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10 December 2013

My America (1)

With the end of university fast approaching, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do once I'm finished. More and more I find myself drawn to the idea of a roadtrip across America, navigating the wide open roads of the "Land of the Free".

My romance with the States started when I moved to Texas at age 16. My stepdad's an engineer and after years working in Kuwait, coming back to Yorkshire on holidays, he took up a job in Houston, a place where we could all be together. It seemed the better option to the Middle East.

I remember touching down on U.S. soil, glancing at the concrete highways and feeling the red-hot sun on my skin. We clambered into a taxi and set sail for the suburbs with heads out the window, absorbing this alien land of neon fast food signs, trucks and sprawling mansions.

My two years flew by. Two years of yellow school buses, drinking cheap, cheap alcohol out of styrofoam cups from fast food restaurants, high school proms with ice sculptures and graduations with flying hats, weekend trips to Lake Conroe north of Houston where we'd while away the hours on the boat and eat ribs by the water, sitting outside Starbucks smoking shisha with no place to go, and house parties with beer pong and getting black-out drunk. I know it sounds like cliche, but it felt like a dream. A dream with longhorns.

I returned to Brighton, my hometown, to study American Studies (it seems the bug had bitten me) and English Literature, and to settle. Not for long though. I spent my third year in Western Massachusetts, studying abroad at UMASS Amherst. I got to see what college-town life was like, and stroll the same streets as Emily Dickinson and Elliott Smith, granted centuries/decades apart. My year in Amherst passed like lightning with frat parties (one at an agricultural frat - who knew there was such a thing), dining halls, not to mention visits to New York, Boston, Thanksgiving in Texas, and Miami.

Here's a few photos from along the way:


Now all I can think about is where to next...

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