.)
  13. Madison Avenue. (Budget living = Window shopping)
  14. Took the Subway. (Just like in them movies)
  15. Ate giant pretzels. (And when I say giant I mean GIANT. It’s a friggin’ meal by itself!)
  16. Ate bagels. (How could we not?)
  17. Ate New York hotdogs. (Don’t judge us)
  18. Ate $1 New York slice pizzas. (WE LIKE TO EAT OKAY)
  19. Walking. Lots of it.

We never expected to be so grateful to take the chance to arrive in the States earlier just so we could travel for a bit. Thank goodness we did, as we had least expected to be swamped with heaps of homework every single week that never seems to end since the (Fall) semester started. The good thing is we are learning to deal with college life here and time management especially when homework seems to take over most of your time. We’re here to experience university life in America. And we are. Trust me when I say I absolutely love my stay here and I am not looking forward to leave one tiny bit. I don’t want to leave. This is my second home. But. Who the heck likes homework?

Trips to New York and seeing that it is just an hour train ride to and fro my campus in Fairfield, Connecticut, is one of the best parts about being where I am. And the fact that Fairfield is so incredibly beautiful (like you are in a postcard or something) really does make it seem like I am in the best of both worlds right now. Fairfield does provide a lot of really fun and engaging activities and events to be a part of as well I must say! And boy, do they pack on the student clubs here. Did you know they even organize spring vacations to Cuba and other exotic places, plus service trips as well to help poor communities? Well now you do. Pretty bummed I’ll be missing out on those (trying very hard to keep my composure right now. Fail.) There are too many to even keep check without missing out half of them at least. But that is the beauty of it, there is always something for everyone, and that is what keeps the school spirit here alive.

Some surprises I never thought of stumbling upon was the chance this university provides to meet famous people that just walks in here as if they are just like any student. No biggie. I’ve been pretty lucky to personally meet actress America Fererra (one of the most beautiful, inspiring, and humble personality in Hollywood); some guy from Jersey Shore whom the girls couldn’t stop screaming about, his name…Vinny, was it? I forget…who gave some pretty insightful wisdom about dealing with depression; and upcoming singer musician named Jeff Leblanc (who has now become my friend, and I’m trying not to faint) and this other dude who sings and plays a dozen instruments at the same time called the iPod man. That’s only just a fraction that goes on here. How can anyone really keep up sometimes? I love it.

What else?

Ahhh yes. The most exciting thing that has happened recently, coming back to New York and all…let me catch my breath first.

My best friend, Vanessa, being the lucky girl that she is, managed to score two tickets to see Jimmy Fallon live last Wednesday (October 23, 2013 – a date we’ll never forget). We called in sick (first time okay!), took the first train and were warmly greeted by Grand Central. More pictures taken of the same spots. We whisked off to Rockefellers. Took pictures of The Ice Skating Rink in the middle of Rockefeller Center (set up annually for the fall and winter). Ate Ben and Jerry’s. We were sat in the second row. She cried. Jimmy Fallon came pass me and brushed my shoulder. I was still standing. Frozen. She cried harder.

Guest stars: Julie Bowen (Modern Family), Mandy Patinkin (Homeland) and musical guest was Dierks Bentley w/ Mike McCready (who sang Pearl Jam).

Need we say more?

This is what I’ve done so far. And I’ve only been here two months.

How can my heart not swell in happiness right now? Don’t mind me being cheesy. See what America has done to me.

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

NYC!

 

Fairfield University!

Fairfield University!