14 February 2013

I want to share my adventures

I love creating adventures in my life. For instance, I am currently traveling around America and have been for 10 months now. While life is pretty settled at the moment as I have a permanent apartment to live in and even a job (yes, a job! Never expected that) so the 'adventure' is a bit hard to see from the outside, but being in a different country outside your own is an adventure everyday really!

And I know the 'norm' in life, as a 24 year old, is meant to be something along the lines of 'follow a career, save money, start saving for a house' but there has always been a glaring problem with that in my view; that's booooooring! Why do I want to spend my young, somewhat 'prime' years of my life working away at most likely a job I am not too thrilled about and would much rather be spending my time with friends or pursuing my hobbies. So I am starting to wonder, perhaps I can continue to have 'adventures' indefinitely? Or, for at least another few years?

With only three weeks remaining until I return home to Australia, I guess I am already in the process of planning for my next adventure. A small idea is to go teach English in Taiwan for 6 months, as I have made two incredible Taiwanese friends whilst on this current trip whom live there so that is a bonus, plus I have heard great things about it from people who have done it before.

But... there is a problem, which brings my to the reason I am writing this post. Adventures can only be a certain amount of fun when they are experienced on your own, in my experience anyway. Sure I have had some absolutely incredible times on this current American backpacking trip... but I can definitely vouch that solo travel can indeed be insanely lonely, even when you do manage to make new friends. The prospect of traveling to yet another country soon (for example if I follow through with the teaching in Taiwan idea as mentioned above) for let's say 6 months at the minimum, doesn't sound as enticing as it should be.

And with that in mind, my mind starts to daydream (as it frequently does) and I long for the day (if ever?) that I may be so lucky to acquire a travel buddy of sorts, someone who shares my exact interest in living these 'adventures' if you will. Be it a girlfriend, or even just a good platonic friend (male or female), the idea to share these adventures with someone, and to be able to bask in the excitement of anothers, is one of my greatest wishes and dreams in life. Perhaps I will be so lucky one day?

Or perhaps not.

"Happiness is only real when shared"

Which then leads me to the conflict of whether I should continue these adventures at all, and perhaps should instead be thankful for a simpler life and settle down in my home of Australia, near family and friends, people whom I dearly, dearly miss and would love to have close by at all times. I tell you one thing, not until you have experienced what it is like to be truly on your own can you truly appreciate your family and friends.

I guess the best thing for me to do is to come home from this current trip and go from there... although wow, I can't tell you how scary that is. To be away from your home for nearly a year, to suddenly return and expect to be able to pick up where you left off? Makes me quite nervous indeed.

10 February 2013

New York City - 'Legend'ary times at the Nintendo World store!

This year is also the 25th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda video game series, which is easily and by far one of my favourite video games of all time! Which suits me perfect for it is no surprise to those who know me, and it is something I gladly admit, but I am a massive nerd. It's awesome fun.

Of. All. Time. People!

To celebrate the milestone they've recently translated from Japanese to English for the very first time a memorabilia book entitled The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia, that chronicles in epic detail the Legend of Zelda video game series from its very beginnings to its most recent master pieces... awesome! The book includes interviews, concept art, back stories, illustrations... yep, it's damn cool, and to make it even cooler the Nintendo World store in New York City hosted a special event to mark it's release day!  Sweet! Not to mention that during said occasion there was also the chance to obtain a Limited Edition copy of the book in which only 4000 were made for the entire of the United States, making it a rather rare item indeed!

So guess where I spent my Friday night? Standing in the massive line in the hope they have enough copies available of course!

The event started at 6pm, so I left work early at 5pm in the fear the line would be large if I got there too late. Of course this just happens to be the day someone got sick on the subway and an ambulance had to be called, thus delaying the train by 15 minutes. Sigh, all good, I'll still make it with plenty of time.

A little while later I stepped off at the 50th street subway station, to be greeted by snow. Hmm. As I wandered the streets trying to find the store I saw an electronic sign showing that it was currently -8 degrees celcius. Snow and freezing temperatures? Sounds fun! But hey I didn't care, obtaining the book was totally worth it.

Alas soon after I made it to the Nintendo World store.

The Nintendo World store in NYC
Wow this is sweet, I thought the place would be super busy! There is no one out the front! I am going to get a limited edition copy for sure if it is this quiet.

I walked into the store and there was only 30 people at the most inside. Ha, and here I was stressing that I was running late and would have to endure a huge line, or even worse, that the limited copies they have would sell out early. As mentioned before they had only printed 4000 copies for the United States, which of course had to be spread out across the entire country, but also keep in mind that this book was only being released in the United States, and not in any other country, thus essentially making it 4000 copies to be shared amongst the entire world!

So yes, I was a little on edge about missing out, but with such a low turn out for the event it appeared I would get a copy of the book with no problems, I was one of the only ones in the store! Which did seem a little strange I thought at the time.

Found this in the store, which I thought was pretty funny.
Although what I read here was even funnier (and worrisome) "Product not intended for children"? Seriously!?
It was 5.55pm at this time (the event started at 6pm) so I just kind of hung out in the main floor. Suddenly there was an announcement.

"Attention customers. If you are intending to attend the Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia book release event, please note that the line to do so begins outside"

Oh, what? I didn't see any line outside?

I walked outside...

Ohhhhhh man...
I did not see this line from the direction I came from when I first entered the store... turns out the line was simply around the corner... ha! It took about a minute to reach the back of the line, after which I couldn't even see the store anymore!

As mentioned it was currently -8 degrees celcius, and snowing. Snowing! It hadn't snowed for 2 weeks. Oh well, better buckle myself in, it looks like this is going to take a while. I knew being one of the only ones in the store was too good to be true.

I was getting ready to put my headphones in to listen to music in the hope to pass the time better when a guy lined up behind me, which felt good because now I was no longer the very last person in the line. About 10 seconds later he said hello.

Turns out he was super awesome and we got along real well so that was a bonus. About 5 minutes later two other guys lined up behind him, and it wasn't long before they joined our conversation and the four of us were talking the time away, win!

Three fellow Legend of Zelda fans passing the time away
The line moved at an absolute glacial speed, with 'glacial' being an appropriate word for both the speed at which the line was moving, and for an accurate description on how the weather was like too. It was ridiculously cold! Snow was gathering on my head and shoulders like rooftops, and my feet I could no longer feel... it was nuts, so you can imagine my eternal gratitude that I was lucky enough to meet these three guys to talk the time away because we had to endure all this for literally 2 hours before we reached the store... ha!

After 2 hours in line I was happy to be outside the door at last
But we had an awesome time regardless, and when we finally did make it into the store... well, it was all that much more memorable.

Soon the counter was in sight... and not long after that I was at the counter!

"Hi there, are you after the standard edition or the limited edition?" I was asked by the register guy.

"Limited edition of course!"

And then, that was that! Alas it was finally in my hands, one of the now most coolest and important possessions out of anything that I own!

Phew... intense!

Before heading home my newly gained friends and I decided to stop by a bar for a meal and beer... legendary! Attending a Nintendo World store event, meeting some cool new people, obtaining an awesome new possession, and then to round the night off with fries, a burger and some beer!?


Although that meant it wasn't until I got home that I could get a proper look at what the night had been about. Behold!

Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia Limited Edition. I'm not taking it out of the wrapper to be honest...
Now that was a memory to keep, and even better that it all happened in New York City too. Can't wait to bring it home and place it on my shelf!

I think my roommates approved of the purchase

04 February 2013

New York City - A month told through pictures

So with the latest big news being that I somehow managed to get a fulltime job here in New York City, and instead of returning back to Australia like I had planned to I am now staying in America for a few months more, it appears that there is still quite a lot more to blog about. It has been about a month since I took the job actually, which is perfect in the sense that it gives me a lot more time to explore the city.

Although with work taking up all my free time now I am terribly behind in my blogging. My solution? A month's worth of blogs bundled up into one single blog, told through pictures!

It is blogging for the lazy man really.


A lot of my time is taken up looking after these two! The small one is Lucky and the larger one is Quimby, they are Tammy's dogs, and they are a handful to say the least.
But... they are pretty cool I have to admit.
6th Avenue. Where I live.
I made some new friends at my new job, and one of them offered to take me around for the day.

This made me laugh

The tower being built is the new 'Freedom Tower' they are building in place of the World Trade Center buildings. It will apparently be the highest building in New York City once complete.
Wall St.
We boarded the Staten Island Ferry

To see some incredibly awesome views!
Christmas was in full swing and the streets were packed and very festive, it was awesome.
An ice ring at Bryant Park
I work right near the Hudson River, making it a great location to sit for lunch (if the weather permits!)
I love the tree lined streets
Bryant Park market

With my new work friend we hung out again late one night in the city. Regardless of the hour the city is always alive!

Me at Times Square
From inside Central Park looking out
Very cool indeed!
And we eventually arrived at the Guggenheim Museum! This has been a must-see for me for a while now.

And just before Christmas there was the annual 'SantaCon' which I had never heard of before but was glad to witness it first hand! It. Was. Hilarious! Scores of drunk people dressed up as Santa, hoping into taxi's, walking down the streets, it was awesome!
Turns out Rose was here! (Doctor Who reference)
Besides the pictures above I have been going out for drinks and dinner quite a bit with some new people I've met at my new job, so that's been pretty good. Another activity I really enjoy is to simply walk the streets around 11pm with no destination, to observe the buildings, the bustle of people and traffic, the hidden gems that you stumble across... it is cheesy to say but simply being here puts a smile on my face.

And... well that is about it really. I've been at my new job for about a month thus far, and I am really out to prove myself so believe it or not I have been doing some actual work! I've been arriving on time, and even staying late willingly! I know, I know, where is the real Aaron you ask? That doesn't sound like me at all...

Oh yeah! So a few posts ago I mentioned how I helped set up Tammy's friends gallery whom are mosaic artists. Well, they like me a lot now, and offered free lessons at their weekly workshops!

Behold my first mosaic attempt! If you look closely (or blur your vision greatly and use a lot of imagination) you can kind of make out the NYC skyline surrounding Central Park... well, that is what I was aiming for (loosely) anyway ha! The rest of the class loved it so that was cool.
Which is better? My mosaic attempt, or my pottery 'Cow Mug' I made a few months back! I am sure I could be a millionaire with this kind of talent hidden just under the surface.

The pictures above really are just the smallest taste of what my time here thus far has really been like, which could really fill a novel, but alas it shall suffice. I am not entirely sure how long I plan to stay in America for as it is now nearing my 11th month on this trip and I do really miss home. For now I will continue to work hard at my job, tick off as many 'must-see' places on my list, hopefully meet some cool new people, and just see where the road takes me.