TRAVEL: A Broken Computer and New Plans

This is an update to explain why I haven’t updated in a long time, what’s been happening, and what’s going to happen.

My travel plans have changed in a big way. I was supposed to be finished with the USA in July after exploring this vast land, but something happened. It involved mumbling crackheads, an Amish dairy farm, the Declaration of Independence, US Visa forms, and the Boston Red Sox. Now, my planned stay of 6 months has turned into exactly eight months and counting.

Please allow me to elaborate.

I had a plane ticket from Los Angeles to Paris for the 22nd of July, 2011, and it was fast approaching that date. I’d already seen quite a bit, from Southern California and the Mojave Desert, to Washington, DC. I’d seen the Dutch Farmland of Pennsylvania and taken a cruise around the ports of Rhode Island. I watched the Stanley Cup being welcomed into a very drunk and rowdy city of Boston, Massachusetts after watching the Red Sox win a home game at Fenway Park, and yet it wasn’t enough. My experiences weren’t merely satisfying my need to explore American culture, but just like the secret additive I suspect is in most of this nation’s food and drink, they made me want more. Looking at my flight out of the country, I understood that I was to be leaving soon, and yet I was clutching on to my American flag and my pizza box like a crack addict. I just wasn’t ready to go, and so something had to be done.

Jessie and I agreed that we would extend our US Visas for another six months, push back our flight to Europe to the end of the year, and continue our exploration into the various cities and states. We’ve now lived in New York City, both in the fancy side of the Bronx (it exists), and in the hip Lower East Side of Manhattan. We’ve visited California, New Jersey, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Upstate New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Maine. We even survived summer heatwaves and then the fury of Hurricane Irene, as her wrath was brought upon the Big Apple. In the coming months, we are exploring Vermont, and Montauk and the Hamptons at the end of Long Island.

After that, we’ve covered a bit of California, all of New England, plus a bit of the East Coast, but that isn’t enough. We want all that gooey stuff in the middle, and so as a grand finale to our time in the United States, we’ve planned a giant 8-week roadtrip that loops around the entire country. On October 15th, we’ll head from New York to San Francisco through the Great Plains, Badlands, and Rocky Mountains of the northern states, then head back to New York through the deserts and swamplands of the south, with a detour down to Orlando, Florida. After a five days back in New York City soaking in the festivities of a white Christmas, we will then fly out of the country. Hopefully then, my exploration into American culture will be complete.

I would’ve mentioned all of this earlier, but our computer broke a couple of months ago so I haven’t been able to write and post my reports. We’re now in the process of claiming the computer on our TravelSure travel insurance, which I’m sure will be a traveller’s adventure in itself. Hopefully we’ll have a working computer before we hit the road so I can share some of my thoughts on the places I’ve been and the things I’ve seen, and a more detailed outline of our roadtrip. However, until then, I’m off to ask our travel insurance company to do what we paid them for, while they try to find ways to make it too tedious for us. All part of the joy of travelling!

A homeless raccoon peers out of his trashcan in Central Park, Manhattan.

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