Friday, 6 September 2013

Country in review: USA

The USA is arguably one of the most diverse and interesting countries in the world. When you consider all that the nation has to offer it is not as surprising to learn that only around 110 million out of 313 million US citizens hold passports. From the natural beauty spots to the impressive cities America has something to attract everyone.

Breath-taking nature…
Whilst you can ski in the American Rockies or in the Lake Tahoe area on the border of California and Nevada you can also head to Florida and experience the tropical climate year round. The USA has 401 stunning national parks. Perhaps the most well-known is the Grand Canyon in Arizona. For those feeling fit you can hike in the park camping or staying in lodgings en-route and really soak up your surrounds. For those wanting to see the sights without quite so much hard work why not travel by mule? There are mule tours of the canyon running throughout the year. If you’re on a tighter time schedule you could just opt for a bus tour of some of the most beautiful view points. Whatever way you chose it is certainly worth a visit.
Another park that really shouldn’t be missed, particularly if you’re lucky enough to be an expat in the US, is Yellowstone. It was the first national park to be established in the USA in 1872 and boasts the opportunity to see an astonishing range of animals such as grizzly bears and elk.

Surprising cities…
There are many great cities in the USA which are worth a visit and, if you are an expat who has moved for work you are likely to be based in one of them. Whilst New York is probably the city that springs to mind straight away when you think of the USA, and certainly one that shouldn’t be overlooked, there are many more that are worth a visit. San Francisco is a great west coast city with many iconic sights. The Golden Gate Bridge is a staggering sight and the cable cars are sure to remind you of many a film. San Francisco certainly has a quirky side too. If you head into San Francisco Bay you will come across the Wave Organ, a 25 pipe organ made from the stones of a demolished cemetery and PVC pipes which emits sounds in response to the waves.  Apparently for the loudest performance you should visit at high tide.

Sporting spectacles…
If you are lucky enough to be living the expat life in America you will undoubtedly come across American football and basketball. If you have kids at school you may well find yourself talking about team try-outs and going along to watch a match. Watching sport is big business in the USA and the annual NFL Super Bowl attracts audiences of around 110 million- that’s the same as all the Americans who hold passports tuning in! The NBA meanwhile is home to the top 30 basketball teams in the USA and one from Canada, the Toronto Raptors. The matches are, like in the NFL, big events and like football in the UK they are taken very seriously. Even if you’re not a huge sport fan going along to your local team’s big match is sure to be a real American experience and as an expat one it would be great to enjoy.


So whatever your interests are I think it is fair to conclude that life in the USA is anything but dull and can allow you to experience a whole host of new and unique experiences. 

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