Pictures from New York

I haven't been on the blog for a week since I got back from New York because I was busy with the APAC tournament/cheerleading team. Before moving onto February updates, I want to post some pictures from my trip in New York. It was very weird going to the States, starting from when I landed at Newark. I didn't have the same sense of relief/excitement/contentment landing in New Jersey as I normally do landing in Madrid. There's a certain air of romance in Spain.

In Jersey, there's a certain air of gritty character, maybe Tony Soprano mixed with Rocky Balboa?? Well really it's that inexplicable Jersey appeal (goes along with a drinking glass that I have which says 'Only the strong survive Jersey').

I was almost confused walking around the airport because I actually understood the public signs on the walls, the people talking around me, the ingredients on restaurant menus; it felt like I was in the twilight zone! Although after awhile nothing surprised me since after all, I was HOME.

I will always know that there's a cop waiting to catch people double parking;

I will always know that Bageltown has the best bagels, and that Dortoni's has the best cannolis. I will always know that New Yorkers aren't rude; they just don't go out of their way to offer to help people (although most people will help when asked!).

I know that Broadway Dance Center is my favorite place in the world because I get so inspired to improve my dancing abilities every time I go there.

My friend Travis from Wisconsin, who I met in Shanghai who repatriated back to the States!

Empire State of Mind!

Hudson River from Hoboken Side.. at 7am on the way to the PATH train.

Welcome to the world, Olivia Mae! Born January 20, 2012.

My Nanny Fitz, cousin Padriag and I for an after-school snack in the kitchen at my aunt's house in Connecticut.


Padriag with Ringo, the Golden Retriever.

This dog is such a happy guy!

So even though everything became super familiar to me once again very quickly, I felt a bit out of place.

I have gotten so used to being by myself.

I have gotten so used to being disoriented, being looked at, being judged that when I blended into the sea of the thousands of other people who looked, dressed and acted like me, I really didn't like it.

I like being different. I like meeting new people. I like meeting people with history and a story to tell. I like being around people who have taken their life by the horns and have traveled and lived and worked all over the globe. I like being around people who did not wait for happiness, but instead created their own.

I am inspired by the expat community I live in, and although I will always love Manhattan, I think I have outgrown my hometown of Levittown. Maybe it was the vanilla backdrop of suburbia that subconsciously pushed me beyond it's comforting familiarity; maybe it was my Grandfather's love of trains and travel that made me curious about the big world which existed "out there".

Maybe I'm traveling for my dad, because I wish he could join me on my adventures.

Maybe it was my mantra of "try everything once", or "don't live with regrets". Maybe it was a million other things that gave me the confidence to leave, but the one thing I've learned about myself is that I'm very consistent about achieving goals. I didn't want to be "that girl" who lived her life by a checklist. I wanted something really unconventional, and I got it!

I thought I would be sad to leave New York, but I was actually eager to get back to my own space; my lovable dog:

My little refuge in the modern, chaotic, international city that is Shanghai.

Pollution and all....

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