Since young, I was infatuated with USA. New York City, to be exact. I reckoned that bombardment of US pop culture in my growing up days had something to do with that.
In 2012, after working for 3 years, I finally saved up enough to travel, on my own, to New York City, along with Washington DC and Boston. That was still an era before 4G and Google Maps made navigating around a foreign city a walk in the park. On top of that, it was the first time I visited a Western country on my own, so I didn’t dare to do a lot of things, like trying out new food or venturing too far from my hotel lest I forgot my way back.
In 2017, I decided to return and re-do the trip. This time, with a travel partner who was very savvy, and of course, with myself having grown more mature and confident in navigating the world!
Of course, it was not a copy and paste trip. My original trip started with landing in John F Kennedy airport in New York, where I took a train straight to Boston. After 2 days, I went on the Acela Express down to Washington DC, before returning to NYC for the remaining time of the trip.
On my second trip, we decided to avoid JFK. Although it was big and well connected, it would also mean more security checks, longer immigration queues and of course, a higher security risk. Instead, we hopped onto Thai Airways, then SAS, to land in Washington DC. After spending 2 days there, we went to NYC, before ending our trip at Boston. We departed from Boston Logan Airport on SAS, retracing our flight back via Thai Airways.
Like what many Singaporeans would say, the second trip was “same same, but different”.