We arrived in Albuquerque, NM late last night and this morning, we spent our time ravaging green chile burritos at Frontier, a quirky college spot with homemade tortillas on the menu and rifles on the walls (we did say quirky, didn’t we?).
Back in 1994, a zit-faced pre-teen sat on the back of a Chinese tour bus on a family trip to Washington D.C.
She loathed the idea of spending her summer with old Chinese ladies peeling oranges into plastic bags. She resented the fact that everyone seemed to have a comment about her looks, height, or grades (or even worst, mistook her sullenness for obedience). And if her mom asked her to fake-smile in one more picture with a statue of a dead man, she thought that she’d scream. (Why was it a prerequisite of every man of historical worth to have bad hair anyway?)
Fast forward to Day 2 of our American road trip…
Today was one of those humbling days where I was reminded of the patchwork of deviants who questioned status quo. American history didn’t just belong to a handful of old, white men. It was built off the backs of rugged individuals searching for more: more opportunity and more freedom to choose.
It sounds simple, but not until I started traveling aboard 5 years ago, did I realize the luxuries I took for granted by merely being born in the right place, at the right time. With all the contradictions that the US represents aside, it felt great to be holding an American passport today.
Three months ago, Calvin from The Monsoon Diaries and I had an idea to do a road trip across the U.S.
Our passports have stamps from over 100 countries combined. Ink mementos from places as far-flung as North Korea and Antarctica (Calvin), and as off-the-beaten path as Mozambique and Lesotho (myself) tattoo the pages of our little books. But when it comes to the U.S., one word describes us both: clueless. The size of the U.S. alone is daunting enough, not to mention the fact that both of us are city-dwelling, Uber-reliant, public transit nuts.
In other words, how do you transverse a country half the size of Russia (no joke) with two vehicle-phobic vagabonds? No idea. But as always, our motto is to do now, question later. So we organized a 2-week road trip across 18 states, with 15 road warriors joining us for the 2,400 mile ride.
The results? One grizzly, adventure-filled, beast-of-a-trip, with 2 (minor) accidents and the most diverse crew of co-pilots you can imagine. Today we explored the our hometown of New York City, tomorrow we take on the U.S.
Hello Spring 2015!
We had our kick-off drinks for our upcoming Spring 2015 trips yesterday. New travelers and friends going on our American Road Trip, Venezuela, and the Guianas came out for a whirlwind pub crawl through NYC. SO. MUCH. FUN. Thanks to everyone who came out and see you on the road in the next few weeks!
Like any big city, New Year’s in New York is synonymous for overpriced parties with underwhelming open bars. So for the past two years, I’ve made an effort to stay clear of the pressure to look decent in -20°F NYC weather. This year was no exception: I decided to start 2014 off right by relocating myself in the warmest place I could find for the cheapest flight I could get, and BAM! I was in Bermuda.
But alas, plans never go as smoothly as planned and my friend couldn’t make the trip with me last minute. So I did what I always do: packed my bags, improvised, found a Couchsurfing host (Adam), and had my best new year’s yet.
I had the luxury of dining at Sobrino de Botín, the world’s oldest restaurant while I was in Madrid. Though the place is a tourist trap and I fell victim to over-priced and over-rated suckling pig, and there’s something to be said about sipping wine in a 286-year-old cellar and good service. By good service I mean the manager offering to let me go in the back to snap this photo of Porky and Co.