Howdy all. Yep, Andrew is getting all thoughtful for today’s blog. What country am I discussing today? It’s the good ol’ US of A. Why? Well, today is the 4th of July, Independence Day, the day when Will Smith and Bill Pullman save the world! And that Labrador jumps from an exploding tunnel for the most unlikely story of survival EVER!
But, please. You know, the United States of America is an incredible country, a unique country – well every country is surely unique in some way, shape or form – and one that rewards travellers who visit. But is there a more divisive country on Earth? A country that people both love and hate in equal portions? I don’t know. Frankly I think anyone who flat out loves America is just as ridiculous as someone who hates them in equal amounts. To sum up a country, ANY country, as this or that, as good or bad, it’s just not the way to think because every country has something of interest.
I’ve had bad experiences with Americans whilst travelling – a lady I met at a guesthouse in Bolivia basically refused to listen to anything I had to say because I’m Australian and we treat refugees appallingly (and as I said to her, I totally agree we do and we should all be ashamed by that) and so apparently I am responsible for governmental policies and it’s all my fault. Then there’s the opposite – in fact I have never been taken in in a country by more people and able to stay for free than the USA. Travelling in 2004 in Europe I met loads of Americans and got invited to stay with so many in Boston, Colorado, Houston, Austin and San Francisco. That showed to me that you can’t judge a book by its cover and that people are people. Because, let’s face it, Americans have a bad reputation and honestly, it’s not at all deserved.
Just as one rude person from this country doesn’t prove that everyone there is rude, any stereotype you may have in your mind about Americans just isn’t a fair way to judge everyone in America. And you know, even though some people have a different political viewpoint to you, it doesn’t disqualify them from being a good person, or that you couldn’t potentially get along with people because we all disagree on some things, that’s just a fact of life. And let’s be honest, American politics is a huge scene and its weird and there’s nothing quite like it replicated in any other country that I know of. And it has been a beacon for democracy for a long time, even if right now it possibly isn’t. The world is seeing a move towards populism as it seeks to integrate life and social media together in a meaningful way.
But beyond the people and the politics of the USA, the country itself will be an amazing destination for so many years to come because it’s diverse and varied as its people. From the Grand Canyon, to Mt Rushmore, to it’s incredible National Parks. Not to mention Hawaii versus Alaska, two extremes and two places I hope I can visit in my lifetime. And yes, very VERY different.
The cities are electric, New York City is a place you really should try to see before you die. And Washington DC too I would say. But Boston, New Orleans, Austin, San Francisco, are all cities that I think are truly brilliant places to visit. And iconic, all of them in some way – and you know because of the wealth and reach of the USA, the rest of the world has been exposed to a lot of their culture through film and TV and music and more.
So. There you have it. The USA. It’s your day. Enjoy it and enjoy the amazing country that you have! May the Journey Never End!