This time two years ago, I was in the middle of spending a month in the great land that is the United States of America. I had just graduated and wanted to get away for a bit, or for as long as work and money would let me. I jetted off with a heart full of excitement, and of course, my camera. I started in New York and then made my way to Washington D.C before spending most of my time in California. This wasn’t a huge exploring trip; I wanted to do a little exploring and a lot of relaxing before going into full time work.
Seeing all of the photos pop up from two years ago filled me with nostalgia and happiness so naturally I want to share it all over again and reminisce, especially as this was an adventure that led me to something special. But we’ll get to that.
When I landed in New York after a 7ish hour flight, I was actually far from excited. I don’t know what on Earth I did wrong, but I ended up in that room of shame at airport security. Perhaps I filled out my travel card wrong, or perhaps it’s because I look particularly dodgy in my passport photo (which looks nothing like me, I’m glad to state). I was very displeased and rather embarrassed. No one would tell me what was going on and I was certain I was going to be sent on the next plane back to England. Of course, I was being dramatic and it was probably just a random check. Soon I was outside of JFK airport getting into a not-so-yellow taxi which I had been advised not to do, but I am fearless and also a bit stupid. ‘Only trust the yellow cabs’ well my budgeting was telling me I should also be trusting the black ones. I made it safely to my hostel for a good nights rest before my big day of exploring Manhattan.
I got quite lucky with jet lag. It affected me but only in the most productive way possible. Usually I avoid early mornings like a deadly disease, but my trustworthy body clock had me up before 8am New York time, which was 1pm back home in England. This happened every day I was in NYC, giving me plenty of time to do everything on my check list.
New York highlights include:
Wandering around Central Park
The John Lennon memorial mosaic
Sitting by the Bethesda Fountain
Rowing around the lake in Central Park
Eating at the Loeb Boathouse on the lake
Almost getting squished in Times Square
Visiting the 9/11 World Trade Centre Memorial on the 13th anniversary (emotional experience) and making friends with the service men who told me their story of that day
Getting the free ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island and seeing the good old Statue of Liberty
Getting drunk by myself in a bar in Times Square before the horrific realisation that ‘Happy Hour’ in New York does not mean 2-4-1 cocktails…
Taking photos at the ‘Top of the Rock’
Crossing Brooklyn Bridge at night and then seeing the stunning skyline of Manhattan when I got to the other side
The weather was lovely every day and as soon as it was time to make my way to D.C, it turned miserable. I was sad to be leaving such a fun city so it was a bit of a pathetic fallacy moment as I drove away from it. But then I got excited about my next adventure in the beautiful Washington, D.C in the state of Maryland!
Washington D.C highlights include:
The Smithsonian and all of the cool free museums (the history museum being my favourite!)
The Lincoln Memorial
The lovely weather
Making friends in the hostel
Getting told my accent is cute a bunch of times
The free zoo!
I was only there for a few days and hope that one day I can re-visit with someone and show them how pretty and awesome it is!
I then caught a flight to Los Angeles, and almost died of overheating as soon as I stepped outside of LAX. It was the hottest day of the year so far with temperatures reaching 40 degrees celsius (100 degrees). I never thought I’d miss the cold and rain so much. I made it to my hostel on Hollywood Boulevard and spent the next few days wandering up and down the Walk of Fame and catching a tan in Santa Monica. I didn’t really have a plan, I just wanted to relax, watch beautiful sunsets, and eat delicious American food. I had no idea the next few weeks in California would change my life.
By chance, I met up with a girl who someone from home had told me to hang out with. It was very last minute and casual but we got along really well and she quickly became enthusiastic to show me a good time. I went to her house in Palos Verdes the following Saturday and she introduced me to her family, and of course Trevor, who is her cousin. Trevor and I hit it off and quickly became comfortable around each other which was wonderful, as it’s not often you meet someone you have an instant connection with. I spent the rest of my trip with him in Orange County and he showed me around. By the end of my trip we’d bonded so much that we decided to try out a long distance relationship, so I have returned to California many times in the past couple of years. It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but I’m filled with joy that he is moving to England tomorrow!! Many great stories begin with packing a suitcase.
California highlights include:
The ridiculously good Mexican food
Meeting Trevor and his family
Being in Hollywood and feeling like I was in a movie
All of the beaches and stunning sunsets
Making a fool of ourselves on the monkey bars on Santa Monica beach
San Diego zoo
Discovering the heaven on Earth that is Bath and Body Works
Discovering the heaven in a glass which is a root beer float
Feeling like my life was about to end on the scariest rollercoaster at Six Flags
Knotts Scary Farm and the creepy live maze!
Going to Idyllwild and spending time in the peaceful and beautiful mountain house
Making friends with the pretty birds at Long Beach Aquarium
Watching the last sunset before I left
Travelling is always a good idea.