Remember when I went to Boston? Yeah, I nearly forgot because it felt like ages ago… meaning this blog post has been looooooooong overdue.
Boston, Massachusetts has always been on my travel bucket list… actually, cross that out. Literally. Salem, Massachusetts was the place I’ve always wanted to go as a kid, after watching a segment on witch hunting on Mystery Hunters (y’all remember that show on YTV?).
I remember coming back from my New Zealand trip wanting to travel more. The next thing I knew, I was looking into the East Coast and airline tickets while at work. I eventually settled on Boston because the airline tickets were so affordable and within budget.
That day, I took a Greyhound bus down to Seattle to catch my flight from Sea-Tac. Usually, when I travel to a State, I prefer to go down to Seattle and catch a domestic flight, rather than fly internationally because of cost. However, if the cost of saving isn’t significant, I’d skip out on the hassle of catching a bus down there.
Let me tell you about this – I forgot about the length of the journey AND the time difference. I ended up spending an entire day travelling via bus and planes. I did save a couple of hundred dollars but it was brutal… I remember how miserable and cranky I felt, and so, so tired.
|That feeling of luckiness and blissfulness of having no one sitting beside you on the flight.|
I think I eventually landed in Boston (after an hour or so layover in New Jersey) in the early mornings of 10ish. I checked in at HI Boston Hostel and all I wanted to do was take a nap because I was so tired from all that travelling. But, the idea of a new city gave me energy to quickly settle in and hit the town. If anyone’s looking at Boston, I really recommend HI Boston Hostel for accommodation – the place was clean, modern, friendly staff and so conveniently located to Downtown, shops and transit.
Chinatown was first as it was the neighbourhood adjacent to the hostel. Something about Chinatowns is always a place to visit for me when I travel because it holds a lot of cultural history (and cheap foods).
I eventually wandered off towards to the downtown of Boston. I can’t say I was very impressed by it – by the looks of what I remembered, it looked like any other downtown with high buildings and men in suits.
During my walk around downtown, I did come across this public fountain with animal heads as statues.
My walk led me towards Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall and my god, if I were to live in Boston, I’d be coming down here on a regular basis. It was so vibrant, filled with shops and delicious foods, and entertainment.
A lot of these shops were independent mom & pop shops which mean that anyone looking to grab a souvenir for someone, check the stores out at this marketplace. It’s a bit pricier than chain souvenir shops but the uniqueness and quality of it are worth it.
|Inside Quincy Market.|
Just before heading off onto the Freedom Trail, I remember sitting by the docks of Boston and glazing over the East Coast. It was a cloudy day but it was one of the most beautiful things ever… just a vast amount of ocean surrounded by old brick buildings.
I never thought much about the East Coast but this oceanview changed my opinion.
The Freedom Trail is essentially a self-guided tour of the city. As a history buff, I loved seeing original and historical buildings and learning about the Revolution. A volunteer gave me a map of the Freedom Trail but I think I eventually went off course because it was leading me into a part of town I didn’t fancy attending and a lot of people were saying the “important” stops on the Trail was central to downtown.
I also ended up in the Boston Common which was a pretty park… nothing spectacular, though. But, I’d admit – this is much more entertaining than Central Park in NYC.
Boston Common was across the street from the main shopping street and, um… let me just tell you my joy of seeing Primark in Boston. I follow a lot of UK bloggers and they’re always raving about Primark this and that, and even some Irish friends were telling me how great Primark was. I finally got to see the store for myself (the Hello Boston! picture at the beginning of this post was taken at Primark) and absolutely loved it.
Think Forever 21 but about 30-50% cheaper, messier and more chaotic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen clothes that cheap on a regular basis. However, as tempted as it was to purchase as many clothes as my luggage can fit, I only grabbed a few things as most of the items weren’t my style.
|This ain’t Primark but Payless was right next door and couldn’t resist checking what they had in store.|
And, of course, the sole reason why I happened to show up at Boston was to visit Salem, Massachusetts.
I didn’t drive to Salem; instead, I took one of their trains and it took about half an hour or so? I can’t remember but I did remember it was quite quick.
|Salem’s info center.|
I honestly felt like I wanted to cry when I got off the train and saw Salem. You guys have no idea how long I’ve dreamt about visiting Salem and seeing history with my own eyes. While I was making my way into town, I couldn’t help be feel so blessed and lucky to be able to afford an opportunity to chase one of my childhood dreams.
Salem was everything I ever imagined and more. It was a nice little town with a bit of magic to it. It was historical, rich, and tainted with horror. It was like, being transported back into time for a brief moment. It’s amazing how a town like Salem was a mere train ride away from Boston.
|One of the gravestones in the Memorial Park.|
|Jonathan Corwin’s house – the only standing structure with direct links to the Salem Witch Trials.|
|A Bewitched statue – never saw the movie, though. Very cute!|
There were a lot of witch museums, all with its own unique aspects. My best recommendation is just to use judgement on which one to visit because ultimately, they’re all about the same.
While in Salem, I also went to visit Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace. It was such a unique experience and highly recommended to anyone in the area – even if you’re not a Hawthorne fan.
|A feather pen used by Hawthorne… insane, isn’t it?!|
|Just standing the backyard of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s home, no biggie… jks. The birth house was relocated to this location. I believe his original house was just a block away from the museum, though.|
Alas, my trip to Boston was coming to an end (in case you haven’t figured it out yet, I spent a few days here :P). On my last day, I went to visit Harvard and MIT before catching the bus to New York.
|It’s honestly like a castle….|
So, watch out for my next post on NYC! Boston has been a great experience and I would definitely come back here in a heartbeat. There were a few things I haven’t gotten to experience yet but looking forward to this beautiful coastal city again.
I did also think about moving out to Boston but overheard a few people complaining about the housing prices – curious, I did a quick search, and Boston is rated about the highest in America?
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you ever been to Boston or not and what you think about the place!