We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.
About this blog.
Road Trip USA is all about exploring America. Our goal is to visit all 50 states and discover what is special about each one. We want to find out what the best things to do and see are across this great nation and share all our discoveries with you.
We hope to inspire you to have your own adventure whether it be a cross country road trip or just a short weekend away.
In our opinion, America has something to offer everyone no matter what your interests may be. The USA has grand mountains, gorgeous coastlines, lush forests, great food, music, art and theatres, just to name a few. But it is a big country. And it can take a lot of time to see. If you don't have much time you should really focus on which states are most appealing to you instead of trying to do everything. We want to give you the best tips regarding travel itineraries so that you can make the most of your time here. And if you have all the time in the world... then lucky you! Go and see some of the places we've seen.
So your probably thinking why am I blogging about travel in America instead of Australia.... Oh yea, did I mention we are Australian?
I personally had wanted to visit America since I was very young, not just because of the movies but because of the wildlife and National Parks. I was one of those kids who was obsessed with animals but I particularly had a thing for North American wildlife (with dreams of owning a petting zoo filled with raccoons, skunks, coyotes, etc.). I collected books and maps on all of the National Parks here with dreams of seeing them in person one day.
Well one day took a long time to come around for me. I travelled many times to South-East Asia because of its proximity to Australia and of course because its so cheap! I guess one of the reasons I hadn't come to the States earlier was because none of my friends wanted to go, because I thought it would be expensive... and maybe I was scared to go alone?
Flash forward to 2013, Jamie and I had been together for one year and we were planning a trip to Indonesia for a few months on a surfing trip but I insisted that we would have to tick my American road trip from my bucket list first. We organized our first trip to the USA and spent six weeks road tripping the west coast and I FELL IN LOVE!
America was even better than I thought it would be! The National Parks were amazing, I finally got to see a bear in the wild, the food and beer was CHEAPER than in Asia, and the people were unbelievably welcoming. Our trip included California, Washington and Alaska. We crammed as much as we could into six weeks as possible and it was exhausting! I learnt that America was HUGE and it would take a lifetime to fully explore.
A new beginning.
Even though I love Indonesia and enjoyed spending months laying beside the pool, strolling in the warm air, swimming in a tropical ocean and eating exotic food, I could not stop thinking about getting back to America. There was too much to explore. We decided when we got back to Oz we would immediately look for jobs and start saving/planning.
Getting a visa for America is not easy! I discovered there was a 12 month work and travel visa university students were allowed to obtain once in their lifetime and decided to take that opportunity. Read about visa's that are available to foreigners for travel and study in the USA here. We ended up spending 18 months working and travelling in the USA (well only working for some of that time). We saw so many cool places, did lot's of fun stuff and made new best friends. And guess what?! We're still here!
We originally started blogging to document our travels just for us (hey, you need something to keep you busy when you aren't allowed to work) but then we kept getting questions about places we had been and a lot of interest in our travel photo's so we decided to start sharing our journey publicly.
What we love about the USA.
We love a lot of things about the USA but some of the things that stand out in particular are how friendly and hospitable Americans are. If you are lost they will practically show you the way and don't be surprised if somebody invites you over for dinner after ten minutes of conversation.
Also, we love how visiting a different state is almost like visiting a different country; the climate changes, the topography, the plants, the food and sometimes even people's accents, the way they dress and their culture.
We especially love the homes here. They are so cute and have so much character! I love the cozy, timber houses in the Pacific North-West, the New England style homes, the Colonial buildings on the East coast and the Spanish architecture in California is pretty cool too. In comparison, the houses in Australia are small and brick or are rendered as is the new trend. Australia does not value unique-ness so much and is all about jumping on the trendy bandwagon and keeping up with the Jones's.
Outdoor culture is also big here. Whether it is rock climbing, back country hiking, bouldering, fishing, snowboarding, hunting or other outdoor activity, America really caters for outdoor lovers with miles of trails to explore in their extensive network of State and National Parks and other wilderness area's, many rivers systems and lots of big mountains.
The thing I like most about America is the freedom. It is nowhere near as heavily regulated as it is in Australia.
What I do miss about Australia is being able to walk around barefoot without getting odd looks, the beautiful beaches, the beach lifestyle and the laid back attitude. American work ethic is admirable but we can't shake our Aussie upbringing of being slackers. Work is for calling in sick! She'll be right mate.
When we first came here we hired a car and either camped or slept in the car. It saved us a ton of money. Then when we came back knowing we would be here for an extended period of time we bought a mini-van on arrival. We went with the van option obviously to save on motel stays and the mini option to save on gas. Well, it turned out the mini-van was a little too squishy for us so we upgraded to our current beast, Big Kev, our Chevy G20.
We knew RV-ing was big here but we hadn't really heard much about this new vanlife craze/ movement, whatever you want to call it. We were just doing it out of necessity for what we wanted to accomplish and because we love road trips and being able to travel independently. But there were folks out there choosing to live in their vans. They were choosing this lifestyle for many reasons; to save money or live a debt free life, to get rid of their material possession's so they could spend more time doing what they love, to live a more simple life or to travel. This really resonated with me as I hate the idea of being a slave to the system and being stuck in a job I dislike just to pay off a debt that may never get paid off. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying a big house wouldn't be great, but we are not prepared to sacrifice our lives for it (not yet anyway). There are still too many adventures to be had. I'm not saying don't go and live it up in expensive hotels or eat at fine dining restaurants... by all means go and live it up! We would too if we could. And sometimes we do...