US Travel adventures 1 – preparations

Hi everyone,

I haven’t been writing much. It has to do with the fact that I am preparing for my biggest adventure in ages, which is: traveling through the US + Canada! There’s a lot more to arrange than I thought, and time seems to fly by so fast that I am in a hurry to get everything finished on time! Aaaaah, stress! But it’s going to be worth it!

Booking flights + making a plan!
This was the first thing I did a couple of months ago, I went to a student travel agency and told them where I wanted / needed to go to. I sat there for about 2 hours to arrange everything, from connecting flights to small tours in cities, but the final result is:
June 13th – 16th:
– Flying to Toronto, Canada with my lovely girlfriend
– Taking the bus to Niagara Falls
– Get to the hotel and see Niagara Falls and surroundings for 3 days

June 16th – 20th:
– Take the bus to Toronto
– Meet our couchsurfing host there
– Hang out in Toronto for 4 days

June 20th – 26th:
– Flying to NYC and sending my girlfriend on a plane home 😦
– See and do a lot
– Meet my dad’s friend
– Meet a friend from camp

June 26th – 30th:
– Take the bus to Washington DC
– Stay at a friend from camp
– Go to Gallaudet to visit a friend
– Do stuff you do in DC

June 30th – July 9th:
– Drive to Athens, Georgia
– Camp Twitch and Shout
– Lots of fun!!

July 9th – 15th:
– Fly to San Francisco
– Do a 3 day tour to Yosemite
– Get tattooed
– See the city

July 15th – 24th:
– Take the nightbus to Los Angeles
– Do a 4 day tour to the Grand Canyon
– See the city

July 24th – 28th:
– Fly to Chicago
– Hang out in Chicago

July 28th:
– Fly to Amsterdam and then go home and be sad for a few days

Getting in to Canada/the US
Luckily, as a Dutch person, I only have to fill in an ESTA-form online and pay $14,- to be granted access to the US. For Canada the same, but then it’s called ETA. I thought it was scary to fill in the forms, because what if they decline my application?! So I postponed everything until last week and then got over myself and did my applications. Within the same hour I got the message that it was all arranged πŸ™‚

Finding places to stay
I tried finding locals on couchsurfing who were willing to host me, I found 3 people, of whom 2 cancelled on me last week 😦 But I’m very grateful that 1 person didn’t and I’m looking forward to meeting him!

Other than that I booked beds in shared rooms in hostels, which will be a great way to meet people. When I was in Sydney, Australia, I saw 20-person rooms, and that isn’t necessarily what I want. So I booked a bed in a 4-person room – enough to meet people, but not too crowded. My hostels are mostly in the city centres, since I like to walk around cities and not take metro’s or trams because you can’t see the city that way (and, I hate public transportation and find it scary!)

What to do when you’re in a strange city, ALONE?
Yes, this was a bit daunting to me at first, the idea of spending time ‘alone’ and doing things ‘on my own’… not doing activites with friends or family, but deciding for yourself and by yourself. I found a website that sell the CITYPASS, where you get to do all kind of activities for a discounted price. I will buy one for NYC and perhaps Chicago.

I won’t go to fancy restaurants by myself – or ever, to be honest. Since I stay at hostels, and hostels tend to have kitchens, I’ll cook my own meals, bring a tupperware box from home and will eat in parks, or in the common area of the hostel. That way I can see a bit of the city, or talk to other people in the hostel. And if I don’t want to be around people I just sit by myself – take my hearing aids out and I won’t be bothered by anyone!

Blogs for the coming months
This blog will be transformed into a temporary travel blog, combined with what I experience as a Deaf person/Touretter abroad! I hope there’ll be lots of pictures and nice experiences written down.

Love, Sam

Question: Have you ever been to the cities that I’m going to? If so, let me know what in your opinion are things I need to do/see!

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One thought on “US Travel adventures 1 – preparations

  1. Wow dapper allemaal! En klinkt als een goede voorbereiding.
    Heel veel plezier alvast! Geniet!
    Liefs πŸ™‚

    Like

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