Update from my Big USA Trip
I can’t BELIEVE how long it’s been since I wrote on here. Where TF does the time go?!
I’m currently on a three-month trip up the middle of the US, from Austin to Minnesota. And I’m having a brilliant time. I thought I’d give a little update on my first month – Auston > Houston > Lake Charles > New Orleans.
I’ve taken approximately 400,000 steps in that month – that’s around 200 miles in 30 days. Wow! I went to South by South West Festival in Austin, which was absolutely incredible, epic even. I’ve written an article about it for gapyear.com so keep an eye out for that some time.
It’s the largest gathering of tech, film and music people from all around the world, working and collaborating to decide our future without us even knowing.
I spent my mornings here checking out speakers on everything from human trafficking to how to go viral online to how social media enhances the festival experience, all at the Austin Convention Centre. And then afternoons were spent checking out a band, or a film, while well into the night I celebrated with new friends and made the most of the free parties. The two weeks at SXSW rate somewhere among the best of my life.
After three weeks in Austin it was time to move on to our Beyonce’s birthplace, Houston. I had a whirlwind 48 hours; with the number one priority stop being the Houston Space Centre. Mainly just to utter those legendary words from my perch in a replica spacecraft; ‘Houston… we have a problem’.
While here I saw how the astronauts practised for take off and learnt their skills in the huge training facility and I also sat in a simulator so I can now tell people I’ve been to space, kind of, or at least what it’s like.
While in the city I also went to Houston Zoo, to the Museum of Natural Science and to the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Temple, which looked incredible. I fattened up on a milkshake and burger tasting at Grub Burger, peaced out at the Rothko Chapel and stood in the centre of the legendary Water Wall soaking up what it’d be like to be at the epicentre of a waterfall.
Houston was cool y’all (picked that up while I was there), I’d definitely recommend it
Then followed another brilliant 48 hours, this time in Lake Charles. It’s a small town between Houston and New Orleans, my next stop. I expected to take the two days to chill out amongst nature but what I actually did was spot 27 alligators within three miles, get overexcited at the casino on $15, learn to peel and eat crawfish, explore the huge houses of the historic Charpentier District and go for a drive-thru daiquiri, yes, that’s a thing here. It’s all ok if you keep the tape over the straw hole. I also had a great time seeing the years of costumes at the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu – housing the biggest collection in the USA.
I need to come back for the real event.
And my home now for 10 days, New Orleans
After a super exciting month it gets even better with a good amount of time in New Orleans. This has been on my dream list of places to visit for years and now I’m finally here. Just walking the streets the architecture is every bit as incredible and colourful as I wanted it to be in the French Quarter, there really are people out on the pavements playing jazz and the pretty city parks have been a welcome surprise. I’m two days in, with an exciting few weeks ahead of me, but I love it already!
If you want to follow along I’ve just joined Snapchat at VickyFlipFlop.