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A Warm Welcome in America

By: Zaneta Vinopalova,  Work and Travel Participant & 2018 Ambassador Scholar 

My time in the United States has gone by so fast! I did not even have time to post photos on my blog, to send postcards to my all friends, or to call all my family members. So, I am taking a chance now to think about how this awesome summer began.  

We bought Singapore Airline tickets a few months prior to our trip. Our flight was great! My friend Hana and I felt like we were in a flying restaurant. We had so many meals and so many drinks. After our arrival in the United States, I remember how nice and helpful people were. No matter who you asked, someone would give you advice. In New York City, we had just one goal and it was to find the Port Authority bus terminal – the easiest way to get to Ocean City, New Jersey. Before getting on the bus to Atlantic City, we had to get our enormous luggage through the gates at the entrance to the underground terminal. The ridiculous part of our journey was the bus ride from Atlantic City to Ocean City, which lasted an hour, but stopped every five minutes! Due to changing time zones, we were falling asleep the whole journey and were really scared we wouldn’t get off in the right place. But we managed it, and our employer picked up us at the bus station and took us to our rent room. Our employer has been really friendly since the first moment we met him. 

The first days of working were not so easy, because I did not understand customers properly. There were many different kinds of customers: men, women, kids, all with different accents. However, I managed it quite soon and I do not have any problem with understanding any more. In my opinion, the type of work I am doing is not boring at all. I can communicate with customers and talk with them about various topics – not just about their orders but also about their lives in the different states they are from. I am convinced that it helps me a lot with improving my English. I hope it will help me pass the exam of English certificate in the Czech Republic after the summer is over! 

During these few weeks, I’ve travelled with my friend Hana quite a lot. The first week we rode almost 30 km (18 miles) on our bicycles that we got from our employer. We discovered really nice places in Ocean City, including beaches, protected areas near bays, and small towns behind the bridge that connects Ocean City with the mainland, like Sommers Point. One weekend we visited Atlantic City as a one-day trip. We discovered old lighthouses and walked along the coast through beaches and along boardwalks. We also went to a casino for the first time. Recently, we ventured to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

I have to concede that Americans are really friendly and open when I compare them with Czech society.  I am talking about customers as well as people that I have met in different situations in New Jersey or on a daily basis. I need to emphasize that my employers are really great people. Besides the flawless living they provide us, they invited us for dinner with their family members and they served us their food specialties. I cannot forget to mention our neighbor who is living opposite our house! He took us with his dog on a trip to see a dog beach when we had a day off, and he even drove us to Walmart to go shopping. I couldn’t be happier with the people around me! 

Inspired by the goals and achievements of our Work and Travel participants? Learn more about the program here