My arrival in the USA

  • View of the United States
  • Chester - NJ
  • Candy Shoppe
  • New York
  • Airport JFK - New York
  • Hotel in Florida
  • Florida sunset
  • Airport
  • Ride Along - Filmación en Fort Lourdale
  • Playas de Fort Lourdale

I’m Here!

To be honest, I never thought of going to the United States, I had other countries as a priority, but I met someone very special with whom I changed my plans and as the idea is to travel all over the world, I decided to start in the United States.

Leaving the country was difficult and even more so if it is for the first time, because of family, friends and all the customs I had. However, all these “customs” to which one clings to are the ones that often prevent us from moving forward.

We live in a bubble where we have everything: We have a stable job, our lifelong friends, we know how the transport system works in our city, in conclusion: We have nothing to worry about. But are we happy? Everyone has an answer to this and I think that travelling and doing something different for my life was what pushed me to get out of that bubble I was in and start looking for something for myself, something different.

My First City Abroad: Pocketbook conditioning

Fort Lauderdale – Florida

These were the first American lands that I saw and one is impressed seeing from the air the roads that a country like this has. I was already beginning to see and feel the big changes I was about to encounter. The plane arrived on time and the flight (which took about 3 hours from Medellin to Fort Lauderdale) was uneventful. Our next flight from Fort Lauderdale to New Jersey – Newark was at 6:40 pm, so we planned to meet a friend of mine there during the layover. But once at the airport, things started to get complicated. Due to the recent rains, our flight was going to be cancelled, so our final destination started to look a little later.

Once we had queued for almost an hour, we were offered two options: the first was to be waitlisted for the same day at 9:00 pm or to book tickets for the next day at 8:00 am. We made the mistake of selecting the waiting list the same day and coming back at 6:00 pm to find out if there were tickets available for us.

We then decided to “enjoy” (for 5 hours and with 4 of our 6 suitcases) Fort Lauderdale. We shared a taxi with a man from Boston who paid USD 40 when we arrived at the beach, the meter was only USD 17 and the man told the taxi driver to take us to see the city, that was a nice welcome to this country. Then we saw some cars on the street that caught our attention and we decided to stop there. They were filming a movie haha! “Ride Along 2” so we decided to stop at the beach with our 4 suitcases and left the taxi driver almost USD 15 which after all we hadn’t even paid ourselves.

Playas de Fort Lourdale

Ride Along - Filmación en Fort Lourdale

We decided to walk around and watch a bit of the film montage and at around 6:00 pm we headed to the airport to wait for our possible 9:00 pm flight to have room for the two of us. We took a taxi which covered a distance of no more than 7 km (4.35 miles) and I started to feel a pain in my pocket when we had to pay the moderate sum of USD 23.70 and that’s not all, you have to tip the taxi drivers here. But well, after that strong currency conditioning that I had to do to my brain, we arrived at the airport.


Again we had to queue for almost an hour just to ask if we were still on the waiting list for that flight and the answer was negative.

We wanted to cry, we were awake almost since 2 am that day, we were very tired and it was almost 8:00 pm. It was strange for me to look at the sky and see that at 8:00 pm the day was still sunny (it was my first time out of Colombia) so I asked my respective question, to which I was told that around 9:00 pm it would get completely dark. What a long day for me, apart from being awake since so early in the morning I have been in the sun for almost 15 hours, this has been the longest day of my life – literally – and it wasn’t even over yet.

Atardecer en Florida

The airline first told us that we could not fly at 9:00 pm so we suggested the next day to which the response was: “We only have availability for 2 days from now and JetBlue airline does not assume any cost for hotels because they are weather issues”. WTF! We were angry because apart from all this we were going to have to pay for a hotel for 2 nights, we decided to insist not to staying on that flight but the next day and the lady, a very nice lady, by the way, took all the time necessary to help us and gave us flights for the next day.

It is worth noting the patience with which everyone waited in line, it was a line of almost 50 people and no one was shouting, many of them with the same anger that we had of being affected by the cancellation of a flight.

We looked for a cheap place to spend the night and found a hotel with a shuttle service (they pick you up at the airport and take you to the hotel for free) and had to wait almost 40 minutes. When we arrived at the hotel I realised that it was the typical hotel that appears in the movies where people are kidnapped, or where the police come in to look for a murderer, the girl who receives the money for the bill has something strange, the room you have already seen on TV and you imagine that something from the movies is going to happen to you, haha! It was a bit funny.

Hotel en Florida

The next day we only had time to visit a nature park close to the hotel and then we flew to JFK airport in New York City.

We finally arrived in New York at JFK airport after our delay in Fort Lauderdale and I was initially impressed with this huge airport but at the same time, it was easy to walk out of it.

Aeropuerto JFK - New York

New York

At the exit of the airport, Sharon was already waiting for us and took us on a two-hour drive to Chester-NJ through the whole city of New York and starting to size up the area that will host me for the next 6 months, the buildings, the bridges, the streets, it’s something very different.

Chester - NJ

This is a “Village” that welcomed me in the state of New Jersey, it is a very cosy village because it still preserves a lot of architecture from the old times and it gives a very artistic touch to the neighbourhood, each one of the shops that are on the streets has something characteristic and unique which makes them look very nice, even more for me that I am starting to feel the cultural change.

Candy Shoppe

Something that still struck me and that seemed excellent (although I had already felt it in Fort Lauderdale) was that it was 7:55 pm and the sun was still shining as if it were 4:00 pm, it is a very good thing because you have a lot of time to enjoy the daylight and in the equatorial line that divides Colombia we do not have this fortune, although the fortune only lasts for almost 3 months because after that it is the opposite, it gets dark at about 5:00 pm.

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