Hey guys.. it’s been a long while since I posted.. which I can only apologise for. Please forgive me! I was having the time of my life!
So I went to America for 6 weeks, to tour the East Coast. I went from Charleston to New Orleans, through the South; around New York and from Boston to Boston, stopping in Washington, Philly, Pittsburgh and heading into Canada to see Niagara, Toronto and Montreal as well.
I can hands down say that it was categorically the best six weeks of my entire life. It had it’s ups and downs, I won’t lie, for example I received a $100 bus ticket when I got a student ticket from LaGuardia airport in New York, because apparently I did qualify (despite a student card) for this discount; and I was ill three times out there, including the plane journey home. However, the ups far outweighed these. Most memorable for me was the helicopter ride across Niagara Falls, the One World Trade Center viewing platform, touring Boston via bike, Fourth of July fireworks by the Charles River in Boston, a beach day in Charleston, my very first night out, and most importantly, the people.
I did most of my travelling through tour companies, which I’ll do a post on later cos it’s totally geared towards students and one of the companies operates worldwide! Through these companies I met so many amazing people, because most of them were travelling alone, so the bond between you was maintained based on the wish to experience these amazing opportunities with new people. Because the tour company was quite jam packed in terms of seeing lots in a short amount of time, it meant that you spent considerable amounts of time with people you hadn’t known only days previously (particularly when you would have nights out following these long days). This was something I had thought I would absolutely hate, being quite shy and independent, but it turned out to be amazing. Because you spent so long with these people straight away, you formed this bond so quickly. I can only liken it to perhaps the experience of a reality show, where everything seems to happen so quickly and before you know it these people are your best friends. As I write this I am on a bus to London to visit one of the people I met on one of these tours. And next year I plan to visit some others in Australia. I honestly think the experience of travelling together is enough to give you a friendship for life. The other way I met people was in the hostels I stayed at in between these tours. This was easy in some places, for instance Charleston and Boston were full of travellers from similar cultures as me; England, America, Australia, the Netherlands. Here I met people who I clicked with immediately and in the case of Charleston met people whom I went on to meet up with later on in the trip and later this month when I go to Amsterdam! Other areas such as New York, which is such an international destination, proved more difficult because so many of the travellers could be from a variety of backgrounds and may not speak the same language as me, making it difficult to become friends. Nevertheless I tried, and even spent an evening out with 3 French girls.. although I will admit this proved more difficult than I had imagined!
The overall experience of travelling has given me so much more than I expected. Not just new friends and new memories, but a new outlook on life. It’s helped me understand where I want to go in the future, and how I want to approach my goals from now on. As cliche as it sounds, I think travelling is something that really helps you understand who you are.