No visit to New York City is complete without seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I had decided to do both in one day along with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, for a jam-packed Saturday filled with history, culture and emotions. I began my morning with a tour of our Lady Liberty followed by a visit to the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. If I had known how much fascinating information was available in all these three attractions, I would have spread out my visits over the course of two full days. I was stunned to discover how much I was moved and interested in discovering my own heritage after touring the fabulous Ellis Island Immigration Museum. I could have spent at least four hours there but alas I only had two.
Last Tuesday on my flight home from LaGuardia I had the most exceptional experience. In fact, days later after an incredibly inspiring three-day visit to New York City where I attended the 2013 Social Good Summit, I still cannot stop thinking about my plane ride home. Sitting next to me on the window seat was a new American.
For all that I’ve traveled, I have never actually been on a plane with someone immigrating to the United States. Seeing this middle-aged Somali woman sitting tentatively next to me wearing her U.S. Immigration Tag and holding her white plastic U.S. Immigration bag, simply blew me away. I couldn’t stop thinking it was a strange coincidence that she happened to not only be on my flight but was sitting right next to me after I had just spent three extremely intense days at the Social Good Summit learning about a vast array of global issues.