When I travel I forget about technology. I’m focused and totally absorbed by what surrounds me, and social networks, technology, even Trips in Sips can wait.
I just got back from my Coast to Coast trip a few days ago and I’m still dizzy because of the jet leg (this time it hit me really hard lol) so I wanted to take few days to rest and enjoy my family and friends before starting writing about this amazing month and a half in the States.
I have so much to tell you guys, so many stories, and I will try to tell them to you as if you were there with me.
North America to me, as always been one of those destinations I craved to see since I was 12; amazing buildings, tree-lined avenues, lights, big streets, crowds of people, multiculturalism, music, dreams turning into reality, breathtaking views, stunning landscapes and more pushed me to buy a plane ticket to get there and see as much as possible in the limited time I gave myself.
May 1st I had my flight from Milano Malpensa Airport, and that day was such a crazy day! Alarm set at 6:00 AM, train from Venice to Milan scheduled at 7:20; in Italy 1st of May it’s a national festivity soooo buses would run once every hour so I ended up being late. YAY. So I started marching towards the train station with a huge suitcase under the pouring rain. I got on the train just in time that the door closed behind my back!
It’s finally time to relax and daydream about the trip that it’s coming closer and closer, while this happens my stomach starts to grumble and thanks to Claudia (God bless her) I can enjoy a perfect sandwich. The train takes about 2 hours to get to Milan railway station and from there I have to take a shuttle to the airport, but you know…if I’m not dumb I wouldn’t be myself: I already have my shuttle ticket in my hand and I’m giving it to the bus driver when he tells me:
“Miss, this ticket is for the May 30th”
DAMMIT. Why am I this dumb? Well, it’s time to run again: ATM, get cash, pay for another ticket and get on the shuttle. This trip is already killing me, and it’s not even started yet. I finally arrive at the airport, I check in my bags, I pass through security checks and I’m hungry. I’m hungry 24/7. I have lunch and I wait to board the plane and I’ve never been so impatient! I’m the last group to board, of course, families with children first, business class, special assistances, elephants, lions, some zebras and then it’s my turn.
This is my first intercontinental flight, every time I’ve taken a plane was for short distances. This Emirates plane is simply huge: two floors, big seats, space for your legs, every one with its own tv screen… I’m shocked, I’ve never seen something like this before. I take my seat, pillow and blanket provided, take off is gonna be in few minutes and I’m actually tired, yesterday night I was too excited that I couldn’t sleep. Before falling asleep I observe what surrounds me and in my front pocket I find three stickers: “Don’t wake me up”, “Wake me up for duty-free”, “Wake me up for food”. I LOVE THIS PLANE. I think you already know what sticker I’ve put on my seat back… and if there is something else I love about life after food is to sleep: head on the pillow and sayonara! The super kind hostess wakes me up to feed me, and after a delicious meal I decide to take a little walk around (I just needed the bathroom) and WWWOOOO this bathroom is some 5-star bathroom, the best toilet I’ve ever seen in my life. Every kind of soap or hand lotion was available, the whole environment smelled so damn good and I was thinking about to stay there for the rest of the flight.
Right after I finished watching Kung fu Panda 3 it’s time to land, and my heart started beating out of myself. I dreamt about this very moment since forever. I land at 7PM NYC time after nine hours and my joy is uncontainable! As we get off the plane, for some weird reason I start to feel exhausted.. and I feel even more tired when I see the long queue at passport control. I swear it took me two hours to get out of the airport… I was expecting that but damn it took ages. They asked me every kind of question.. where do you come from? Do you have a job? What job? Your parents? What job do they have? do you have a return ticket? When? Which airline?
DO YOU HAVE FOOD IN YOUR LUGGAGE?
After they gave me this proper third-degree I can go and get my luggage and I waited for so long that I turned 24. Finally, after 2 hours after landing I can go out and breath some good super polluted American air. I was thrilled and I couldn’t wait to get to Penn Station where Chiara, a friend of mine doing Erasmus there, was waiting for me… but how can I text her to tell her that I’m here? No wifi, no service. “Ok, never mind, let’s find a way to get there and I’ll figure something out.” I get on the shuttle, Wifi was available and I could finally text my family I was alive and text Chiara too.
After they gave me this proper third-degree I can go and get my luggage and I waited for so long that I turned 24. Finally, after 2 hours after landing I can go out and breath some good super polluted American air <3 I was thrilled and I couldn’t wait to get to Penn Station where Chiara, a friend of mine doing Erasmus there, was waiting for me… but how can I text her to tell her that I’m here? No wifi, no service. Ok, never mind, let’s find a way to get there and I’ll figure something out. I get on the shuttle, Wifi was available and I could finally text my family I was alive and text Chiara too.
This super cool old guy before starting driving said:
”All right folks, some of you may be scared of the way a drive, so if you want you can fasten your seat belt.. Last stop Penn Station… WE ROLLIN ”
As we run through New York I just cannot stop taking pictures and say wow all the time, just like a little kid at Disneyland. Lights, buildings, lights again, people everywhere. My dream was coming true. I get off at Penn Station and I can see Chiara on the other side of the street waiting for me with a little pink balloon. We had dinner together at her place on campus and then at 11PM I started feeling extremely tired and I took the subway to get to my hostel.
The situation was kinda challenging, again. Two big suitcases, no escalators in NY subway, and no one willing to help me. After the struggles finding and getting to the right platform I’m finally on my way to the bed, maybe….
My stop is Queens Plaza and my hostel is somewhere around here, but no wifi, no maps = no hostel. Desperation started possessing me. after 40 mins walking around, I finally see colored lights on a building and my intuition said to me that that was the place. I crossed the street and
“yesssss I’m finally here! Q4 Hotel! Wait why the doors are not opening? it’s not a 24h reception! I wanna die, I’m gonna sleep here on a bench.”
I started punching the door in grip of desperation when the receptionist showed up and simply opened the door. I was pushing instead of pulling. Good job Giulia! You just made a fool of yourself! I get in and someone is painting on the wall some Keith Hiring drawing, Drake music on as I check in and I’m just mind blown, but tired as hell and with a double pike a dive into the bed falling asleep with a dumb smile on my face that will be with me throughout the whole adventure.