Hmmmm…The USA Seems More Appealing Now!
Whilst on the backpacker trail I’ve found myself meeting more and more nationalities, people from parts of the world I’ve never been in contact with before.
This melting pot of cultures has been a huge steroid boost for my travel plans, as the more people I meet, the smaller the world seems and the more countries I want to head and explore – the fact I now have a free sofa to crash on in many of these places has nothing to do with it….honest!
The Biggest Surprise
It’s easy to see why I’ve decided to add certain countries to my list. The select group of Kiwis I’ve met in the past year has got me stoked for my eventual settling in NZ with their stories of reeling left hand point breaks in Raglan and extreme sports down in Queentown.
My mini revisit to Oz has spiraled from 2 weeks to near enough 2 months on the back of all the awesome Aussies I’ve met this year!
And it’s a no brainer that my new diver buddy Lucy has convinced me to pencil in her home country to my travel plans – how could I ever turn up a free place to stay in the Seychelles?!
But for me the biggest surprise is the addition of a country I’ve never really felt the urge to travel before. I’d even go as far as saying I’d almost point blank ruled it out – the USA.
Yup – one of the most vast and developed countries on the planet is now firmly on my travel list, and not just to visit icons such as Hollywood Boulevard, the infamous New York City or road trip Route 66 – the States are going to be a hop scotch of travel buddy visits!
A Varied Viewpoint
I wrote recently about backpacking in the USA and how it’s surprisingly diverse as a travel destination. This is in part a result of the sheer cross section of American society I’ve encountered on the road.
I’ll fully admit that I used to have a rather narrow minded view on American society, fuelled by the stereotypes of the media.
I’m happy to say now though this is no longer the case, and the wonderful backpackers I’ve met are the catalyst for that!
Now instead of hitting up the standard tourist trail in the good old US of A when I get round to visiting I’ll be bouncing around the country, eager to catch up with some of the awesome people I’ve shared the last 9 months with.
In Colorado I’ll be hitting the outdoors with my fellow Montanita Intern Leah who’s keen to introduce me to the backdrop of the town she calls home, and no doubt laugh at me as she teaches me to snowboard, call it karma for teaching her to surf!
In DC I’ve got Megan – who I randomly met on a bus in Peru who wants to show me the joys of city living.
On the complete flip side I’ve got an increasing number of places to crash in Texas, somewhere I’d never have thought of heading too if it hadn’t been for my Byron buddy Lastain giving me an open invite or the two crazy Austin girls I’ve met in the last few days here in Thailand!
My personal favourite though (and no offense to any of the others!) is going to be hitting California with Adam and Kiki who I met in Ecuador. The plan here is one of surf road tripping, Vegas carnage and of course joining them in their boring day to day jobs – as river rafting guides, both in Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon!
But no doubt I’ll have a heap more places to check out by the time the USA is firmly pencilled in!
Heaps of Travel
With all these places to visit it looks like there’s going to be alot of travel on my plate! Luckily from my time working at STA Travel I have a few ideas of getting around.
Cali is definitely going to be a campervan adventure, loading boards on the roof for the stretch between LA and San Fran.
For the bigger bounces though I’m going to be glad to take advantage of the low cost of internal flights in the States (something I wish had been the same in South America!). Flights on Virgin America, AA and the many internal carriers can come pretty cheap, it’s just a case of sorting my route and getting it booked before arriving!
It’s definitely going to be one of my biggest logistical nightmares for planning though as there’s so much to see in between – a huge case of save time, save money or take advantage of everywhere in between whilst I’m there!
Luckily it’s still going to be a while down the road, so I have heaps of time to get everything planned and maybe even meet some more people to help connect the dots!
It’s amazing how travel creates more travel. The more places I tick off the list, the more places I add. The more hostels I pay to spend nights in the more free accommodation I acquire for my future plans.
I’m stoked that everything I’ve experienced has opened up new oppotunities and I’m intrigued at how the US will pan out and compare to my only other Western backpacking experience in Australia.
Have you travelled the USA? Any tips on how to get around and unusual places to visit?