10 years ago, for the first time in our lives mei and i travelled to New York without our parents but with our godparents to visit cecelia jie there. What we didn’t expect was that this trip without our parents would give us a glimpse into a kind of travel that we would come to love deeply. Because cecelia jie was already living in NYC it meant that we didn’t need to follow or sign up for a tour package or anything and would just travel around by ourselves.

What this trip gave us were pockets of small freedoms where we would make our way into the city by ourselves by train and walking NYC by the grids a very fascinating map system i didn’t know could exist at that time lol.

Took a citybus, mei fell asleep while it rained on us so bad. Road side hotdogs and drain coffee
2011 the years when we love taking pics of ourselves. us at brooklyn bridge walking up and down up and down

21 year old me was just fascinated by everything, that no one in New York gave a shit what you did what you wore, if you were a weirdo or anything. Just a liberating place in general, and a total opposite of Singapore. anyway before we knew it 10 years has passed, and i dont know what made me rmb nyc 10 years ago, and again the dates matched up, we flew home on 30th sept, and i must say since then our lives have changed, traveling would mark such an important part of our growth, 21 and impressionable the world offered its best to us. I think this trip ignited some sort of travel bug in me, like this urgency to travel and see the world. I didn’t know the world could be so big and beautiful and just made me feel so intensely real and present, (that feeling is super addictive and i never knew one could feel like this, so deeply could i say alive?)

Another memory that clearly stands out and was somewhat life changing was picking up Perks of Wallflower on the flight home to Singapore, we flew China Eastern there because it was the cheapest flight, what we could afford and they didn’t have tv or any sort of entertainment. So for 15 hours from JFK to Shanghai Pudong i read and read and finished Perks of Being a Wallflower right there on that flight back, and it made me fall in love again with reading, and it was such a good book for a 21 yo trying to figure out life, i was as lost as they were and only just starting to understand this life that was starting. Life suddenly was different from what we were told, i realised i could choose the things i wanted to do, the places i wanted to go, the person i wanted to become, it was possible. I think it was also one of the moments in my life when i realised the importance or loving yourself and finding yourself (lol still finding myself) and being yourself. I think it was this trip that really changed my life, what i viewed was a good life even, and what i wanted out of time and life.

“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” ― Stephen Chbosky, 

(btw i am sure i wouldn’t feel the same now if i re-read Perks of Being a Wallflower, but it still feels good to remember how much i loved it, and how much it thought me)

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”― Stephen Chbosky, 

And of course we cannot forget my fav quote of all time 🙂

so many things really, just wanted to do a throwback post in this rainy weather that really feeels abit like i’m overseas? haha but started thinking back about 10 years ago, New York i can almost smell you, and i still remember the way you made me feel. like the world was like big and wide and i would always feel the excitement bubbling, too much to discover, i was only just starting and i remeber feeling somewhat invincible?

My first diner experience, the meals were all too much to finish and the stale coffee.
streets of Manhattan and mei and i on the city bus i think she havent fell alseep at this point.
random us!
We took a train and went to see the niagara falls, maybe honestly the first time i fell in love with train travel too
Mei and i at empire state building and iphone 3gs with the date 30 sept keke today is 30 sept too.

10 years is such a long time, but such a short time too. Who would i be if i haven’t taken this trip?