Where have you been? I’ve seen updates on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram… How long have you been away?!
These have been the questions and conversations I’ve had in the days since I came back from my last big trip. So firstly, I’m sorry I’ve been quiet here. Secondly, I have so much to tell you!
I should start at the planning stage. Where, why, and how did I plan my trip?
I knew that summer was going to be very busy and intense because its similar each year at work. This year, I decided that my long break would come directly after our busiest time. From the start of September for just over two weeks, I would travel to the west coast of the USA for the first time. This would take a few months of saving and some serious planning.
Part-time travel is the way I attempt to find balance and to recharge. Some people would not find my style of travel relaxing but it really recharges me. I can have one day on a beach or just staying in/around a hotel and then I need to do something. I’m constantly on the go but it makes me feel alive.
Hiking and being in nature is something I’ve gone back to recently and it feels great. Plus, I get views like this one:
Deciding on Places to Visit
I spoke to a tourism board last year at World Travel Market and built my trip around visiting their region of California. I had never heard of Tuolumne County before and I’m so glad I got to see the diversity of California through the press trip part of my travels. More posts to come on this region.
So I booked my flights to go into San Francisco and out of San Diego when I headed home. The places I visited were:
Columbia State Park
Yosemite National Park
San Francisco (take two!)
Grand Canyon National Park
and a random, spontaneous day trip to Mexico for a margarita!
A Difficult Challenge
As if my schedule wasn’t enough to deal with, I wanted to show people the different options of transport too. I’m a big supporter of local, public transport so I would do California with no car. That’s right #CaliWithNoCar.
It was pretty tough but I used trains, buses, trams and trolleys to get myself and my backpack around. Amtrak, YARTS and city transport networks are really great…most of the time. Find out more in my upcoming posts!
Food and Drink
California is known for its great wine and the food on my trip was fantastic. From seafood to steak to vegetarian dishes, I ate it all! I had to seriously increase my cardio to not double in size but it was worth it.
I had some amazing moments on my trip. I loved finding out some of the history of California and Nevada, the indigenous Native American people and other settlers, as well as the incredible natural history. The landscape is much more varied than I had imagined. California is more than beaches! Everyone should explore inland. If you have time, I promise you will find so much away from the coastal areas.
I stood in front of one of the natural wonders of the world, became a fan of a sport I had never really seen before and fell in love with a new city – success! I gambled $16 in Vegas and didn’t make it to all of the places I wanted to see – fail! It was a typical big trip. Some things went smoothly, others didn’t. I was surprised by some places and met great people. I’m pleased to say that overall it was amazing.
I have a whole notebook full of scribbles and two memory cards of photos so I will be back to blogging over the next few weeks. I saw and learnt so much that I want to share. My main message is to go and do it. Visit the USA and explore California