I’ve been to the USA…

…and all you get is this lousy blog article. But let’s back up a bit. How is this even important? Lots of people visit the US every year.

NYC seen from NJ 911 monument

The thing is that, even though I turned 30 this year, I’ve never really left Europe all that much. Most of my friends and even family members have been all around the globe, but I have never been able to save some money and go. That’s largely attributed to my inability to handle money well. Earning a bit more and trying to be a tad more responsible with my spending finally started changing that. Now here I was, deciding with my girlfriend where to go in our big 2017 summer holiday.

Our trip took us from New York to Philly to DC to Charlottesville to Knoxville to Nashville to Cincinnati to Pittsburgh to Stroudsburg. We covered close to 2400 miles with our rental car and stayed at 8 different Airbnbs.

I came to the States with certain expectations; to see a land obsessed with itself, with heritage and nationality; with capitalism and getting shit done. What I got to see were people that made me understand these prejudices. Roads, towns and cities, that told the story of an americana so modern and yet so set in its own history. People that were hospitable and reactionary. Strangers showing genuine interest within a nation obsessed with smalltalk. Young and old folk that loved to tell stories and explain themselves and their views on a nation that is still so young in comparison.

Especially in a time when my country is struggling so hard with it’s own identity, it is much more interesting to look at how other nations handle this topic gracefully – or not so much. How symbolism inspires pride; how religion and immigration shapes the behavioural norms of the populace.
I’m still very impressed by all this. By everything I saw and felt and ate and heard. I look at the pictures I took and feel pride and joy and sadness and I want so much more.

I’ll be back soon.

Here are a few pictures, loosely sorted from different films and different cameras and cellphones. The pictures are big. But feel free to download to your liking. Just don’t use them commercially. Thank you.
Also: Use this song as a soundtrack. Do it!

Our first host's house

Susan and Toby

Merle in Shenandoah