Since getting back home at arse o’clock on Friday, I’ve had 4 days to settle back into ‘normal life’, and 4 days to reminisce about some of the things I will and will not miss about the USA.
THINGS I WILL MISS
- The freedom. Being able to get up every day (except the days I had planes or buses to catch) and do whatever the hell I wanted. Or nothing (although that never seemed to tickle my fancy…)
- The experiences. Playing in the snow, seeing awesome shows, exploring new cities… and that’s just the beginning!
- Cheap Clif bars. And so many more flavours! Like, $1 each – I really should have stocked up!
- (Mostly) not having to set an alarm to go running!
- Boston. I don’t think any other marathon will compare to Boston – but I’m willing to be proven wrong! I have an ever-growing bucket list of USA marathons – and I don’t even particularly enjoy marathons!
- Probably most of all, the people I met along the way. Everywhere I went, whether it was fellow hostel guests or people I happened to be sitting next to in the theatre, the people were so friendly. I love meeting new people and although in my job I do get to meet a lot of people, it’s not quite the same. I think maybe it was my Australian accent that encouraged many people to be so friendly – or maybe it was just my amazing personality ??? I find that solo travel leads to meeting a lot more people – when travelling as a group or a couple you don’t really need to make that effort and can end up getting stuck in your comfort zone. I met a lot of solo travellers on my trip. And you don’t necessarily need to be single to do it! I think everyone should do it at least once. You won’t regret it!
THINGS I WILL NOT MISS
- Living out of a suitcase. And having to repack it every few days for the next flight!
- Having to make attempts to keep things tidy when staying in hostel dorms. As much as I like the idea of being tidy in theory, when I’m in my own place I tend to fill up all the available space!
- Tipping. I do get why it exists, and I did get the hang of it, but I was quite relieved to get back to a place where it’s not a thing.
- Sales tax. Why oh why can’t they just factor it into the shelf price, rather than add it on at the checkout? I don’t want to do math on holidays!
- Airport security. Again, I did get it down to a fine art but the amount of time wasted in airports when I could have been doing more interesting things…
- Large swarms of tourists. I tended to try to stay away from them wherever possible! Not staying in Midtown in NYC certainly helped!
- Sleeping in bunks! Top bunk is a pain in the arse getting in and out! Bottom bunk I kept hitting my head! I like my bed!
- Having to Google to find good coffee in most places. I must say that other than in Vegas it was surprisingly easy to find good coffee, despite what many Aussies will tell you. You just need to know where to look! (And I’m proud to say I never stepped foot into a Starbucks!)
- The exchange rate! The first time I went to the States I think we were on parity!
All of that being said, it’s just a matter of time (and a small matter of money) before I start planning the next trip…