Once again, I’m in Austin for SXSW Interactive; the forth time I’ve attended an event I find easy to disparage. Yet this is the first stop on a trip that will take in several hundred miles of Interstate highway between here and San Francisco; two points of familiarity on an itinerary that promises to be anything but predictable.
Transcending America’s Pacific coastline aboard Amtrak’s Coast Starlight.
My North American adventure started in Washington DC, ostensibly to attend a conference, but it was also an excuse to see Shannon, who graciously planned a tour of the city.
Before I write about my most recent travels across Canada and the United States, I address the hypocrisy of taking such a trip.
As I walked the streets of San Francisco, buoyed by their comfortable familiarity and unique soundtrack, I knew that this was still a city I could never call home.
I hoped that almost missing my flight would be the worst my trip to New Zealand would have to offer, but thanks to overzealous immigration officials at LAX, that was nothing but a minor blip.
Today was largely taken up by a flight back to London from San Francisco, where I spent the last ten days.
As I approach the end of my latest trip to America, I continue to fight the losing battle that is getting people to understand me when I say my first name.
Growing up, my brother was always the one in our family more interested in American culture. Whilst he followed the NBA and listened to Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan and Eminem, I stood to the National Anthem and worried about Britain’s growing closeness to Europe. America was of little importance to me.
The final stop in my four-city tour of the US in October was Washington, D.C.
I briefly encountered Chicago in March, relaxing there for two nights after three long days aboard the California Zephyr. At that time it was a snow covered, cold and blustery city, but I saw enough to want to come back.
The first stop in my four city tour of America was Seattle in the north-western state of Washington. Best known for its iconic Space Needle, it’s perhaps no surprise that I spent most of my time fixated on this slender looking tower.
The California Zephyr is a 56 hour, 2348 mile long train journey that starts in Emeryville, California. After speeding across the deserts of Nevada and Utah, it climbs over the Rocky Mountains, tunnels under the Continental Divide before heading towards its final destination of Chicago’s Grand Union Station.