USA road trip

Amazing USA road trip

A moment lived in USA by Tigrest, a traveller from Estonia

That trip was all I could think about for the 10 months. Finally, it was the day – we boarded our first of 4 flights and made our way to the USA. First time to take an 11 hours flight. I was trembling with excitement – when we finally stepped out of the terminal building in SFO. It was warm, moist air that felt different. Everything was different than back home (it was winter and freezing -5 degrees).

The next day we took a local flight down to Phoenix. Another change in climate – hot, desert air. It felt like vacation. I loved the difference and enjoyed every moment of our new adventure. Rented a car and off to California – real road trip!
San Diego struck with a smell of weed everywhere we went. The people were nice though and God, did I love the beach. It’s just like in the movies!
Next stop – Los Angeles. The city of dreams! I never imagined it would disappoint me so much. Hollywood, nightlife – it’s all so unnatural and expensive. Universal Studios was cool – way better than expected.

Las Vegas was so cold and windy when we got there. So the overall experience was spoiled. But the next morning we got Cirque du Soleil tickets and loved the show. In fact, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It’s magical!
It was time to say goodbye to Vegas and head to our next point – Grand Canyon. The nature is just stunning. I have no words to describe just how powerful and breathtaking this place is. You truly feel tiny when the walls of the canyon come around you as you descend to the bottom. I really loved the trails – they let you see the true beauty of the Canyon from inside.
In Flagstaff we had our best BBQ ever. Found this place on Google Maps by just searching for bbq restaurants. I swear I can still feel the taste of this amazing meat! It was one of the reasons to visit USA in the first place.

On our way back to Los Angeles we stayed at a little oasis called Palm Springs. Since Flagstaff (and Grand Canyon) are rather cold in March, we were freezing during the night. Driving through the desert, the temperature started to go up rapidly and soon we found ourselves in 90 degrees heat. It was such a relief to finally check in at a motel and dive into a pool. The evening ended with amazing pasta in a local Italian place.

Our flight back was scheduled from SNA (Orange county). When we arrived at the counter, the lady made a sad face and told us we won’t catch our connecting flight to Dallas. There was not enough time as our first flight was late. Oh well, that couldn’t be good. We were stuck in USA and had to take 4 flights to get home.
To our surprise, the lady made a huge effort and spent the next 40 minutes figuring out how to get us home.
I can’t imagine how, but she managed to book us seats on a Lufthansa flight directly from LAX to Frankfurt and then directly to our hometown. So two flights instead of four! All we had to do is go to LAX now.

Easy enough, when you receive airline vouchers for taxi and food. Upon check-in in LAX we were offered to take the next day flight for a compensation. On some other day it would actually sound great, but we were just so tired of the trip and eager to get home soon.
Our amazing 2 weeks holidays ended on a fantastic, easy and comfortable A380 watching movies, eating and napping :)

This traveller has a blog : Tigrest

credit photo : Tigrest

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The True Beginning of Adventure it Out!

A moment lived in USA by Kensie, a traveller from USA

It’s been about five years since I started my journey in the world of travel. Every since that very moment I have been addicted to the unknown, the adrenaline, and the pureness of it all. Growing up we moved a lot, so I think that has a lot to do with my extreme sense of adventure! I think before the age of eighteen, we had moved probably twenty plus times. When I turned eighteen, my mom tried super hard to push me into college, and to get a job. I know she meant well at the time, however I wasn’t ready for any of that. I wanted to see what was out there, but of course being eighteen and having no job experience offers you very little savings.

So, I buckled under the relentless pressure from my entire family to go to college. Seeing how I was the first to go. I packed my bags and moved back to my home state of Kentucky, to get my degree in Criminal Justice. Why, I choose that I still don’t really know. I never really liked law, and being a cop was not something I had considered for myself. And after about two semesters of boring classes, and working my butt off in between classes. I came to realize what I truly wanted out of life, and that was to travel the world. Just like all of the great explorers of our time.

So, taking inspiration from one of my favorite books “Into the Wild” I packed a bag with what I needed, and snicked out of my Uncle house. Not to sure where to go, but I know I needed to go. For my own sake of mind and self! I drove west towards California for some reason, rather it be fate or just circumstance. I ended up taking a trip that will forever be embed in my memories. Driving thousands of miles, through small towns and big cities. Through a dust storm that almost caused me to crash, only to bring to a small shop in Kansas were I sat and chatted with some locals. Who gave me a great place to camp out for the night, amazing spot that I unfortunately was swore to secrecy on. It was that night that I decided I would setup base in Colorado! Me not really knowing Colorado would shape my destiny forever, and lead me to where I am today.

I have traveled many places, and I know I have many more still left to visit.
When it comes down to it, I never will forget the lesson I taught myself. Never choose the path that has been laid out in front of you by others. But, instead create your own with as many paths as you like!

This traveler has a blog : Adventure it out

credit photo : flickr.com

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northern lights Alaska

Powerful Alaska

A moment lived in USA by Charlie Bear, a traveller from France

I have always been dreaming to go to Alaska. I have been attracted by its climate (the cold does not impress me much), its mountains, forests and lakes and mostly its wilderness since I was a child. My mother used to say that I was quite a wild kid, maybe that’s why Alaska seemed so much like the perfect place to go…

So when I realised that my business school offered an exchange program in the 49th USA state, I did not hesitate a second. Nine months later I arrived in Fairbanks, in the middle of the borealis forest. I did not know by then that I was about to live the best year of my life.. Here are a few of my adventures!

The dancing Northern Lights

Extraordinary or magnificent are not enough. There are no words to describe the feeling of seeing the northern lights dancing in the sky! They smoothly undulate in the darkness, like the flow of a quiet river, until they literally explode and invade the entire sky, waving faster and stronger, and changing colours. Forming cones they even go down to the earth, and it feels like you could even touch them.
The experience was completely magical, and left me speechless. It made me realise the force of Nature, and gave a whole new understanding of this mystical event.

The camping by minus 30°C

My French friends gave me the nickname of “Bear” in comparison to Bear Grylls (I guess I am a bit wild after all!). But in Alaska, everyone (or almost) is a bit wild. So when I submitted the idea of going camping in the middle of the winter to my friends, they instantly agreed (what a bunch of fools, myself included!). Three days later, we rented a tent, special arctic sleeping bags and we went hitch-hiking on the road to go the a forest we previously picked. It was already minus 20*C and freezing. A nice man took us on his pick-up, and stopped us half-way in his cabin so that we could warm up as we were already freezing. He offered us food, drinks, took and guitar and starting playing. This guys was absolutely amazing, and we did not want to leave anymore! But one hour later, he took us to a shop to buy food/wood, and then took us to the forest. I was already really cold, and was secretly drinking his whisky in the car to get a bit warmer…what did not work at all. Our plan was to walk for a couple of hours,  set up the tent, have a fire, diner, and then watch the Northern Lights. It did not really go as expected: First, the snow was fresh and deep, and it was really hard to walk into the woods, we had snow until our knees. So after 30 minutes, we decided to stop. We set up the tent, and realised that we did not have…sleeping bags (what a band of amateurs). It then took us a long time to start the fire on the snow. I created wood shavings to start it, it was not enough. We tried to add vodka, but it was not really working either. After a while, we finally managed to start it! And we were absolutely freezing cold. We decided to have diner, but both the wood and our water froze, so we were left with chips. We staid around the fire until our wood stock was over, and all went straight to the tent huddling together, stuck like penguins. It was the coldest night of my life, so cold that I could not find the strength to go outside to watch the dancing lights. When we woke up in the morning, around 6:30, it was snowing in the tent. It took us 15 minutes to disassemble everything, and get the hell out of there! We hitch-hiked back to campus, happy that we were still alive and well, and happy to be back inside..

But what I value the most from my year in Alaska is the people I met and their kindness. The conditions here are so extreme, that I guess people have to come together and help. As a French girl, I was absolutely not used to that, and I even remember finding it really weird when I arrived. But I soon realised that people were just really genuinely nice, and wanted to help as much as they could. Alaska is nothing but a big family, where people welcome you with a giant heart wherever you go. I made amazing friendships, opened my eyes, and found a whole new meaning of life.

credit photo: Charlie Bear