As my journey as an exchange student from Hong Kong began I travelled around the US for a couple of weeks before reaching Philadelphia. My first destination in the United States was the vibrant city of Los Angeles. The transition from the bustling streets of Hong Kong to the car-centric lifestyle of Los Angeles was a significant culture shock for me. Growing up in Hong Kong, everything was fast-paced, noisy and conveniently close by. The constant hustle and bustle, along with the efficient public transportation system, made it easy to navigate the city. However, arriving in Los Angeles revealed an entirely different way of life. The sprawling cityscape, reliance on cars for transportation and the apparent lack of presence on the streets were astonishing. It served as a reminder that every city has its own unique pace and rhythm.
During my time in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to explore the mesmerizing beaches of Malibu. Known for their natural beauty and celebrity sightings, Malibu’s beaches provided a welcome escape from the urban jungle. Each beach had its own charm, but El Matador Beach quickly became my favourite. As I kept going down the staircase leading to the beach the views and vibes kept getting better and better as you could hear the waves crashing a lot more clearer and sights of the towering cliffs. It was the perfect place to unwind and chill in the sun.
To make the most of my visit to Malibu, I was fortunate to have family friends who hosted me and showed me around. They took me on a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, where I witnessed the breathtaking coastal views that Malibu is famous for. It was an unforgettable bonding experience and a major landscape and environment difference compared to Hong Kong.
The next stop of my trip was New York City. The Big Apple has always held a special place in my heart. As a child, I dreamed of visiting the famous buildings that adorned the city’s skyline, such as the Empire State Building, Chrysler and the World Trade Center. Finally, the moment came when I set foot in the city that never sleeps. The vibrant energy, the towering skyscrapers, and the bustling streets instantly made me feel like a part of something extraordinary.
Being a huge fan of Spiderman, walking through the avenues of New York City was a surreal experience. With each step, I couldn’t help but imagine the friendly neighbourhood superhero swinging between buildings. The city’s architecture and the rhythm of its streets created a backdrop that felt straight out of a comic book. It was a thrilling feeling to be in a place that had inspired so many iconic superhero stories. While New York City and Hong Kong share the commonality of towering skyscrapers, NYC has its own distinct charm and theme. The city’s vibrant mix of cultures, diverse neighbourhoods, and renowned attractions make it a truly unique destination. The hustle and bustle, the street performers, and the constant buzz of activity gave the city an unmatched energy. Each corner seemed to hold a new surprise, whether it was a hidden park or a trendy street art mural.
No visit to New York City would be complete without trying its famed bagel. One of my favourite experiences was enjoying a bagel with three different types of cream cheese. The combination of flavours, textures, and the unmistakable New York twist made it a truly mouthwatering treat. It was a small indulgence that added to the uniqueness of my New York experience.