By Laima Urbonaite for Summersalt Yoga
I’ve never been to the U.S. before, but it felt like I was going to a place I know very well. It’s because so many movies are filmed in the States. Though it also felt like I wasn’t sure what should I expect.
We’ve started our trip to New York – the city that never sleeps. Though we found out that it actually sleeps if you’re not in Manhattan, and it’s actually quite quiet during the night! Though during the days it’s hectic and full of sounds. People rushing through you, there’s not enough space to move, you can’t keep a normal conversation due to all people chattering, the beeping, and the sirens. But all this is somehow mesmerizing and it makes you feel like you’re a part of a big organism that makes this city what it is.
I didn’t understand how big the NYC before we got here. It seemed like we should have reached the end of the city, but we would look at the map and see that it’s even hard to tell if we actually moved. After almost a month in NYC, we both fell in love with the city and agreed that we’re definitely coming back.
After leaving the NYC we toured a bit around the East Coast and made our way to the West Coast. Where people say the most beautiful nature is. One of the most highlights on the East Coast was…tailgating! We’ve heard so many songs about it and got an opportunity to try it ourselves. What a liberating and fun feeling it is to sit in the tailgate and just feel the breeze!
Before going to Utah (that’ where we’ve spent most of our time), we’ve spent a few days in Oakland and visited San Francisco from there. Both cities are beautiful and you can spend hours just walking around and enjoying the San Francisco hills!
After a bit more than a month, we’ve finally rented out a car and started our road trip around the land of the beautiful nature.
We visited Lake Tahoe, the place with a name difficult to pronounce for a foreigner, and a place of total relaxation. It’s the place to be if you want to immerse with nature and just enjoy the big trees, big lake, and cute cabins.
Afterward, we spent 10 days in Salt Lake City – a city that surprisingly has a lot of beer breweries! If you don’t know, Utah’s alcohol laws are pretty strict, but that doesn’t stop people from producing very good quality beer.
Our first get to know with Utah’s nature was Arches National park. We’ve been to a lot of beautiful places before, bet oh what a beautiful place this is. When we were entering the park, we got surrounded by breathtaking canyons that you wouldn’t dream such a place could exist.
Our first hike in the U.S. was to the Delicate Arch. Since I haven’t been working out much lately, uhm, I had a hard time getting there and needed to stop quite a few times just to catch my breath. Yes, I know, that’s when I understood I’m not in my best shape since the trek wasn’t that difficult and I have to do something about it. But the view we got to finally see when we reached our point was absolutely worth it! It’s just amazing how nature can sculpt such beautiful things.
Our next stop was Canyonlands park. After visiting Arches National park, it seemed like we already saw the most beautiful one and we will not get impressed so much anymore. But oh how wrong we were.
We didn’t do much hiking in Canyonlands since we didn’t have much time (as we also had to work at the same time, we’re freelancers), but the overlooks there are breathtaking. The canyons are so grand, my brain had difficulty processing what I see and understanding that’s not a picture, but the real deal I’m seeing! We also visited the Grand Canyon later, though I’m not sure which place impressed me more.
After being blown away by the views, we continued our trip to Brice Canyon and on our way there we drove through the Capitol Reef Park. It was my favorite drive so far. The sun was at the point where everything was so enlightened it felt we were in a fairytale.
The hike at the Brice Canyon was a bit longer and steeper than I expected. After realizing that I’m weaker than I wanted to be, I did actually start doing a workout routine, but I wasn’t strong enough yet. But after we finished our hike it felt so good to realize I made it. And I got to see so many beautiful things otherwise I wasn’t able to.
Though this was not the hardest hike during our road trip. The one that struck me unprepared was when we went to see the Wave. We thought it was going to be a 5km hike that I know I can manage. So we didn’t take any snacks and took only one small bottle of water for both of us (oh boy, what a mistake). It ended up being a 15km hike with very steep hills. Very steep. But the views here in Utah, they never disappoint. The waves were so picturesque and relaxing to look at, I felt more energized and was ready for our way back.
Our last stop was Zion National Park. It’s among the most popular ones on West Coast due to its proximity to Las Vegas. We didn’t think we will see something much different from what we’ve already seen but we were again so wrong. It’s incredible to see how nature can be so different even just a few kilometers away. Zion National Park also made me feel like I’m in a beautiful painting with lots of Bambis just a few meters away from you. I was very satisfied with the amount of deer I saw during this trip.
Our trip back to the civilization was a bit stressful since we mixed up our dates and when we came back to our host’s place, we were told they had to move our things from the room since other guests were about to arrive. It was already a late evening, so that meant we very late to check out. We double-checked our calendar and realized we really had to move out that day. So we quickly packed everything up, apologized a few times, and left Utah.
We’re now in Los Angeles, the city of wonderful weather and movies. We haven’t seen much yet, but I already love the vibe here. And +20 Celsius is always a good thing.
Our trip is going to an end and I already have that strange feeling when I understand I will be home soon. It’s a mix of excitement and unknown, as another chapter in our lives will start (we don’t have a permanent place to live since we travel a lot). But it’s exciting.
It’s also amazing how many things we’ve seen and got to experience. It’s already changed my perspective of the world again and how I see myself and everything that surrounds me. I’m also happy that I managed to find the strength in me to start my trip to my stronger-self version.
It’s been wonderful 3 months, every day was inspiring and made me feel grateful for the life I have. I’m already starting to think about our next trip…