Planes, Trains, and more goddamn Planes

I arrived in Singapore 32 hours later. 32 hours. I left the Syracuse train station at 10am on January 1st EST, and I landed in Changi Airport at 7am January 3rd SGT, which is 6pm January 2nd EST. I was told it would be a 21 hour flight, but there was a lot that number didn’t include.

It didn’t include the 6 hour train ride from Syracuse to Penn station. The train was packed, with an entire care full of Penn station bound single passengers. Most people had baggage for a weekend, carrying a backpack, maybe a suitcase if they were staying for awhile. I boarded, teary and emotionally unstable, with more luggage than the people who boarded before me combined. In short, I looked like a fucking idiot.

Next, I had to get myself to the Long Island Railroad, which would’ve been easier if the “helpful” app they provided had given me any actual track numbers. Finding the right track, finding the elevator to take me to said track, and frantically trying to catch the right train, (all the while rolling luggage bigger than I was and trying my best to look confident, hoping to avoid being an easy target for theft in a New York subway), was easily the the most chaotic and humiliating part of the trip. Regardless, I arrived in Jamaica station a little more than an hour after I had arrived at Penn, and the conductor didn’t even scan my eTicket.

After that was the JFK AirTrain, which was a lot more friendly than the LIRR. I purchased a MetroCard like I had done so many times before, and boarded the train that came every few minutes. This train was much more accommodating for my situation, and around me were people of similar exhaustion and carry weight. After that, everything went smoothly. Check-in at JFK, baggage check, security (which was much easier than we prepared for), and soon I was sitting in the gate with a coffee cake muffin, the only think I had eaten since I left besides a bag of Doritos from the train ride.

Waiting in JFK

All of this encompassed an additional 10 hours to my 21 hour flight. Once I boarded, however, the trip was easy. 21 hours on Singapore Airlines was more comfortable than an 3 hour JetBlue flight I have every been on. I had an extra legroom seat so I could sleep comfortably, they continuously brought around water so I was never dehydrated, I watched Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and Finding Dory on the inflight entertainment system, and every few hours they brought around delicious meals.

My seat on the plane

Highlights were chicken and fried rice (more authentic than any Asian restaurant in America), beef stroganoff, sandwiches on such soft bread and cut so delicately that they resembled vanilla tea cakes, and sausage egg roll with hash browns for breakfast. Every meal came with bread and butter, crackers with cheese, any drink you asked for, a cup of water wrapped like a snack-sized Jello cup, and some form of appetizer. The breakfast came with delicious cherry yogurt without a word of English on the packaging. Haagen-dazs chocolate caramel ice cream for dessert. And people were asking if I had eaten.

Early morning breakfast

During the trip, I wrote myself a list of daily reminders that I figured I would post here. Thanks for reading my first post, and I’m sure there will be much more shenanigans to come besides just my exhausting travel.


  • Film One Second Everyday.
  • Make a blog post at least once a week.
  • If something is beautiful, take a picture of it. Fuck trying to avoid looking like a tourist.
  • Send all cute dogs you see to Josh.
  • Send all cute cats you see to Mom (and also probably Josh).
  • Do/learn something new everyday; this shouldn’t be hard!
  • Upload your pictures regularly, so you don’t lose them (and so people will stop nagging you…)
  • Keep an eye on you budget, but when in doubt, it’s probably worth it.
  • Stay humble, stay respectful, keep your mouth shut.
  • Never complain about the weather.
  • Never pass up an opportunity.




6 thoughts on “Planes, Trains, and more goddamn Planes

  1. When I read this I couldn’t help but laugh. I know it’s not all funny and that it was a completely stressful experience but it’s all good now I hope. I was glad to see that you were well cared for on the plain. I’m looking forward to reading this blog every day or every time you post something. I just know it will bring a smile to my face. Piece…


  2. Good Luck Claire! So badass to study abroad in Singapore. Amazing. And on your return we can come get you at JFK if you want so you can avoid the madness! Looking forward to reading all about your adventures! ❤


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