Tuesday, 2. September, 2014
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I’m off to my USA trip (1)

I’m off to my USA trip (1)

I am launching this blog as a way to celebrate my last few years of traveling. I’m just one human being with plenty of rough edges and a story. I have dreams, ideas and thoughts. My dream to travel to the USA was fulfilled in 2011 and since then I have visited many different states and countries. I feel grateful that I have the privilege to see places and to get to know amazing people from all walks of life. The whole experience has been and continues to be life changing.

While taking many photos along the way I naturally developed an eye for good compositions and I read books about photography. But don’t expect great photos from the beginning, they will get better from trip to trip. I will be writing my stories as I travel along, but I will also revisit past adventures. I will help you time travel through my memories as I recall them piece by piece, bit by bit.

First destination New York City, USA

My first long distance solo travel was a study travel. I had to finish my master thesis and wanted to do research at the University of Chicago to improve my work. On that occasion I also decided to spend two days in New York City to do some sightseeing. So I booked a trip in one of Lufthansa’s A380s, which was brand new at that time.

A380, Frankfurt, Hessen

Flight with the A380, Frankfurt am Main to NYC

It is a four-engined, twin-deck aircraft with young and motivated flight attendants, and an experienced captain. In retrospect, despite the plane’s impressive size, the flight from Frankfurt to JFK was one of my most turbulent. The motto was: shaken, not stirred.

My arrival in the land of the free, the city upon a hill, the country that lives pragmatism was therefore accompanied with relief and happiness to have solid ground under my feet again. I got a room in a cheap airport hotel and went to Times Square to do a sightseeing tour. I was overwhelmed by the city. The skyscrapers easily dwarfed their Frankfurter counterparts, people rushed out of subway stations on overcrowded sidewalks and one yellow cab queued after another.

The advertisements were made as tall as houses to catch a glimpse of attention of the hectic New Yorkers. Everywhere in the streets around Time Square was a smell of grilled meat, spaghetti sauce and a strange mix of different foods.

The day after my arrival I visited the Statue of Liberty and wondered why all those Americans described her as smaller than expected. From my perspective everything in the USA seemed much bigger than I thought it would be. Back at Battery Park I saw these street performers:

I shall return a few more times on later travels to New York and it took some visits to get used to the great scuttle of that metropolis. I will write more about the vibe and the attractions of the city in future “Revisited”. London and Buenos Aires are the only cities that left a similar impression to me so far.

Bye NYC, Chicago, I’m coming!

About Benjamin Brinkmann

Political Scientist and travel enthusiast from Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Currently exploring the world and sharing my photos and stories on 72 Places.

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