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Traveling New York City

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Traveling New York City

If it is my intention to provide myself with a holistic, broad spectrum, and even impression of planet earth – and I am not sure if this is my intention – then I know that I must go to all places, whether I am drawn to them or not. I am not drawn to New York City.

But I know that the Big Apple is a major player in the modern human’s perception of planet earth, and I know that I should live there at some point in my travels. This capstone requirement from Global College is providing me with the stark impetus to live and wander around New York City.
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Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Philadelphia, PA, USA- August 29, 2008
Travelogue Travel Photos
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So I have returned to the USA. I rode subways and walked through New York City a couple of nights ago. I became excited at what I observed:

New York City is just as foreign a landscape to me, a country boy, as most any foreign land that I have ever traveled to. Tall buildings, lights, garbage everywhere, multi-colored people speaking every language that I can imagine, foreign scripts adorning the storefronts, and the excitement of being somewhere that I have never been before.

I have the initial impression that New York City is unlike anywhere else on earth. I have three and a half months to explore it, and I propose to do so as if I would travel in any other country:

I am going to treat the Big City as if it were its own entity. I am going to treat it as if it were a broad slice of planet earth in microcosm. “All people from everywhere in the world are in New York City,” raved a drunken Chilean to me a few weeks ago. He is correct.

“I have to say, I am a little disappointed that you would shy away from an adventure in an urban environment,” insightfully comment a reader and friend by the name of Scott. He is also correct.

To travel across New York City is, perhaps, the equivalent of a mock-voyage across the entire world. Perhaps I should not loathe this time that I will have to be in New York? Perhaps I should view my position as one of privilege, for what other traveler would put themselves in such an expensive environment for so long if they did not have to?

I, for sure, would not be going to NYC if I did not have a university requirement to fulfill. What I once perceived as a hassle is quickly revealing itself as a god-send. I have 15 weeks to travel in New York City. Global College is providing me with an unlimited use public transportation pass. I foresee a colossal get-lost-game that will take me into the deep recesses of a city that I am told to be the world’s most prominent multi-cultural center.

I will travel New York as I would anywhere else on the world. I will study the maps, learn the subway lines, meet the people, and write, write, write about it as if I were in a foreign land.

New York City is a foreign land.

I look at New York City on a map and I have no clue what is in that tangled mass of skyscrapers, roads, byways, and highways.

It is now time for me to find out.

And “finding out” just happens to be what I like to do most.

Brooklyn Ho!

Links to previous travelogue entries:

  • Back in Budapest from Balaton
  • Vacation to Lake Balaton
  • August 15th Travel Anniversary

Traveling New York City
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Filed under: New York City, USA

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Cincinnati, Ohio, USAMap