Thursday, February 19, 2015

Niagara Falls& Statue of Liberty Adventures


Being in the U.S. as a Fulbright student is like a dream come true; as I always wanted to travel abroad to experience a different life, set of beliefs, norms, and behavior. It is tremendously incredible living your dream. Sometimes, I do not believe myself that this is happening to me at the moment. Ultimately, I am speechless to describe my life experience in the U.S. so far. I am enjoying every moment of my time in the U.S. besides my studies.

The most adventurous trip that I have had so far was to Niagara Falls. We were two Fulbright students and six classmates, and we decided to make this visit happen. It was such a long drive--almost half a day from New Jersey. However, it turned out to be worth it after all. 

It was such a lovely adventure. I had so much fun watching the falls that border the U.S. and Canada. Both the U.S. and Canada have a boat trip on their respective sides to see the falls from a closer distance. After that, I rode the chopper (helicopter) to see the falls from above, and I took some photos as well. It was an extremely spectacular trip.

The view from above.

Another place I visited was the Statue of Liberty. It was a legendary day for me to see one of the most important symbols that represents the United States. I used to see the statue in Hollywood movies, and I was always wondering if I could make it one day to see it in reality. I booked the ticket to see it from the very top (from the Statue’s crown). Due to the high demand of admission tickets, I had to book one three months in advance.

To get to the statue, I rode a boat from Manhattan to the island. It took about 15 minutes to get there. There was an elevator that took us to the fifth floor, and then I had to climb 180 steps to the crown. If you have claustrophobia don’t go for it. The steps were very rounded, scary, dark, and compact. I had to take a rest halfway and take a deep breath. If I had decided to go back, I would not have been able to because there were a so many people behind me, and there was no space to pass by them. After it all, I reached the top. I felt that I did something courageous that I will always remember. I admire visiting places that represent a country’s history. I like adventure and taking risks along the way. 

Salim Al Mashani is an Omani Fulbrighter pursuing an MA in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (TESL/TEFL) at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

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