USA Roadtrip 2019:
Prologue & Epilogue
My boyfriend, Enrique, and his colleagues Audrey, Idriss and Max from O’Sol attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Afterwards I and Idriss’ friend, Khalid, joined them for a road trip from 12th to 27th January 2019. It was my first time in the US, and I expected beautiful nature, delicious unhealthy food, XXXL-sized everything, a lot of noise, and – I’ll admit it – superficial yet friendly people.
All of my expectations were met, as you will find out in the posts about this trip, apart from the noise and the people. It turned out that cars in the US were generally newer and quieter than European cars. I was stunned by the silence, especially in Las Vegas. I found US Americans to be very friendly, not in a fake, but in a welcoming way. I really enjoyed my interactions and talks with them, as they always put me in a good mood. Living there would be different of course, and maybe then I would have more difficulty with Americans generally not opening up as easily as Central Europeans, but as a tourist I truly enjoyed people’s ways of behaving.
We also encountered some rather strange things I hadn’t seen before. For example, that cars in many states only need to have one number plate, either at the back or the front. It was interesting how it always caught my attention, because of how used I am to cars having number plates, both, at the back and at the front. On the road we discovered commercials that didn’t advertise food or other products as you might expect, but rather advertised lawyers, hand-readings or religious messages.
Totally normal in the US: Cars with only back or front number plates and religious messages along the road
<Click images to enlarge>
Sinks in the US also held an interesting surprise for us: next to each sink there was a switch with which you could turn on a “garbage disposal system” which liquefies food waste in your sink and hence avoids clogging. Another interesting aspect of a typical US household was the blankets. Instead of one duvet, we found a combination of sheets and blankets in American beds. I assumed that only the sheets, which were supposed to protect the blanket, were washed regularly, but I preferred not to think about it too much. Showers would gave two curtains – an inner and an outer one:
In my posts, I frequently mention the government shutdown, which to us meant that we didn’t have to pay fees to enter the national parks we visited. While we were happy about that, we also felt sad for the many thousands of people who went unpaid through those weeks. I was especially shocked when I heard about people taking advantage to vandalise the beautiful nature, such as in the Joshua Tree National Park, my favourite park in our entire journey.
Finally, I would like to add a different note to this pro-/epilogue. Some of my friends noticed that the way in which I wrote some posts didn’t match my usual, enthusiastic and lively style. The truth is that unfortunately, our group didn’t really match, which resulted in many fights, overshadowing the trip. As my motto is to #Saywhatis, I found myself in a dilemma: On the one hand, I couldn’t just leave out the background story about our group’s lack of cohesion and just write how amazing the whole trip was; On the other hand, I couldn’t really go into too much detail about the fights, as that wouldn’t be fair for the other people who couldn’t explain their views here. That is why I decided to leave most of those issues out temporarily and to write authentically about the rest. As beautiful as the things we saw were and as thankful as I am for all those experiences, I couldn’t help but to feel a weight on me, which is why I sounded less enthusiastic than I would normally be. To live up to my motto and not withhold that side of the trip from you, I shall say that these fights were caused by a combination of different expectations of the holiday, preconceptions about the others, mismatching personalities and moral principles. I went through enough painful encounters in the past to know that in these situations, there is often no good solution other than to acknowledge people’s differences and accept that some people just don’t match. If I had known about all these factors, I would not have joined the trip. While I am grateful for all my experiences and everything I have learned from this trip, I found that I need good group cohesion for my well-being.
Click here to read the first episode of this USA Roadtrip 2019 or navigate through the Table of Contents:
Table of Contents
- Prologue & Epilogue
- Arrival & 1st Day
- Bryce, Zion and The Grand Canyon
- Cabin in the Woods
- The Golden Gate Bridge
- Huge trees & Hollywood
- Universal Studios Hollywood
- The LA experience
- A paradise of stones
- Finally, Las Vegas!
Written by Julia Heuritsch | Last edited: 29th June 2022