AlexandraGeoVisions' Travel Journals

AlexandraGeoVisions

 
What was the dumbest thing you ever did while traveling?

Walking up a dark, winding road back to our hotel in the middle of the night with cars flying by us.

  • 30 years old
  • From Colorado, United States
  • Currently in Colorado, United States

New York City

This is a summation of my weekend in NYC and the experiences I had there.

Imagine

United States New York, United States  |  Dec 22, 2010
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Highlights

  • New York City is a hub of cultural activity, and you don't have to look far to experience it.

 The simplicity of a shared goal, no matter how big or small brings people together. 

“Imagine all the people living life in peace” ~ John Lennon

Oftentimes we search for people and places that are drastically different from us and from what we are used to. Sometimes this brings us to the far reaches of our world, searching for answers that dwell within us or searching for an emersion in a different country and cultural experience in order to learn a bit more about ourselves.  Other times, we can find these experiences right under our nose and we may be surprised at what we can find there, realizing that people are more the same than fundamentally different.

Lucky enough to have one of the greatest cities just a couple of hours away, I recently traveled to Manhattan for a weekend during the busiest time out of the year. Being the weekend before Christmas, the city was overflowing with people, and not much to my surprise, most of them tourists and many from other countries.  I loved experiencing the city this way, minus the long lines and people stopping dead in their tracks in the middle of the sidewalk to take a photo, but nonetheless it was quite an experience.  It was incredible to see so many different people from different backgrounds in one city.  If you’re not careful, or if you haven’t traveled much into New York City, you could possibly experience a bit of culture shock. Although it wasn’t until I walked through the quiet paths of Central Park that I really took the time to appreciate all this diversity. Central Park on its own (even in the dead of winter) is such a beautiful and peaceful oasis from the bustling city center, it is hard not to relax and slow your pace as you walk, paying more close attention to passersby and taking in the sweet smell of roasted peanuts from corner-side vendors.  

My friend who I had been traveling with had only seen New York City once (and just for a day) so she was determined to see John Lennon’s memorial on the west side of Central Park in Strawberry Fields.  As we approached, we heard the melodic strumming of a guitar and came to realize a man was sitting on one of the park benches playing and singing Beatles songs. It of course set the atmosphere, and everyone there seemed to genuinely appreciate it even though the area was marked as a quiet zone.  The memorial itself is simple, and without all the people crowded around, it could be easy to miss if you weren’t directly walking through that path.  People waited patiently to have their picture taken by the memorial, and others sat on the park benches and enjoyed the music or each other’s company. If you listened closely, you could hear different languages all around you. 

Like magic, there was complete peace and harmony. Not just within myself, but with everyone who was around.  In that moment at the memorial, John Lennon had accomplished his mission of people living their lives in peace. The one word that reads across the memorial, ‘Imagine’ and spelled underneath it ‘war is over’ in fresh flowers suddenly didn’t seem so far reaching. I wish these moments could stretch around the entire world and impact others the way everyone at the memorial was impacted. The simplicity of a shared goal, no matter how big or small brings people together, even if you don’t speak the same language or practice the same religion.  If we took the time to realize these simple yet deep human connections, I truly believe our world would be a better place and we could all live as one. 

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Tips

  • If you are in the city, try to walk everywhere you go! Taxi drivers will oftentimes take advantage of tourists and not to mention walking is great exercise! Eating from vendors on the street is the cheapest way to go, and tastes amazing! If you are looking to indulge in spending money on a meal however, check out the infamous Carnegie Deli on 7th ave and 57th st. Just make sure you SHARE whatever you get with someone else, the portion sizes are enormous but taste amazing! Be sure to save some room for a slice of cheesecake. 

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  • User Profile Photo
    Brodi wrote: Thu Oct 6, 2011
    Hi, I was just wondering if you have already been to Belgium for Conversation Corps? I am looking into going and would love to talk to you about the trip.
    thanks