Visiting New York has been always a dream, and it came true this September after I participated in the Global Leadership Lab (GLL) in Washington D.C. with Atlas Corps.

New York was the city I always wanted to live in when I was very young. A lot of it came from watching Hollywood and Disney movies.

Years passed and as I was growing older, my dreams have shifted to be more realistic and achievable. Although I haven’t forgotten about it as I was growing up, I got locked figuring out other important stuff of my life, from studying to work related matters.

Coming from a background where everyone is only traveling to Africa or the gulf only to work and save money to settle down with their families, I didn’t conform to that type of lifestyle. I always wanted to travel and see the world; learn and explore what lies on the other side.

In 2017 and after many years, I finally made it to New York. The weather during the time I arrived was so hot. What made my New York tour rich was being guided by one of the fellows who lives there and being joined with other groups of friends too!

My first night was at the glamourous Times Square. A lot of people told me that it will be overwhelming, but honestly, I didn’t feel that at all! It was just the right amount for me. I also wished it was bigger! I enjoyed the lights striking from everywhere and the people touring its streets. I also sat there watching the shows that were aired on the screens that topped its buildings. Luckily I had the chance to visit it more than once! Actually I went there around 4 times during my whole vacation.

One of the places that exceeded my expectations was the Metropolitan Museum of Art, aka MET. I even went there twice! On the first day I arrived 1 hour before it closed and I felt that there were a lot of things that I need to see. The second day I spent at least 4 hours to cover all its sections. It was like a time and place machine museum where I saw a lot of valuable stuff as old as civilization and as far as humanity exists. One thing to know about this museum is that you can pay as much as you want for entrance, even if they recommended $25 and you gave them only $1!

Another interesting museum was the Museum of Modern Art MoMA. I went there on my first night in the city. It was a Friday where entry was free after 4 pm. I also so a lot of masterpieces for Monet, Picasso and Van Gough too!

Of course, visiting the big apple doesn’t feel full without going to Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty. It is one of the best icons of the city and the one that welcomed refugees when they were moving to the United States. I have also visited Ellis Island where refugees and immigrants were vetted before enrolling them in the country. There I saw a documentary that was presented on immigration and human displacement over the history. That was quite fascinating.

In NYC, I made sure to pass by every place. I entered the New York library and the oculus, I walked the famous Brooklyn Bridge half through, and walked by United Nations’ building, the One World Trade Center, the Empire State, Rockefeller Center. Maybe if I go another time, I’ll try to go inside one of these buildings. And you know what. I didn’t mind that because sometimes the best places are enjoyed from a distance, like this photo of me in New Jersey’s Ellis Island that overlooked the best skyline View of NYC.

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