Tuesday, April 28, 2015


A week and a half ago I went to a meetup in NYC with Brooke Saward (the girl behind my favourite blog World of Wanderlust) and lots of fellow travel-lovers. If you haven't read Brooke's blog, she has been travelling full time for almost a year and a half, solo for most of that time! It was so amazing hearing all her stories and advice. After the meetup officially ended, about 10 of us including Brooke got some Shake Shack that we ate in Times Square and frozen yogurt, and we got to talk to her and each other for six hours! It was such an awesome day.

Between Brooke and the other travel-lovers I met, I was feeling so inspired by the time I got home that night. By the time I woke up the next morning, I was feeling even more inspired and started thinking of all these travel posts I wanted to write about. I knew I wanted to kick my blog up a notch and really focus on writing about travel, so I decided to start fresh. I registered my own domain name and changed the name of my blog to "Girl Sees The World." To get my blog started, I transferred over some of my travel posts from this blog and have already started in on a bunch of new ideas!

You can check out my new blog at http://girlseestheworld.com/  I'd love to know what you think of the new layout and suggestions for posts you would like to read. :)

P.S. I might still post on this blog occasionally when I want to write a post about beauty, baking, etc but to see all of my posts related to travel and New York City, make sure you are following my new blog. If you have Bloglovin, the new link is https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/girl-sees-world-13976327

And if you want to follow me on social media, my links are:

Instagram: @christiegoyette
Twitter: @christiegoyette

I can't wait to get started in on this new blogging adventure and I would love if you follow along with me :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My #1 Place To Visit On Each Continent

While I was home in Boston over Easter weekend, my sister and I decided to play a little game where we named the top places we want to visit in each region of the world. Since I want to travel to literally every single place imaginable, this was pretty difficult for me! But after putting some thought into it, I have determined the top places on my travel bucket list for each continent. And because only naming one per continent seemed impossible, I named my runner-up for each as well :)

North America:

San Francisco

I have wanted to travel to San Francisco for years, and I even considered moving there after I graduated last May. Based on what I know about San Francisco, I feel like my personality would fit in so perfectly. It seems so laid-back and cool, and the people seem really friendly. Every picture I've seen of San Francisco is beautiful, and I love how a lot of the people in San Fran have healthy outdoor lifestyles.

runner-up: Hawaii

South America:

Rio de Janeiro

Everything about Rio's culture seems so interesting to me. All the pictures I've seen look so beautiful and authentic with cool architecture, mountains, and the ocean. It seems like such an adventurous city so I would love to try skydiving or parasailing there. I would especially love to visit during Carnival in February which is the biggest festival in the world!

runner-up: Buenos Aires



There are so many cities in Europe I still need to visit, and at the top of that list is Amsterdam. It seems like such a fun and creative city, and it looks so gorgeous with the canals, cobblestone streets, and old architecture. There are a bunch of classic landmarks I'd love to visit like the Anne Frank House and Vondelpark, but I'm also dying to experience the wilder side of the city in the Red Light District. I haven't encountered anything like it in other cities I've been to so it would be such a unique experience!

runner-up: Dublin


Cape Town

Cape Town looks incredibly beautiful with the ocean and Table Mountain. And of course you can't go to South Africa without experiencing the wild life! I would love to go on safari near Cape Town to see animals like lions and elephants up close. Overall, the culture in South Africa seems so different than what I've seen in the US and Europe, so I would really love to experience that first hand.

runner-up: Morocco



Singapore wasn't even on my radar until a few months ago when a travel blogger I follow went there. After seeing her photos and hearing about her experiences, Singapore went to the top of my Asia bucket list! It looks so beautiful, and compared to a lot of other cities, it's actually pretty affordable! There's a huge Chinese culture there that would be awesome to experience, and English is an official language so it wouldn't be quite as difficult to communicate as it would in some other Asian countries.

runner-up: Dubai



Anyone who has ever had a conversation with me in the past ten years probably knows that Australia is the #1 country on my travel bucket list. There are so many amazing cities I want to visit in Australia like Melbourne and the Gold Coast, but my top city would have to be Sydney. It looks so beautiful with the beaches and the sun and how close you are to nature. One of my dreams has always been to take a surfing lesson in Australia and also walk along the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. If someone told me I could pack my bags and travel to any city in the world right now, I would have to say Sydney, hands-down!

runner-up: Auckland


You may think I'm crazy but I'm probably one of the few people who would love to visit Antarctica! There aren't any cities there, but that's what is so intriguing about it. It's still so natural and unexplored. I would love to see Paradise Bay which looks so stunning, I want to take a dip in the hot springs, and of course I want to play with some penguins!
It's no question of if I will visit these places... it's just a matter of when! I can't wait to explore all these spots and so many other places on each continent. Hopefully I'll be able to cross at least one of these places off my bucket list this year!

If you want to see my future blog posts, you can subscribe to my blog via email above my photo on the top right, or you can follow me on Bloglovin by clicking the button at the top of the page. Leave a comment to let me know the top places on your travel bucket list :)

**since I haven't been to any of these cities yet, these photos are not my own and are courtesy of Wikipedia

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Top 5 Free Places To View The New York City Skyline

I'm sure anyone who has ever been to New York City will agree with me when I say there are very few cities in the world that can rival its skyline. Some other cities like London, Paris, and Los Angeles have great skylines too, but you don't really notice it until you're in the city center. On the other hand, as soon as you're within a half hour of Manhattan (whether you're in New Jersey, the Bronx, or Queens), you can start to see the huge skyscrapers looming before you! It's really amazing when you're seeing New York for the first time, and even after seeing the skyline hundreds of times, I still find it so impressive.

I've been able to experience the NYC skyline from a bunch of different angles, but I have narrowed it down to my top 5 free spots to see the New York skyline! (I saw free, because from what I've heard the Top of the Rock has the best view, but I haven't experienced it yet, and that will cost you about $30.) You'll also notice that none of my spots are in Manhattan. That's because when you're in Manhattan, you're surrounded by so many huge buildings that it's hard to really see anything past those :)

Empire Fulton Ferry Park, DUMBO, Brooklyn

I experienced this park for the first time this past Saturday. I watched the sunset there, and it was completely breathtaking. It was so relaxing too, so I will definitely be returning with friends or a good book this spring! And out of frame to the right, you can also see the Empire State Building and the Manhattan Bridge from this park.

The Staten Island Ferry

The Staten Island Ferry is free to ride, so there's no reason to miss this view! The ferry takes about a half hour to get to Staten Island and then another half hour to get back to Manhattan. From the ferry you also get the best views of the Statue of Liberty!

Hunter's Point, Long Island City, Queens

For a view of Manhattan from the East, this is the perfect spot. You can see the Empire State Building and my favourite, the Chrysler Building. And this photo was taken on a cloudy night, but when it's clear out the view is even more stunning!

Maxwell Place Park, Hoboken, NJ

Hoboken is such a cute town to explore, and it's a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can get to Hoboken by ferry, or even cheaper, you can take the PATH train (New Jersey's version of the subway) from several spots in Manhattan, including 33rd Street near Penn Station and 14th Street.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade, Brooklyn

Another Brooklyn gem near the Brooklyn Bridge! I stumbled upon this promenade completely by accident when I first moved to NYC in October, and fell in love with the views. Next to the promenade there is a big park where you can relax, and there are lots of shops and food vendors nearby. When I was here, I even saw a show filming! I didn't know what it was at the time, but I recently found out it was the new show Younger with Hilary Duff!

There are still so many places I want to visit in NYC to check out the skyline and watch the sun set. I want to experience Astoria, Battery Park, and of course the Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock. I'll be sure to keep you updated on any more great places I discover in NYC!

**all photos are my own

Friday, April 10, 2015

On The Hunt For My Perfect City

I follow a lot of different travel blogs and one that I've been reading a lot lately is Sophee Smiles. The girl who writes the blog is spending a year road-tripping with her husband through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe to find a place that really feels like home to them. A while ago, she posted a blog about how to determine what city is the ideal place for you to live—you write down a bunch of adjectives that describe yourself and once you find a city that matches those adjectives, that is where you are meant to be. (I think her idea originally came from the book Eat, Pray, Love.)

I've been living in New York City for exactly 6 months now, and while it's such a great city, I know I couldn't live here permanently. There are a lot of things I like about New York, but for me it's just one of the many places I'll experience before finding my perfect home. Some adjectives I would use to describe New York are loud, busy, competitive, artistic, quirky, exciting, crazy, glamorous, and fashionable. While I love some of those adjectives, I have found that New York is much more competitive and cut-throat than other cities I've been to and I don't think that's really for me. I definitely want to make the most of my time here since I know I won't be living in NYC long-term, and in the mean time, I want to determine some other cities that might be a better fit for my personality!

Some adjectives I would use to describe myself are:

There are so many cities I want to experience living in, but I'm still not sure where I want to settle down permanently (that is if I do ever settle down). Some cities and countries I would love to experience living in are London, Brighton, San Francisco, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Los Angeles... so many! Until I can decide, I'm hoping to try living in as many different places as possible until I find a city that fits my personality and really feels like home to me!

And if you want to read the blog post that inspired me, you can check it out here:
Sophee Smiles — A Place To Call Home

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How Studying Abroad Changed My Life

If you are in college, the idea of studying abroad has probably crossed your mind a few times. While it used to be rare for students to spend a semester or year abroad, it's almost seen as a rite of passage for college students today. I was lucky to go to the school with the #1 study abroad program in the country, but most colleges are expanding their international programs to help turn their students into global citizens. Almost everyone I know from school studied abroad at least once, and it was amazing to see how much studying abroad can open up someone's eyes and really change them for the better.

I spent a semester abroad in Lyon, France during my junior year of college. I was excited going into the semester and expected to have a great time, but I had no idea just how much the semester would affect me. I didn't realise it at the time, but once I returned to the US at the end of the semester, I could really see how I had changed over the course of four months (in a good way!) If you are considering studying abroad, my advice would be to take the leap and do it! I was a little nervous before leaving for France, but once you settle into your new country, the positives of being abroad completely outweigh any negatives you might encounter. These are the changes I experienced with myself when I studied abroad, and that you may be able to expect if you study abroad as well.

I became much more independent.

Going away to college definitely makes you become more self sufficient than you were in high school, but living in another country makes it that much harder to rely on parents or others in everyday life. Going abroad, you will need to make a lot of decisions on your own, such as opening a bank account in that country, getting a phone, navigating the public transportation of your city, and planning trips. At first, it can be hard to figure all these things out by yourself (and the people in charge of your program can help you if you get really stuck), but after a while it will start to feel natural to figure things out on your own. While I was in France, I really started to feel more grown-up (even though I definitely don't consider myself to be a real grown-up yet!)

I became more open-minded to different types of people and different cultures.

The program that I studied in was international, and out of 170 students only about 15 of us were American. So I met a lot of people from different cultures and backgrounds, and most of the best friends I made were from countries other than the US. I met a lot of French people during the semester, but also students from every corner of Europe, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Asia, the Middle East... everywhere! I made friends from countries that I knew nothing about, and I loved learning about their cultures and teaching them about mine (including a French Thanksgiving celebration)! I was surprised by how much I had in common with people from such different backgrounds, and this helped me see that no matter how different someone's culture may be, we could still have so much in common and become good friends.

French-influenced Thanksgiving where a few of us Americans shared this aspect of our culture with friends from Canada, England, Holland, and Australia

I realised my passion for travel and international education and decided it is the field I want to work in.

My freshman and sophomore years of college, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for a career, but after going abroad I realised how passionate I am about travel and international education. I felt more myself in an international setting than I ever had before, and I felt happier than I ever had. Seeing how happy I was during my semester abroad and how travelling just felt natural to me, I decided to look into working in the travel/international education industry. The summer after going abroad, I interned with Education First in Seattle and could confirm that it is the perfect industry for me! And since travel is my biggest passion, a job in that industry wouldn't even seem like work to me since I would be doing what I love!

I discovered my incurable case of wanderlust and curiosity.

I have always been a very curious and adventurous person, but studying abroad brought that side out of me even more. Ever since returning from France, I explore as much as I can whether that's planning trips of my own, checking out new parts of my city, or researching future destinations by reading lots of travel blogs! I feel like I'm definitely a free-spirited person, and I don't know if I can see myself ever really settling down. I'm always looking to learn and experience as many new things as possible, and that really began during my semester abroad.

I became more aware of the fact that life is short, so you need to take advantage of it and not let opportunities or happiness pass you by!

I'm sure you've heard the "life is short" phrase about a million times, but I never realised how true it is until I returned from my semester in Lyon. Once I got adjusted to life in Lyon, it felt like the semester would never end, but once it was time to return to the US, it felt like no time had gone by at all. While I was in Lyon, there were so many times I decided to relax at home rather than go out and explore, because it's not like the attractions, restaurants, and shops in Lyon were going anywhere. But once the semester ended, I realised there were so many things I wanted to do and see, but I never did because I figured I could put it off to another day. There's nothing worse than regretting things you didn't do, and since experiencing this after returning from Lyon, I really try to live in the moment as much as possible. Now that I'm living in New York, there are endless things to do, and especially now that it's getting warmer, I plan to go out and do something new and exciting almost every day!

I became more easy-going and "go-with-the-flow."

There are so many possible things that could go wrong while you're studying abroad. To name a few I experienced: getting your wallet stolen, delayed or cancelled flights, problems loading minutes onto your retro flip-phone, having difficulty communicating in another language, public transportation strikes, going to a doctor who doesn't speak a word of English... the list could go on and on! You'll definitely experience some problems while studying abroad, but getting upset or overly stressed out won't help you much. Staying calm will definitely help you come to a conclusion faster, and even if you do encounter a big problem (like getting your wallet and camera stolen the night before going to Paris for the weekend), you just need to think about how much that problem will affect you in the scheme of things. Yeah, of course it's annoying to have to buy a new camera and get a new debit card, but a few years down the road, you won't even think about any little problems you faced!

trying escargot (aka snails) in Paris for the first time. I was so nervous to taste it, but it ended up being so delicious!

I made some of my best friends!

I can't mention my experience abroad without talking about the friends I made. As I said, I met so many people from all around the world who I really clicked with. I got closer to other girls I knew from my college and made friends that I still talk to almost every day. Since returning from Lyon, I've even been able to see some of my good friends when they came to visit the US and when I visited England! Some of the friends I made while abroad are now my best friends, and I know I'll be close with them for the rest of my life!

So as you can probably tell, I had an absolutely amazing experience studying abroad, and I know I wouldn't be the same person I am today without it. I encourage as many people as possible to apply for an international program because I know how beneficial they are. Of course studying abroad in college is an amazing experience, but if you aren't in college there are so many other programs available today to get a similar experience. There are internships and management training programs abroad, working holiday visas, international grad schools, teaching English abroad, volunteering abroad, or working abroad. And if you're hesitant to leave the country, you could always work with international students or host someone from abroad to get a similar cultural experience! I know that there are so many more international opportunities ahead of me, and studying abroad was just the beginning!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Easter Treat: Cadbury chocolate nests

Hello there! I know it may seem like my posts have been slacking the last couple weeks, and your first thought may be that I have writer's block or don't know what to write about. But it's actually the opposite—I have so much going on and so many things I want to write about! I know I won't be living in New York City forever, so I decided to view myself as a tourist while I'm living here to really experience the city the best I can. And with my new tourist mindset, I have been so busy doing New York things! I promise I'll have lots of exciting posts coming up about NYC and travel, but until then, here is a recipe that I tried this past weekend. I wanted to make something quick and easy to help get me into the Easter spirit, and of course I had to incorporate my favourite Easter candy, Cadbury mini eggs! This is probably the easiest treat you can make and so delicious, so if you have these ingredients lying around during Easter weekend, you should definitely give these a try!

I was a huge fan of these treats, and I will definitely be making them again!

Monday, March 23, 2015

11 Free Things To Do in New York City

It's no surprise that New York City is one of the most expensive ones to visit. After paying for your cost of getting there, a hotel or hostel, and food, you may find that you don't have much money left for sightseeing. But even though NYC is so expensive, there are still so many free ways to experience the city! If you take a trip to New York but can't afford to spend too much, you definitely need to add these places to your to-do list:

Times Square

Times Square is probably the most famous tourist attraction in New York City, and the best part is you can walk around for as long as you like for no charge! It's impressive during the day, but especially amazing at night, and there is never a shortage of street performers. Just beware of the restaurants surrounding Times Square...they are much more expensive than restaurants in most other parts of the city!

Rockefeller Center

Right around the corner from Times Square is another major NYC attraction, Rockefeller Center. Of course the best time to visit is around Christmas when you can see the huge tree and the ice skating, but it's beautiful all year round!

Central Park

You could dedicate an entire day to exploring Central Park and not get bored. There are endless things to do and see, especially if you visit during the Spring or Summer!

The 9/11 Memorial

While the 9/11 Museum charges a fee to enter, you can walk around the outside portion for free. There are two huge fountains where the Twin Towers stood with the names of everyone who died around the edge. When you see a rose like in the photo above, it means it would have been that person's birthday. It's sad to visit but definitely so impressive.

**UPDATE: After publishing this blog post, I found out that the 9/11 Museum is free to visit on Tuesday nights! Tickets go so quickly, but if you can get there right at 4pm for a ticket, it's a great museum. Powerful and sad, but definitely a museum worth visiting.

The Staten Island Ferry

Don't pay the expensive ticket price to visit the Statue of Liberty! You can get an even better view of the statue and the downtown skyline from the Staten Island Ferry, which takes a half hour and is free to ride! The best times to ride the ferry are during the warmer months so you can stand outside. And if you can, try to time your ferry ride so it's daylight on your way over to Staten Island and the sun is setting on your ride back to Manhattan!

The High Line

This mile-long park in Chelsea is built on an abandoned railroad and is a must-see if you visit New York in the Spring, Summer, or Fall. You get an amazing view of the Hudson River, Chelsea, and lots of art along the way.

The Museum of Modern Art on a Friday night

If you enjoy visiting museums, you have to add the MoMA to your list. On Friday nights, everyone gets in for free and you can spend hours looking at the impressive exhibits featuring Van Gogh, Matisse, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollack!

The Brooklyn Bridge

This is becoming a major NYC attraction and for good reason! You get an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline, the river, Brooklyn, and the Statue of Liberty. I would recommend walking the Brooklyn Bridge and then walking back on the nearby Manhattan Bridge...hardly any tourists, same great view of Manhattan, and a view of the Brooklyn Bridge too!

Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market is one of my favourite places to visit in New York City and is exciting all year round. It's full of cool shops, restaurants, and a flea market. And if you're in New York on the first Friday night of the month, you can see a free concert featuring some local artists!

The American Museum of Natural History

While the website and signs say there's a ticket price, if you read the fine print, you'll see that it's just a recommended price. If you wait in the longer line to get a ticket from a counter rather than an automated kiosk, you can pay whatever price you'd like for tickets: $10, $3, or absolutely nothing! You might get some disappointed looks, but if that doesn't bother you, take your free ticket and explore the museum that has awesome exhibits about animals, dinosaurs, prehistoric people, and lots more!

Just walk around, get lost, people watch, and explore!

I think the best way to really experience a city is to wander around aimlessly observing all the interesting sights and people that you come across. My favourite places to explore and people watch: Soho and Greenwich Village.

Now that it's starting to get warmer, I'll be able to explore New York a lot more over the next few months! I know of so many more free things to do in the city that I can't wait to check out and post about :)

*all photos in this post are my own except the exterior shots of the MoMA and the Natural History Museum