America is one of those marmite countries – people either really love it or they really hate it, but absolutely everyone will have an opinion on it whether they’ve been there or not!
Personally I love it (I also love marmite) and for no particularly huge reason other than I just have so many great memories from my travels there and as the title of this post indicates it really was the first country I ever fell in love with.
My first ever memories from this life of mine are from my first trip to America – I remember a hot, humid evening dancing around a tent wearing a Native American headpiece. I remember being pushed around Seaworld in a dolphin shaped buggy. I remember particular walks and small little events that for some reason have stayed prominent in my memory. I was 3 years old yet I still remember.
Well I guess we had quite a fortunate situation – before I was born my dad’s brother moved out to Florida for a years’ work experience – what he hadn’t anticipated on was meeting and falling in love with his now wife, getting married, having children and finally setting up home an hours drive away from Disney World!
To this Uncle Keith I say – Nice one! – This move on your behalf has provided us with a constant flow of US holidays throughout the years.
As children my brother and I would be taken across the pond to spend full 6 week summers camped out in my family’s beautiful detached Lakeland, Florida home. To this day they still live in the same house and now whenever I visit, all the smells and feelings of my childhood come rushing back.
I do believe my obsession for travelling may have stemmed from having my first holiday experiences driving our way around the Eastern States of America. Whilst other kids would come back to school with stories from their all inclusive holidays to Tenerife my head would be full of such adventures like camping in the Smokey Mountains, toasting marshmallows around campfires, visiting American Indian settlements, trekking behind waterfalls and moving from one place to another in the back of my uncles Land Cruiser – or, as we had nicknamed it, the ‘Land Crusher’.
On this particular trip we had driven from Florida through Georgia and into North Carolina where we camped for a week, white water rafted and swam in lakes in replacement of a swimming pool. We then continued north to stay with family in Pennsylvania, ate a lot of bbq’ed steak and were fascinated by seeing an Amish family go by in a cart. Then pushing a little further on we headed into Washington D.C to see the State sights before heading back down to Florida where we spent the rest of the summer visiting theme parks and going to the beach.
I have been back and forth to this country many times and each time has been a completely new journey. I will share with you at some point some of my favourite bits and my favourite places but for now I just wanted to share with you why this country means so much to me. People may have political views and opinions on the US but for me the country symbolises something much simpler and purer. It is a country now filled with the happy memories of my inner child, a country that is home to my beautiful family and a country that has remained a constant travelling inspiration to me throughout my life.
A year ago I had my first trip to the west coast of America – keep an eye out for further posts on some of my favourite bits, some do’s and don’ts of a road trip and why my heart will always stay true to Florida.