North America is geographically split in terms of size quite equally between the United States and Canada. Mexico comes in third. However, this is not similarly represented when it comes to political, economic and military power.
If you read the about us page, you will know that Melvin’s family on the father side are all in the US. However, as a matter of circumstances he has not. Having grown up in Singapore instead of the US meant that there is a significant “gulf” in mentality and individual culture between Melvin and his cousins. So while it is true that Melvin has visited, he has never truly been exposed fully to American culture and influences.
The United States
So many places to visit, so little time. From deserts and shrub lands to dense alpine forests and sub tropical seas, this country has it all really. No real need for Americans to venture out of their own country when there is so much to do in the 50 states…If we do an in-depth exploration of each state, we just might need all of 50 years!
Five separate journeys, that’s all that had been done with the US so far. All in different parts of this large continental sized country. It is true a lot of time was spent in New York, but we had also been ‘excursioning’ to much of the northeast – Philadelphia, Baltimore, DC, Atlantic city etc…Melvin went as far as Amish land and antique hunting in Pennsylvania! Yes we know the Amish are elsewhere in the US too.
Disney World in Florida was a definite go to place. And as much as we could, we drove all the way to the end of the keys for Suan to swim with the dolpins before jumping on a cruise.
The southwest that is the canyon lands was explored in depth and over a ~5000km road trip.
Las Vegas was thoroughly enjoyed with culinary delight and shows (saw 3 Cirque performances!).
Yeah the northern most state is also its largest single one. Bought for US$7.2 million in 1867 from the then Russian Empire, we are sure the Russians must be kicking themselves for giving away what would be a prized foothold on the north American continent. It is also for this reason that the US and Americas in general can be truly separate from the rest of the continents.
Yes, been there and done that. But again this is a continental sized country, though much of it is uninhabited and formidable to access. Where we’ve been is where people have been relatively more successful in setting up ‘civilization’, so it is the big cities thus far : Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal.
Aside from the Canadian side of the Niagara, we had barely touched this country’s other known sights. Perhaps it was simply not sufficiently known to us, though we have to admit the Rockies had been on the bucket list like forever…
The Caribbean & Central America
It will be an insult to call the Caribbean an ‘American lake’, because this hints of hegemony and domination. And the US is not a hegemonic power right?
Our sole sojourn into this part of the world was via a cruise on Carnival. As the name of the cruise line suggest, it was a fun ship (literally playing into their tag line). Of all people we truly enjoyed the 7 days onboard. It was memorable as well as
Using the cruise as a springboard, we touched the Grand Caymans, Belize and Honduras (well the island of Roatan anyway). Now it is in Belize that we saw our first Mayan structure and actually climbed up to one of the main pyramids. And while in the Caymans will definitely not forget how the stingrays swim up to us to eat off our hands…standing on chest high sea, wow we did that!
And we did bluff ourselves as having stepped on Mexican soil at Cozumel.
Aside from Cozumel, the nearest we got to Mexico is Los Angeles! Lol…Definitely a must go in the future and plans are already underway to develop an itinerary to cover the major Aztec and Mayan sites before heading off to Cuba. Gotta see Cuba before it changes forever!
Many exciting memories to recall from all these journeys. In fact, will be there again pretty soon and updating this page soon. Next destination : San Francisco and the bay area!