After experiencing city life in Boston, we picked up our rental car and headed to New Hampshire, a thick forested state speckled with sparkling lakes and jagged mountains. As we turned off the interstate through woodland roads, a country channel spluttered to life on the radio and we passed a “Guns, Ammo and Knives” store. We shared the roads with trucks carrying timber, 4x4s and the occasional noisy big motorcycles, all bearing the New Hampshire state motto on their registration plates: “Live Free or Die.”
Since we arrived in New York a week ago I’ve lost count of the number of times Andrew and I have said to each other: “This is just so… American!” From the hordes of Red Sox fans in their baseball caps and shirts to the giant pretzels sold on street corners and wooden-clad houses with huge porches and flags flying from the windows, America is just how I imagined it would be.  Somehow it’s oddly satisfying to see many of my expectations about America come to life; perhaps visitors to the UK get the same kind of thrill out of seeing regular British people drinking tea, eating fish and chips and playing football?
We’ve finally arrived in America! It feels good to be back in travel mode and it feels even better to be travelling here in the US.  It’s been a while since we set off with the sole purpose of simply exploring and soaking in a  new country,  but that’s exactly what we intend to do for the next three months, starting with the Big Apple.
I woke up this morning in a bit of a panic. This was brought on by the realisation that we have just five days left in the UK before we fly to New York. I started this summer with lists of plans and projects to tackle, I had articles and e-books to write, research to undertake for our move to Europe after Christmas and of course, things to organise for our fast-approaching trip to the US. Have I managed to tick even half those projects off my task list? Not even close, but we have had some amazing catch-up time with family and friends, so it’s definitely been a summer well spent.
To me, the start of a new year always begins with autumn, my favourite season. I suppose that’s because for most of my life, September has brought with it change, a new academic year and the chance to start afresh with a batch of brand new notebooks and pens. I love the feel of autumn’s approach as the long summer evenings start to draw in and an Arctic nip taints the morning air, bringing with it the promise of orange-tinted leaves, silver frosts and bonfire night.
After finally completing the school year in Vietnam we are itching to dive into the excitement and trepidation of travel again; of new places, plans and ideas. In fact, we’ve plunged straight in, fleeing Hanoi by night train on the very day we completed our final classes and now we look forward to months of new adventures. There will be a huge difference in the next stage of our journey though, we’re saying goodbye to the often hellish bus and train trips we’ve been used to in Asia and travelling by rental car through America and Europe instead.