My trip to the United States has been a really, truly amazing experience so far! America is such a diverse country with a huge variety of destinations that offer a wide range of activities to experience. Compared to Australia, the contrast experienced when travelling state to state is quite extraordinary. Even the accents and the vocabulary shift immensely when having a conversation with people who are from different American states. The ‘North’ and ‘South’ of America offer quite distinct and differing experiences for those who are able to travel to both spaces and get to know the people and landscapes.
I have been incredibly lucky during my stay here to experience some of the different states within the U.S. The University of North Carolina has an incredible International Student program and offers a wide range of travel experiences to students on exchange. I immediately signed up for the first trip to South Carolina and had an absolutely awesome time at Myrtle Beach. As an International Student group, we spent the Labor Day long weekend at a local hotel and got to soak in the warm sun and Atlantic Ocean. We spent our nights out on the ‘Broadway’ and ate far too much delicious Southern food.
Another trip organised by the International Student program here at UNCG was a four day Fall Break trip to Washington D.C. Unfortunately, we just so happened to be there during the short ‘government shutdown’ that the U.S experienced after their politicians were unable to reach agreement over specific policies. This was a good experience in ‘making the best of things,’ and as a group – we still managed to find a huge variety of activities to do despite the ‘shutdown.’ Although all of the government run museums and monuments were behind closed doors and fences, we still did a tour around the city and saw the many of the ‘famous sights and figures’ of the United States. Visiting the Pentagon Memorial for the September 11 attacks was a significant experience and seeing so many things ‘in real life’ that you had seen as far away images in newspapers for such a long time was quite surreal. We even managed to utilize the ‘metro’ underground train system in D.C and spent some money on purchasing nice winter coats for the chill that is currently taking over the East Coast. Overall, the D.C trip was well worth the time and money and I would love to return one day to see the many exhibits and monuments that I didn’t get to see this time around.
My next trip here in the United States will be a road-trip through the ‘deep south.’ I will fly into Atlanta, Georgia and spend a couple of days winding through the beautiful landscapes and visiting the significant historical museums that are housed in these areas. I will complete my trip by visiting New Orleans, which is often noted as the ‘party capital of the South.’ Travel throughout the United States is very affordable in comparison to Australia and there is always something truly unique and fascinating to do in each state. I am thoroughly enjoying my time here in the U.S and the travel aspect of the experience is a definite favourite!