World tour second continent: arrival in USA

After visiting Luxembourg and Portugal, the next step of the world tour is outside of Europe, in United States.

Arrival in New York City

After visiting Luxembourg and Portugal, the next step of the  World Tour   is outside of Europe, in United States.

For that trip, I was first thinking about visiting only the warm places, South of the country.

However, one of the website partners, Ezoic, which offers great advertisement monetization, organized an event to which they invited me, called Pubtelligence, and which brings together online publishers at Google offices in New York, event to which I registered.

Increase ad revenue 50-250% with Ezoic. A Google Certified Publishing Partner.
Pubtelligence | A Google Certified Publishing Partner Event - Ezoic
New York - Google Careers
6 Things To Know About Google's Stunning Chelsea Office Space

Cheapest accomodation in New York City

New York: Find local activities

Having a look online to book something, it hasn't been easy to decide on a place to stay in  New York City   - all is either very expensive, looks terrible, or is far away from the center.

On top of that, I quickly noticed that there was a big event on the weekend, and that a lot of hotels were sold out for that event: the Saint Patrick's day parade was about to be held that same weekend I would be in New York!

The Parade – The NYC St. Patricks Day Parade

Cheapest hostel in New York City

I finally decided to give up a bit of comfort and stay in a cabin hotel, right in the center of the city, near Pennsylvania station with direct train connection to my airport in Newark, for about 70$ a night, taxes included. It would also be at walking distance of my meetings in the city, which is great, and walking distance to  walking tour   departures and other activities as well, being right in the center of Manhattan.

Chelsea Cabins Hotel, New York from $78 at official website
Book cheapest room in Manhattan

Cheap flight to New York

The flight with TAP Portugal airlines was pretty good for a 200$ one way flight to New York from Luxembourg via Lisbon, especially as they had a very large and comfortable business lounge to visit in Lisbon's airport.

The flight was about 8 hours long, and I didn't sleep at all. Departure from Lisbon was at 2pm, for a landing in Newark airport at 5pm.

Arriving close to New York, and sitting on the ride side of the plane, the first surprise: all lakes were frozen in Canada, and the ground was largely covered in snow. Will it be that cold in New York?

First time in USA

Second disappointment, arriving closer to New York, is that we arrived from the East, the airport is on the West of the city... and the plane went around  New York City   by the North, which at the end prevented me from seeing any of the city from the plane, despite a very beautiful day and clear sky, because I was sitting on the wrong side of the plane...

Anyway, we quickly arrived in Newark airport in New Jersey, and, first surprise, which I really didn't expect, is that the immigration process was extremely fast, and I got no problem at all.

Some friends with similar passports and background as I do, had lot of issues: working in one country, residing in another one, having another nationality, and being on business for clients in another country... that is usually a call for troubles.

However, it all went very smooth and pretty fast, the only question from the immigration officer, looking at my passport full of stamps from Colombia and Ukraine, being have you been visiting these countries for business or for leisure?. Well, I answered for leisure only, and there was no problem.

Train from Newark airport to New York City

Then, I got to find out how to get a ticket to take the train to  New York City   center and Manhattan station called Penn station, and it was also pretty easy.

I directly bought a return ticket, which costs 26$ both ways, a pretty acceptable price actually.

It was first necessary to take an aerial tramway to go from the terminal C to the train station, and all was pretty easy.

From there, we had to find the right train and the track, and the train agent on the dock was very helpful to help us all getting on the right one.

Getting in the train, I understood that: it is a commuting train, the exact same one as the train in the movie The Passenger with Liam Neeson that I have seen earlier that year, and that was a pretty good one actually. The full experience has been like in the movie, with the controller punching the ticket just like in the movie.

The first movie like experience in USA!

The Commuter (film) - Wikipedia
The Commuter (2018) - IMDb
The Commuter (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Arriving in Manhattan

Arriving in Penn station, right in the center of Manhattan, was a bit painful, as the station actually is huge, and has a lot of passages, with many people running in all directions. The biggest surprise? The famous Madison Square Garden, probably the most famous arena in the world, is right on top of the train station!

I exited the station, and walked in what I thought was the direction of my hostel, on 8th avenue.

After a few blocks, I wondered if I was actually going in the right direction... my SIM cards didn't work, I didn't have any mobile network connection, but was clever enough to having downloaded the maps for offline viewing before leaving.

And... that is right, I did take a wrong turn.

I went back to Penn station, turned on the right street, and that time had no idea finding the hostel, a few blocks away.

Entering the cheapest hostel in NYC

The check in process was pretty smooth, and the receptionist, a nice lady, escorted me to my cabin a floor up. Well... it was pretty much as advertised, very small, but clean enough.

Tired after a full day of travel, it was 7pm, I decided anyway to go to visit a bit the city.

Being on 8th avenue, all I had to do was to follow the avenue to get to the famous Broadway area, which is actually the name of a street, and to reach the very famous Times Square!

On the way, I noticed something I was kind of expecting, looking on the streets: the steam getting out of the sewage on the side of the roads, just like in the movie. Great to see in real!

First time in Times Square

Even though it was a bit late, somewhere between 8 and 9pm, the square was full of people, and it was a bit difficult to get a nice spot on the red stairs to get a nice picture.

The feeling was amazing, with all these displays all around, the people in costume from movies offering to take a picture with them, and all that... very strange feeling to arrive in a place that we have already seen many times on TV, but don't know yet.

Being mid March, weather was chilly, and after a few hours walking around, I decided to come back to hostel, and find a nice restaurant close-by. I settled for an Irish pub, Tír na Nóg, right next to Penn station, and had my first American culinary experience... of course, a burger!

Tir na nÓg Irish Pub & Grill | Times Square | Penn Station | New York

Frequently Asked Questions

Upon arriving in the USA for a world tour, what initial steps and cultural adjustments should travelers anticipate?
Initial steps include navigating through immigration and customs. Cultural adjustments may involve understanding local customs, currency usage, and transportation systems. It's also beneficial to be aware of the diverse cultural settings across different states.

Michel Pinson
About the author - Michel Pinson
Michel Pinson is a Travel enthusiast and Content Creator. Merging passion for education and exploration, he iscommitted to sharing knowledge and inspiring others through captivating educational content. Bringing the world closer together by empowering individuals with global expertise and a sense of wanderlust.

Comments (1)

 2020-08-13 -  Tina
Great blog that have meaningful and insightful comments are more enjoyable, at least to me. Thanks for sharing such great information. It is really helpful to me. Keep sharing!

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