Truth: Life is never a straight line
The above truth for this blog post is definitely applicable to how my life has panned out. Never in a million years did I think I’d move and live from east to west and then back to east. Never in my entire life so far did I imagine myself actually having the opportunity to kickstart my career and a new life in Thailand (whereby today marks exactly 1 year since this grand adventure began). And never did I think I’d actually be blogging about it to readers from all corners of the world.
There’s definitely no doubt in the fact that I have enjoyed every bit of it so far.
But going back to my trip to America last year, which would make sense seeing as this is the subject as stated in the title, I can for sure say that the truth of this blog post is likewise applicable.
Let life surprise you a little from time to time
Of all the things I had planned to do during my 1 week in New York, the best moments were definitely those that had been totally unprepared for. Unsurprisingly, most of those actually happened outside of New York (because I honestly hadn’t thought of travelling elsewhere other than in the city until I realised, I’d really like to take this opportunity to explore my surroundings too). So, in response to the “rounded” topic, it’s not just about the scenes and sights that capture this theme, but on the overall gist of the journey itself. If I’d stuck with my original plan, my trip would have been straight forward but far from fun. I definitely prefer the more “well-rounded” route I took that led me to Yale, the United Nations Office, Woodbury Commons, and Washington D.C. (which is definitely worth the long coach journey there and back plus the early 7am departure!).
My thoughts on each destination are as follows:
Probably what struck me the most when I was there was the architecture. I definitely liked the blend between historical and modern buildings that was used to build up the Ivy League institution. Of course, it’s not only beautiful to admire but also to learn from. If you do get a chance to go, a guided tour would highly helpful (especially of the fascinating rare book library whose importance is definitely easier to grasp if you let an expert talk you through it).
The United Nations Office
This is actually in New York, and I’m totally thankful about this because going there was a very last minute decision (technically a decision I made literally the night before my scheduled visit, so I wouldn’t have been able to go to it had it been elsewhere). I’m sure you’ll be able to learn all about it if you do managed to get a space on their daily guided tours (which you definitely need to book in advance online a few days ahead because they fill up very quickly). However, if I can make one recommendation, make sure you visit the internal post office after your tour. You can get your passport stamped with the official United Nations stamp on it (now how cool is that?).
Not possible to walk through the entire outlet in one day if you really do like to shop. So I suggest you be strategic about where you choose to stop and shop. Just don’t miss your bus at the end (thankfully, I didn’t).
Aside from everything that you absolutely must see (e.g. the White House, US Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial etc.), I would totally recommend visiting the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. Having studied anthropology, being able to visit this museum was definitely a dream come true seeing as it had often appeared in our discussions and lecture materials. And obviously (excuse the bias), my favourite part of the museum was the human evolution exhibition on the ground floor.
Overall, I think it’s safe to say that “well-rounded” trips are definitely better than “straight forward” ones in my book.
Only 1 part left to go. Who’s ready for the final chapter in my New York adventure diary?
This post is my response to last week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: Rounded