To My Fellow New Yorkers Going To College In A New City

To My Fellow New Yorkers Going To College In A New City

We're all in this together.

Dear New Yorkers,

Before I begin writing I already know what you're thinking. She's gonna tell me where can I get some good pizza around here. Well, you're right. The answer is nowhere. As many times as someone tries to tell you where to go for pizza it just doesn't compare to NYC's one dollar slice on the street corner.

Having lived in the New York City area my entire life leaving the place of dowgs and cowffee was extremely difficult. Moving to a new city involves adopting a whole new lifestyle. You meet people with new values, motives, and mindsets.

You begin to notice that no one's in a rush any longer. The usual five-minute walk across the street turns into a twenty-minute hike because the person in front of you is on a "leisurely walk". Who knew leisurely walks were even a thing. I didn't. Oh yeah and that fast-paced food service you were used to, yeah kiss that goodbye. (Sad I know).

You'll realize that people begin to stare when you cross the street during a green light, giving you that "how does she do it" look. You best believe if there are no cars coming I'm getting myself across that street and if there are cars coming, catch me dodging them.

Be prepared for the question that will probably push your buttons as much as it does mine. "Have you been to Times Square/do you go to Times Square a lot"? When asked this question I always have the same reaction. Yes, I've been to Times Squares and NO I don't go a lot. You then will have to try and explain that there is so much more to do in NYC then go to the insanely touristy and busy Times Square.

And no one, I mean no one appreciates the song "New York New York" like we do.

Although there are things that I definitely miss about New York City, a part of me is excited to see what my new environment has to offer. College is a time of exploration and, it is important when moving to a new place to be completely open. I hope to learn more about my new home, which is now Philadelphia, and continue to find out more about its uniqueness.

Always remember, if you can survive New York, you can survive any city.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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5 Reasons To Travel in 2018

2018 is the year that you book that flight.

2018 is a year to explore, a year for change and a year of realization. This year you should be checking off the bucket list and doing spur of the moment adventures. This is the year to do what you've always wanted to do. The year especially to travel. I mean, who doesn't want to travel, it is most people's aspiration to travel but never do so because life gets in the way. This year move life aside and travel.

1. Why not?

Pairs is practically calling your name! Whether it's Paris or Switzerland, across the Atlantic is calling for you. Travel, explore what that part of the world you haven't before.

2. Experience new things

Traveling for the first time or trying new cuisines. Traveling is all about firsts, very good firsts. Food, alcohol, and art. It is so different from the States.

3. Relaxation

From sitting in Luxemburg Gardens drinking wine to laying out on the beach in Nice soaking up the sun and salty air from the Mediterranean Sea, relaxation will be on your mind. Travel, take a break, relax, make 2018 peaceful and serene.

4. Meet new people

The people you will meet can and will probably become one of your lifelong friends as the memories you make will last you a lifetime.

5. Just to travel

Set your heart on travel, let it lock (love lock bridge) in. Get your passport. Start somewhere. Fill it with stamps of different countries and adventures. Adventure is out there, just waiting for you.

Don't let the trials and tribulations of 2017 to hold you back from boarding that plane to the trip that you've always wanted to go on.

Cover Image Credit: Haiden VanDerlaske

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How To Travel As More Than Just A Tourist

My trip to India taught me how to truly experience a foreign country.

Traveling has always been my favorite thing to do with my family. I am lucky enough to have parents who love to take trips all over the world, exploring new places and cultures as often as we can. Traveling with them over the years has made me question what it really means to visit a foreign country. What do we mean when we say we have visited a country? How much of it are we really seeing?

This morning, I landed home after spending two and a half weeks in India with my family. Before I left for the trip, a few people asked me if I was ready for what I was about to experience, and if I was afraid of the culture shock. I even had a friend ask me why I would ever want to visit somewhere as intense as India and tell me that he would never want to go there.

As someone who loves to travel, I couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to explore somewhere so fascinating and different than their home country. At the same time, I couldn’t help but feel nervous to witness a world so different from my own.

I have to say that my trip to India was definitely intense and a lot to experience. Among the stunning temples and palaces I got to visit, I was also met with images that shocked me, ones that made me want to avert my eyes, and ones that reminded me of how far I was from a culture I knew and understood.

While I could see why some people couldn’t see the appeal of experiencing a world so different, to me, it was the whole point of going to India in the first place.

Even after returning from such a powerful trip, I am still asking myself how much of it I really got to experience. I spent a big portion of my time in India sitting inside cars or rickshaws, watching the world outside like I was watching a movie. Through my window, I saw women fetching water draped in colorful saris, a Hindu monk smoking a cigarette, a group of men in turbans sitting around a fire on the side of the highway, and the most extravagant wedding procession pouring through the streets.

I saw cows, elephants, monkeys, and camels meandering through traffic in the middle of a crowded road.

Though I was in the country, visiting its sites, speaking to locals, and eating local dishes, there was still a sense that I was completely removed from my surroundings. As I looked at miles and miles of villages and towns fly by as we drove past, I realized that being a tourist may have only let me scratch the surface of India and its rich culture.

My travels through India were not about the hotels we slept in and were certainly not about how much rest and relaxation we had during the vacation. But they were not only about the historical sites and opulent monuments we visited as tourists, either. The moments that had the deepest effect on me were the ones when I felt completely out of place.

When I think of my time in India, I think of getting lost in the middle of a bustling crowd, feeling totally overwhelmed by my surroundings, receiving stares from locals and wondering if I was intruding when entering temples, markets or monuments. I think of the moments when I got a glimpse into a world that tourists do not often get to see.

The raw and real side of India, the one that people once warned me about, is what makes me long to return and continue experiencing all of it.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Schulman

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