USA: From New York to San Francisco

I remember me and my friends sitting in a cafe and talking about the USA. How amazing would it be to rent a car and drive from the East to the West coast? From New York to San Francisco. From the city of bankers, where everything is telling you that “you should make more money” to the technological capital of the planet Earth, a city of programmers.

Was it by share luck or something else, but cards laid out just perfectly. We got our visas just before the USA reduced its diplomatic presence in Russia. We passed the US customs. So, there we were in the land of opportunity.

Roads

America is well known for its roads. And they are really good. Opposite lanes are usually divided by a median strip, so little chance of head-on collision. Surprisingly, we saw a highway police only once during a month-long trip. There are rest stops and rest areas along all the highways - very convenient!

Unfortunately, the road from New York to Texas is kinda boring - plain fields and trees. But eastern part of USA is just beatiful. By far my favorite piece is Sedona.

Cities

See a separate article.

Food

Burgers, sugar, burgers, sugar, burgers with sugar, sugar with burgers. By the end of our trip, I swear I can literally feel sugar with my tong (and I am not talking about the sweet sensation). That’s how much sugar there was. But apart from that, USA is great. You can try cuisines from countries all over the world: Mexican (guacamole - mmm), Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and so on.

The selection of food in an average supermarket is superior. Imagine every supermarket being as big as Ашан.

Economic

Obviously, they are doing good. But after spending one month in China, I was a bit disappointed. A lot of “CASH ONLY” places, buses for long distance travels (compare this to high-speed trains in China), not so many electric cars (again, comparing to China). Overall, I now see why some people predict China overthrowing the USA as a world leader in 20 - 50 years (1, 2).

People

A lot of people smiling. People say that it is a fake smile. I did not feel that. In fact, for me, it was the opposite. I remember a few people smiling when we saw each other with the sincere, kind and open smile. I think it is because the quality of life is generally higher there and people are generally more satisfied with their lives.

Also, strangers can talk to you and that’s considered normal. Feels so weird at first, but later you start doing the same.

What I enjoyed the most

#1. Hiking in Grand Canyon

#2. Walking in White Sands National Monument

#3. Biking in Mountain View

Special thanks

I wanna say thank you to my friends without whom this trip wouldn’t be possible. Live long and prosper.

Anton Kaliaev

Software engineer, blogger, public speaker, traveler

Ulyanovsk, Russia http://homeonrails.com