A Grand Tour of the States (Part 6 – Final Thoughts)

Final Thoughts

So this section will be short, because this entire blog series was a difficult one to write. That’s why I only finished it eight months or so after I actually finished my trip, phew. The videos were a big part of that, but they were also only an excuse. The long, long pages that dividing my blog posts by location (and caused me to combine many days into one post) was a bad idea too, as part of conquering a task is to break it down into smaller tasks and that was hard to keep track of while writing this. And I bet that this also made it much more difficult to read.

I did learn from this — my second blog series, the Rose-Tinted Goggles one, was divided by day instead of by location, contained no videos, and was done right on the spot where possible rather than putting it off for months afterwards, and that came out a lot better. Still, I had to go back and finish this one up for posterity, and I’ve finally done so as of July 20th 2022, yay. This is a big weight off my chest.

Now I can plan my next trip!

I did really enjoy this trip, though it was about as long as I could take being away from home at this point, I think. Despite living in Canada for so long, this was my first actual vacation trip to multiple points in North America, and only my third trip down to the USA, the first two being to northern states (Portland for a cancelled surgery and Minneapolis for a Summer Games Done Quick event).

Even though I largely stuck to Asian food this trip outside of New Orleans, I did enjoy the temporary immersion into various different cultures, and the visits into several people’s homes. I purposely avoided some tourist locations, like climbing this tower and that tower for an exorbitant fee just to see a nice skyline (despite loving city skylines), yet I totally embraced other tourist locations, like Central Park and Times Square and Alcatraz. I really enjoyed my Airbnb houses for the most part, and even the bad experience eventually ripened into an interesting experience.

Our friends group has been talking about doing a meetup in Vegas or something for a long time now, and although that still hasn’t happened, a couple of us did meet up at Rinuruc‘s wedding and that was pretty neat, and I managed to meet at least one friend that I had previously only known from over the Internet at every stop I went to as well. Plus Eileen, my former Primary 4-Secondary 2 classmate, over in Los Angeles! That was a blast from the past and a very important meeting that changed my life’s trajectory ever so slightly and paid off many dividends on my Singapore trip in May/June 2022.

My next trip will probably be to Japan or South Korea, and I will be utilizing all the lessons learnt from my successes and failures in blogging these couple trips over the past year (2021-2022) to refine my technique even more. I wish I did this for my last trip to South Korea in 2014-2015, as I had lots of memories there that are now lost to time. I will still be making a post for those trips eventually though, if nothing else just to have a place to display my photos without commentary so they’re no longer on Facebook.

I’m not sure I gained much from not planning my trips out in advance, except the flexibility to pick a last minute rental depending on what I felt about my previous hotel/rental, and the flexibility (which I used for my day trip to San Jose, sort of) to go to another city if I wanted to take a side trip somewhere. I could have gone to a different city too, and seriously considered Seattle, Denver, New Jersey, and Boston, but none of those ended up in my itinerary due to plane tickets.

Anyway, there were lots of little new cultural experiences that I really enjoyed, and I was doing my cultural course (the MLP/Multicultural Learning Pods thing) for the CIL while I was on the trip too, so I actually talked about the trip in the two or three online meetings that we had while I was on the trip. There’s a saying that part of going on a trip and becoming refreshed is that while you’re on a trip, you’re in a type of mindful mode that you never are in your day to day life, and part of that (or perhaps a result of that) is being able to actually look at, recognize, and appreciate the cultural differences between the places you live in and/or were born in, and where you are while on the trip.

Even though I took a one month trip, I only ended up taking five or six days worth of vacation time from work during that time, and a good part of that was me being willing to work in the mornings and evenings, sacrificing that time to make sure all my work gets done, and then planning my trip activities around them. That wasn’t actually bad, although it had the effect of entirely slicing out the times that I would have used to work on my blog. I did do lots of detailed notes anyway, and that (plus an oddly selective memory) was how I managed to do my blog writeups many months after the actual events.

But it could have been better, and the more I do this the better I will get at it. Now I can plan my next trip!

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A Grand Tour of the States (Part 5 – New York)

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