The beginning of all Travels. The Holy Grail. USA.
In my childhood between the age 4-7 years, I had heard so much about America. My uncle stayed in Miami and my parents would visit very often, but my elder brother and me had never been. To me my whole world meant America, because of Disneyworld and New York City. 25 years ago taking a trip to that part of the world was a big thing and not many people would go.
Since I was 5 years old, I would keep asking my father the question, “when are you taking me ?” I literally would chew his brains every week.
And finally my father decided to take us in the Summer of 1995, when my brother completed his 10th standard board exams (equivalent to O levels). USA was also the first International destination that my father wanted to take us, because he believes Disney is a Pilgrimage for every child and also that was the first place abroad, he had been to do his Fellowship in Mount Sanai Hospital, NYC, only difference at the age of 30 and me at the age of 9.
Tickets done, visa got (I still remember going on sitting at the US Consulate, in Breach Candy, Mumbai for almost 4 hours). It got me thinking, is it so difficult to go America. First lesson to go abroad, you need to have patience and a lot of it. Even more so when you take that 16 hour long flight via some place. So almost 24 hours of travel. We took Air India from Bombay (Mumbai as known today) to New York via London. But I was pretty comfortable with 24 hours of travel, my brother, mother, father and cousin sister’s company for a chatterbox like me worked as well as cartoons on the flight. An airline with a TV, I was so happy.
Finally we landed to New York. It was about 7pm in the evening, IST . I was very tired but wanted to go out and see this huge place I had heard so much about.
My memories of NYC:
I went up the Empire State Building, it was the first time I was seeing such a tall building, and watching the view of this city along with the Brooklyn Bridge. This made me feel “I’m on top of the world”.
I even went inside the World Trade Centre, was one of the lucky few. There were tours in those days that took you inside. Writing this brings a tear to my eye.
In all my 9.5 years, I never ever thought that streets could be fully lit, shops open, so many people and so much noice at midnight, that’s what I experienced when I saw Times Square. I was taken a back by the night life of this city. In all this glitz and crowd I found a Hersheys store open in these wee hours, it absolutely gave me a high, going and buy so much candy at that time, a complete Sugar High. And those Kisses chocolate mascots, first time in my life I had seen characters like that.
The boat ride along Hudson River to Statue of Liberty was something I was literally counting time, to reach the Lady. The island is beautiful. So many people and the lady look Magnificent. I had never come up close to such a large statue. Walking inside in the dark right to the top of the torch was little scary as it was very dark. And I would keep screaming to hear my echo. But when I reached the top, i felt liberated in the open air and the world below me.
My last day in NYC I visited Macy’s, the largest store in the world. Looking at such a huge collection of dresses, I was so confused what to buy myself. I wanted everything. I came out with a lot of clothes.
Another store that made me so happy was Toys R Us. Three floors of toys, games, cars, dolls, cartoon merchandise, chocolates, I just didn’t know where to begin. Finally I came out of the store with 4 bags of shopping.
The magic of Disneyworld:
New York was one big city experience. After that we flew to Miami, Florida and took a bus ride to Orlando. We had all of a week to spend in this magical place. The first place in Disney I saw was magic kingdom, I just couldn’t believe what my eyes were seeing. Mickey, Donald. Daffy, Goofy. The Disney parade was outstanding, the lights, music and dance. The rides in magic kingdom were not the scary rollercoaster but more experiental, and enjoyment. The thunder mountain ride, with the dip in the water, got me all drenched, but what was very fascinating was those dryers.
MGM Hollywood was interesting to learn about, how movies are made and how cartoons come to life. The Beauty & the Beast show, was one that has been edged in my memory forever.
Epcot center is definitely an interesting place with a lot of learning. I really found the show called “Making of Me” very amusing, and the cracker show very grand. I love fire crackers , and for Diwali go and watch the crackers on Marine Drive, but what I saw here, was out of the world.
2 things in Disney changed my life forever :
A. The ride called “Its a small world” : where the make you sit on a boat, and dolls are shown to you in setting and clothing of different countries in the world.
B. The world showcase at Epcot Center: where this area is divided into different countries from the world, and you see buildings, eat food from there, people walking in the local dress of that country.
Seeing these 2 things at Disney made me realise there’s a whole world out there to explore, and I want to see and experience it.
My trip continued, we visited Miami, Vegas, Niagra and on our return home saw London. But my experience in Disney changed my life and made me want to explore the world forever.
After that trip I’ve gone back to USA 5 times, and Godwilling will keep going for holidaying.
Here are some pictures of my recent trips.
July 4, 2017 @ 2:44 pm
Photographic memory. I remember shit from when I was 9 except that rashna used to torture me for my bic pencils.
August 1, 2017 @ 6:55 pm
July 5, 2017 @ 11:16 am
This is so lovely to read. I’m loving catching up with your travels on Instagram too. I’d love to visit America and funnily enough, my dad always told me he’d take me too! Still waiting though!
August 1, 2017 @ 6:56 pm
thanks so much… USA is a must and whenever u do it… will be worth the wait 🙂
July 5, 2017 @ 2:34 pm
yet awaiting for the chance to fly outside India 🙁
July 5, 2017 @ 2:57 pm
It’s nice to reminisce on travels past. I didn’t get to Disney Land until I was 27, still loved it though. Aladdin wasn’t so keen when I asked where Jasmine was as I wanted to ask her on a date, still, a guys got to try!
July 5, 2017 @ 3:46 pm
I have never been to Disney World and I have no idea what is it like in there.
July 5, 2017 @ 4:50 pm
You have seen more of the USA than I have and I live next door! I have been to Disney though as a child and have fond memories too!
July 5, 2017 @ 4:54 pm
No Disneyland for me because its impossible and expensive to get there when i was small. lol
Mercy (Zen Maud)
July 5, 2017 @ 6:54 pm
You have such heartwarming memories of your trip to the US. I first visited when I was 23, by then the world trade centre no longer existed and was now called ground zero. I loved New York but I spent most of my time in Pennsylvania in one of the most beautiful countrysides I’ve ever lived in. I never made it to disney’s but I spent a lot of time in Hershey’s Park.
July 5, 2017 @ 9:35 pm
I’ve only been to NYC (twice) and my experience was quite similar like yours!! I wish I’d been to Disneyland! Sounds fun!
July 6, 2017 @ 12:48 am
Happy you got to see the U.S. There’s so many great places there to see. I love NYC and California is my favorite as well. Happy travels.
July 6, 2017 @ 2:43 am
I recall similar memories from my childhood. I love Disney and NYC. I hope you are able to make even more beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing!
July 6, 2017 @ 3:49 am
That’s an interesting post from the view of a child. I am just wondering how Nandu would react when he sees popular monuments. Maybe its worth a trip to see his reaction at larger than life monuments and places like Disneyland 🙂
July 6, 2017 @ 5:21 am
Wow Karishma, pleasant experience sharing this is, and you really had a good time. Worth a wait, I believe :). My US trips have been official only with a strict schedule and costing. Tried sneaking out a couple of times but stayed caught up. Would love to go on a holiday to US and I have separate bucket list for it 🙂
July 6, 2017 @ 7:29 am
I remember my visit to the states. It really does stay with you forever. Thanks for sharing
July 6, 2017 @ 7:46 am
The U.S is my favorite country, NYC is from another planet I love it so much. Disneyworld is just the beeeest, I really want to go back !
July 7, 2017 @ 3:21 am
Love the pictures, thanks so much for sharing!
I’ve been to the U.S.A twice. Once to NYC and once to Disney.
Enjoyed both places, however I’d love to go back to NYC for a second time and experience more of it.
July 7, 2017 @ 4:03 am
You have these amazing adventure I, myself, dream of. I envy you for this but also an inspiration for me. I have never into these places and would love to go for a visit to Disneyland and New York’s restaurants. I’ve read an article that there are a lot of restaurants in New York and that sounds really exciting about it. Hope to visit it someday.
Anyways, great share you have here and thanks.
July 7, 2017 @ 5:01 am
Loved the blog. I so so want to visit Disneyland some day … A great blog for people who are planning a trip to NYC
July 7, 2017 @ 6:07 am
Can’t wait to travel to America too! It is one of my dreams, and oh, i’m also a disney fan, went to Hongkong last year for it and hopefully, will be going here soon! Thanks
July 8, 2017 @ 5:30 am
I love the east coast! I’ve been to NYC, Boston and Washington but not in Miami. Will definitely go to Miami soon! 😉
July 28, 2017 @ 7:46 pm
Living in America, I love to get the perspective of people who are visiting. I’m so happy you enjoyed it. When I think of New York, unfortunately I think mainly about traffic. I love it here, but I think you actually experience it more as a visitor than I do.
I gotta get out more.
July 29, 2017 @ 2:33 pm
What a great story! I live in the center of the U.S. in Missouri. I love Disney, and we try to go every other year. I have to save up! I went to NYC for the second time last year. It’s a great city, but I felt so cramped there. This year we went to Pennsylvania, Virginia Beach, and the Smoky Mountains. I love to explore!
July 29, 2017 @ 3:15 pm
Lovely memory your childhood travels, I’ve still not been to the states it’s somehow managed to get missed off my travel radar. Maybe one day, if you could only visit one place would it still be Disney?
July 29, 2017 @ 3:28 pm
Your memory is quiet photographic.. I cold imagine the scenes as you detail them in this post. Indeed NY is a “Disney” dream! I’ve never been to New York, its in fact on my bucket-list and hopefully someday I’ll get a glance of it!
JM Kayne | #InMyHeart♥
July 29, 2017 @ 4:51 pm
The it’s a small world song will forever be in my head. I went to Paris not Florida but still the same ride. Loved this post <3
July 30, 2017 @ 1:34 pm
You look happy as can be
Kayhdj De Jesus
July 31, 2017 @ 12:52 am
It seems and it does shown to your pictures that you had a great time during your travel
August 20, 2017 @ 3:11 pm
Travelling, for me, is same as reading books. Travel gives me time to think, ideate, observe and learn new things – culture, food, history. It also gives a lot of time to introspect and understand on how certain things are done around the world. You sort of get a benchmark on life. Inspiration to live better, or perhaps, happy to be living a better life and giving back to those in need.
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