Before I left Singapore for the states, I told myself that an exchange programme is to learn about other people and cultures and to try out different things. Step out of my comfort zone, etc. etc. I say it flippantly, but I mean it. No matter how cliched it is, or how much it sounds like a children’s fable, it’s one of those things I feel the need to constantly remind myself of.
It’s difficult to have a checklist to view my entire experience against, and most of the time the best things we bring home from being away rest in the middle of big moments. It’s about that long 8-hour bus ride, witnessing an interesting conversation while waiting for the subway, laughing about nothing in a line to see the liberty bell, playing word category games while waiting for the rain to subside in Disneyland…
But there are some things I have done (and wish to have done) to be crossed on my imaginary list.
- I have traveled (and am still traveling) to different cities in the USA. These include Orlando, the world of manufactured magic, Philly, the city of history, and Atlantic City, quite rightly the world’s favourite playground. More coming up: New York City, of course. I’ve already been, but I’m particularly looking forward to touring it alone while my friends go do the other touristy stuff. I want to go to the Alice in Wonderland garden in Central Park, browse the books at Strand Bookstore, witness the history of television at the Paley Centre, and others. There are also fan-related things like the exterior shot of Castle’s loft in Castle and that amazing mural of Doctor Who in Brooklyn I am dying to check out. Other than the city that never sleeps, I would love to go to Cape Cod and go whale-watching.
- Went to a casino and played slots and blackjack. Winning is truly an exhilarating experience, but only when you have nothing to lose.
- Tried taekwondo. You get to kick at things. What’s not to like?
- Tie-dyed shirts. Accidentally dyed my fingers in the process.
- Walked around cities and museums and lakes and stuff.
- Made new friends, but not nearly enough.
- Am going to try zumba tonight. Yes.
I hope I’ll have a longer list at the end of this year.
At the end of the day, I believe in traveling, seeing the world, loving different things and places, crossing all sorts of lines, so that you can go home a better person with a bigger heart.