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downtown nyc battery park city

Day 1: The American Road Trip Begins

By | North America, OUR TRAVELS, US | No Comments

Three months ago, Calvin from The Monsoon Diaries and I had an idea to do a road trip across the U.S.

Our passports have stamps from over 100 countries combined. Ink mementos from places as far-flung as North Korea and Antarctica (Calvin), and as off-the-beaten path as Mozambique and Lesotho (myself) tattoo the pages of our little books. But when it comes to the U.S., one word describes us both: clueless. The size of the U.S. alone is daunting enough, not to mention the fact that both of us are city-dwelling, Uber-reliant, public transit nuts.

In other words, how do you transverse a country half the size of Russia (no joke) with two vehicle-phobic vagabonds? No idea. But as always, our motto is to do now, question later. So we organized a 2-week road trip across 18 states, with 15 road warriors joining us for the 2,400 mile ride.

The results? One grizzly, adventure-filled, beast-of-a-trip, with 2 (minor) accidents and the most diverse crew of co-pilots you can imagine. Today we explored the our hometown of New York City, tomorrow we take on the U.S.

grand central nyc whispering wall

Day 1: New York City. Roza, from New Orleans- byway of Iran- joined us for our tour of NYC. She discovered the “Whispering Wall” in Grand Central and had the best conversation ever. #SecretsofNYC

downtown nyc battery park city

One of the best off-the-radar spots in NYC: the Winter Garden in Battery Park City. We followed it up a private tour of the Skyscraper Museum with a friend and awesome guide, Jorge.

nyc roosevelt island free tram

The best part about playing tour guide in our own city? Discovering the little things we hadn’t done before: taking in the city views from the Roosevelt Island Tram, $5.

nyc 9/11 memorial

We paid our respects at the 9/11 Memorial. #powerful.

chinatown nyc bubble tea

We capped off the night by showing the crew around Chinatown. Jorge and Calvin insisted on introducing Roza to bubble tea. She was a fan. #success.