A whirlwind trip around America…

Travelling can be exhilarating, exhausting, eye-opening and most of all, addictive. If I ever start to feel like there isn’t anywhere left to discover in the world, I will have undoubtedly lost my zest for life. New scenery, new accents, new tastes, new smells; the true beauty of experiencing the unfamiliar is the way in which it heightens your awareness. Whether it’s for a weekend or several months, when you travel, you learn lessons. You’re challenged. You’re surprised. You’re captivated. 

I’ve just had the most amazing three months travelling around North America. My mind is enriched with glowing scenes from this crazy, whirlwind adventure. Memories of tasting heavenly pizza in New York, bumping into Bruce Springsteen in a haunted New Orleans hotel, crashing bachelor parties in Las Vegas, listening to toe-tapping good country music in Nashville and drinking lavender tea whilst having my fortune told in one of the oldest tea rooms in America. I find myself lost in bitter-sweet nostalgia thinking of all the enchanting people I have met and places I have visited.

I have always believed that if an opportunity arises and all your life circumstances are right at that moment in time, then you need to ‘take the bull by the horns’ and go for it! Tomorrow may never come. It’s far too easy to push your dreams into the future rather than maximizing how you live in the present.

So it was with the click of a button that a five year discussion of ‘one day’ going on a ‘dream trip’ across America with my best friend became a reality. If you’re pondering about something you’ve always wanted to do, make the decision to do it, save up for it, find a date that works for you and book it! It might turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done.

We started with two flights; London to San Francisco and New York to London. It was just a case of sorting out the middle part.

…and this is the route we took.

London – San Francisco – Las Vegas – Austin – Fort Lauderdale – Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Atlanta – Athens – Atlanta – New Orleans – Birmingham – Nashville – Chicago – St Louis – Edwardsville – St Louis – New York – London.

I know what you’re thinking…it’s not most direct route, but there was logic to the zig-zag odyssey. We agreed on a shortlist of our must-see places and were determined to work out a way of seeing as much as possible whilst also keeping costs down. With the right research, we were able to pick up some real bargains; domestic flights can be found for as little as $59 (£37) if you book in advance, consider alternative airports and pay attention to flight price patterns.

For any of you thinking about an America trip, here’s a good tip – flight prices fluctuate weekly and often drop on a Wednesday and rise at the weekend. As well as this, the best time to book domestic flights is approximately eight weeks in advance. Another ultimate bargain for us was Megabus – we managed to get a few journeys for $1 by keeping an eye on their promotions.

So, how do I even begin to tell you about this amazing adventure? Well, let’s throw chronology out of the window and start with the moment that angrily walking out of a below par hostel in New Orleans, lead to us bumping into Bruce Springsteen in the plushest hotel in town…

To be continued…