Visiting America was always a dream to me when I was growing up. Watching all those American sitcoms on the TV it made the whole American lifestyle and place seem so appealing. I was obsessed with visiting and even wanting to live there.
So when I was finally old enough to get my own job, I decided to save up until I could eventually afford to pay for a trip of a lifetime with Trek America.
In May 2016 I did just that and I am so glad I did.
I chose to do the Western ‘BLT’ (Budget Lodging Travel) 7 day tour covering some of the places that I had always fantasised about ever since my obsession with watching The OC.
The tour started in San Francisco and after the first night in the hotel alone, I went down stairs to the lobby and was met by my tour leader and the rest of my group who I would be spending the next 7 days with.
Christian (my tour leader) was so lovely; he made me feel so comfortable despite being on my own and was so knowledgeable about everything you needed to know. Our first day together was spent walking the Golden Gate Bridge and taking our first journey in the van heading to Yosemite National Park giant sequoias .
Yosemite National Park unbeknown to me at the time, was actually the highlight and favorite part of the trip. When Christian dropped us off in the morning of our first night together with a packed lunch from the hostel and said ‘see you in 6 hours’ we had no idea what we were doing. We managed a 6 hour hike to the tops of waterfalls and it was absolutely amazing and so worth it. It gave us time to chat to each other whilst walking and take some great photos!
The second stop from Yosemite was Las Vegas! From serene landscapes and waterfalls to bright lights, party buses and some of the craziest hotels you have ever seen. This was the time for us to let our hair down, put on our best clothes and celebrate our journeys here. I honestly do not think there is another City like Vegas and recommend you visit at least once even if it’s not your kind of thing.
From Vegas we headed to the Grand Canyon and what made this experience even more special was that our tour leader (Christian) brought us all a bandanna which we had to tie around our eyes and then led us in a line to the edge of the Canyon for the big reveal! Walking blindfolded was a fun experience and also gave us a few laughs. I think having such cool and motivated tour leader was what made this experience for me. He even got us all up at 5:30am the next morning to head to the Canyon to watch the Sunrise!
After the Grand Canyon we headed to Colorado River, Az stopping off at Seligman, AZ (Old Route 66) on the way for some lunch at the Snow Cap Diner. This place is definitely worth a visit too if you’re travelling west and is apparently where they got the inspiration for the Disney movie Cars from!
Colorado River if I am honest was my least favorite destination as I felt it was kind of a mini Vegas without the buzz. We did play some Laser Quest though and had some games as a whole group in one of our hotel rooms. It was our last night together and I was feeling sad that it was almost over!
The next morning we got in our van for our last destination to Los Angeles. When we got to LA we walked down Hollywood Boulevard stopping on the walk of fame, observing the Hollywood sign from a distance (it’s actually pretty tiny!) before then hopping back in our van again for a short trip to the coolest place in the world – Venice beach.
It was time to say goodbye and wave each other off on our journeys L It was strange how we got to know each other, built friendships and yet some of us live in opposites ends of the world. Things like this are little reminders that we are all human no matter where we are from.
Christian dropped us off at our chosen apartments or hotels and we went our separate ways. I stayed an extra night in LA as I wanted to explore more of Hollywood and the beaches and some of the others did too I think although we were all staying in different places.
Overall I really enjoyed my Trek America experience and I would recommend it to anyone thinking about it or travelling alone. I am already looking to book my next trip I just need to get saving!
If anyone has any questions then feel free to comment below and I can try to help!
Thanks for reading,
Sarah Richelle X
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