UndocuTraveling to Niagara Falls and NYC

Good things have happened after I decided to quit Teach for America, new opportunities arose and I traveled with my little family to the “Empire State” but also very sad and heartbreaking events occurred.  Like Forrest Gump once said, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get”.

First let me tell you about my career, that area of my life is progressing very slowly, but after quitting TFA I decided that I was going to embrace Law School.

I applied to all these law firms for a paralegal position, I did it half heartedly because I am not certified and I have no professional experience in the field.  My only experience is all my community work since I was 15 years old, but hope dies last, thus I sent my Resume and cover letter.  To my surprise, one law firm called me the next day and scheduled an interview, I dressed professional with my Jackson fit dress pants and a blazer, and embarked on my journey.

The interview started TERRIBLE, I was sure that I was not going to get the position, I almost cried.  The lawyer told me that I had no experience and that school is not the real world, and I had no actual experience on the real REAL world, which is a full time job with tremendous responsibilities and that in your hands rest thousands upon thousands of people.  However, when he asked me about my non-profit UndocuTravelers and my community work, he was intrigued.  It might’ve helped that he is also a Bruin (GO UCLA!).

I got the job ya’ll T_T

He hired me ON THE SPOT.  I am not kidding, I walked out of the building, and I was shocked, and I thought to myself…dang…I am cooler than I thought! I believe this is the path that I meant to be, forensics will always be in my heart, but this is my calling.  I am very satisfied, hopefully this job is what I expect (pray for no more bitter professional disappointments).

I also told the new bosss that couldn’t start work until May 2nd because I was going to take a family vacation 😀 

My family and I decided to go to New York for the first time ever! We drove from California to Niagara Falls New York :0

We packed sturdy pants and a bunch of jackets (which were unecessary because it was HOT) and drove! The journey there was looong, at first passing through Nevada, Arizona, and Utah was a breeze, but once we hit Colorado it was a nightmare.  Colorado was having winter storms and we drove through the mountains and it was at night, thus it was dangerous…beautiful…but dangerous.  We did not have snow chains for our tires, so the car was slipping and we almost fell to the river, it was terrifying, but it was so beautiful.  It looked like Christmas…an evil dangerous Christmas, but Christmas nonetheless. We drove all night, trying to not die and going 30 mph behind the big trucks.  Around 6 am we finally we entered Nebraska and it was raining like crazy, so again we were scared for dear life, thus we had to stop somewhere near the border of Nebraska/Iowa because we were tired and dirty (we hadn’t showered in two days).

We stayed at an Econo Lodge in the outskirst of Nebraska about  14 miles from Iowa, which I recommend if you ever happen to go to the midwest, it was cheap, relatively big and clean.

Iowa is surprisingly beautiful, since it is spring the trees are brown and look dead and bald, but there was a hunting pretty eeriness about the plain fields and the old houses and the bare trees, that was very nice.  Illinois was pretty as well, too bad we couldn’t go to Chicago, we also crossed Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  Honestly the drive was very tiring but we finally reached our destination, and our Red Maple Econo Lodge hotel was honestly better than I expected.  If you are going to Niagara Falls stay there, the rooms are clean, the beds are nice, and the location is awesome.

As an undocumented immigrant (as well as my parents) it was pretty nerve wrecking, we were scared of the police and border patrol because it is a bit risky to be within 100 miles from the border.  But YOLO and we risked it, we did not see a single checkpoint, immigration or otherwise, we did not even see highway patrols, and I was shocked becasue accidentally crossing to Canada is SUPER easy.  Check this out, in order to go to Niagara Falls you must take exit 53, and to go to Canada you must also take exit 53…it is not monitored.  A bit sad that the Southern border is extremely armed to the bone and the Northern border is abandoned…what gives?! Canadians can also be undocumented immigrants! Anyway if you are driving from California to Canada I recommend to take the CA-60 E and merge to the I-15 N to the I-70 E to enter the I-76 E and jump to the I-80 E then you take the I-280 and then out of a sudden merge back to the I-80 E then you take the I-90 E merge to the I-190 N.  

No border patrol, you will be safe. 

The hotel’s name is Red Maple…but it is owned by Econo Lodge, it was only about 112 for two nights, which is great, here is the link.

http://www.redmapleinnniagarafalls.com/

The only downside is that the free shuttle to the falls does not work on spring so we had to take the bus (which is only 2 dollars) to the Niagara park.  Honestly, I though the city itself was going to be prettier, but it is not.  It looks a lot like LA, East LA.  The park itself however is wonderful and we had a blast pretending we were going to Canada.  We even took pictures at the gate and SHOCK not a single agent in sight…look I have proof.

20160418_181036

No joke guys, I was TOUCHING the border…it was a weird adrenaline rush.  My parents and I liked to pretend we were going to Canada. 

As for the falls…the drive was worth it…although people say the Falls from the Canadian side are even prettier, but who cares we were mesmerized. 

20160418_133031

Take the tour Maiden of the Mist (must purchase tickets at the park for 18 dollars), they put you in a boat with a blue permeable and you actually get to see the Falls up close and get soaking wet (bring waterproof shoes and a sweater).  It is wonderful. The cool part? You get to see the Canadians up close (they have a red permeable). You will be actually touching Canadian waters, so you can say you were in Canada (Toronto is the city you will see VERY up close)

toronto

You see that? You can smell Canadian air ya’ll

The only downside to my whole Niagara Falls experience was after our endevour at the park.  We were waiting for the bus to go back to the hotel, and we were unsure of what bus to take because the public transportation there is absolutely terrible…horrendous.  We asked the bus driver and she ignored us, she said…”oh I don’t know, maybe the one at that corner” so we went and waited, and it was not the stop.  I tried Uber but it does not have drivers in Niagara Falls, so we had to take a taxi, and a shady, ugly, dirty taxi (but at least it had a meter).  My family and I felt very unsafe, to make things worse, when we got to the hotel  we saw the bus and THE LADY at the stop! She LIED to us, she didn’t want to give us a lift…what?! So if you are planning to take the bus BEWARE.

The NYC Story will be up soon! 

If you are interested please follow me on Instagram as

www.instagram.com/docu_karla

For the UndocuTravelers instagram where you will see pictures and brief stories about travelers roaming the world, country and funny memes follow 

www.instagram.com/undocutravelers

Finally, if you want information regarding traveling abroad as a DACA recipient and want step by step instruction on how to apply for humanitarian, work, or educational purposes and other usefel resources such as DACA Renewal after AP, expedite, FOIA, and more please go to www.undocutravelers.org

Or Facebook

www.facebook.com/undocutravelers

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4 thoughts on “UndocuTraveling to Niagara Falls and NYC

  1. Hello! Very interesting experience! Thanks for sharing it. I’m also an undocumented person. I live in New York City and I’d love to drive to the Niagara Falls. I have my driver license from the state of CT for non-citizens, so, I’d like to evaluate the risks to travel over there. Thanks and please pardon my bad English 🙂

    Like

  2. Hi there! This post could not be written any better!

    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room
    mate! He consistently kept talking about this. I will forward this
    article to him. Pretty certain he’ll have a good read.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Like

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