Summer, the best time of year is coming and many of us already started planing their summer holidays, so do I. My summer will be little bit different, comparing the passed ones and takes more than two months. But I’m so excited and counting days till the day I will land on American continent, again.
It’s not more than five months, since I moved back from Estonia to Slovakia and now, few months later I’m moving again. Now to United States Of America. Well, that’s life of traveler, we never stay at the same place too long. Thanks to Camp Leaders Slovakia, I found nice summer job in Connecticut. I will work as a support stuff in children’s camp, called Wah-Nee, near the city of Torrington. Literally, I get paid for going to America :) it sounds very nice, but all money I’ll earn I’ll spend. I have already counted my expenses while travel arounf USA and the day I come back, I will have zero on my bank account :) again..
My flight from Amsterdam (AMS) is going to land in New York City (JFK) pretty early, around 12:50 (pm), so I will have enough time to get some lunch and take few pictures for an article. Kinda looking for this 8 hours long flight, since it’s operated with Delta airlines. The last time I flew to New York on board KLM and I’m always happy to experience new airlines. I have already been to New York city two years ago, but I’m still so much excited, because you will always find something new, each time you visit this city. Hostel is booked and paid by Camp Leaders, with perfect location – right on Manhattan, on Amsterdam avenue. The next morning I’m off to Torrington, Connecticut, to Wah-Nee camp, where will I remain for ten weeks and I really can’t wait to go there. Free bus shuttle will pick me up in the front of the hostel the next morning. I call my stay a „recovery stay“ since all around the camp is only dense forest, lakes, fresh air and nature. Can’t wait till go running and enjoying camp fire by the dead of the night, singing country songs and bitching about mosquitos. I’m excited to know american culture more, children in the camp and finally, I will see, how Americans celebrate 4th of July – the Independence day.
After the camp:
Well, while my embassy interviews in Bratislava, I talked to other students who go to USA this summer, to work in the summer camp. I asked them, where will they travel after the camp and for how long. I remained very surprised. The answers were like „5 days“ or „one week“. What the hell! Am I the only one, who stays for 18 days? My friend from Slovakia will come, and we will meet in San Francisco.
1. New York to San Francisco I have already booked all flights, and my first flight is from New York (JFK) to Oakland (OAK), via Los Angeles (LAX). Why Oakland? It’s one bridge away from San Francisco (not Golden Gate) and many dollars far from flying directly to San Francisco (SFO). This flight is operated by Delta airlines and I always stay surprised, how flights in USA are cheap. Paid only 120 dollars for 7 hours in the skies for total. Staying in San Francisco is way more expensive, so if you want to save some money, book a hotel in Oakland. It takes 30 minutes from one city to the other one.
2. San Francisco to Las Vegas After the stay in San Francisco, I have booked direct flight to Las Vegas (LAS) from San Francisco International (SFO) with United Airlines. Las Vegas is city I ever wanted to visit. My and my friend, we will definitely won’t miss playing casino and party hard in this desert city.
3. Las Vegas to Los Angeles For very fair price, we booked Jet Blue flight from Las Vegas (LAS) to Los Angeles, Long Beach airport (LGB). I really like Jet Blue, since very few american airlines provide baggage included in the price of the ticket. The baggage fees are not high, usually it is around 25 dollars, but with Jet Blue, you don’t have to pay. Our flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles cost only 40 dollars, baggage included.
4. Los Angeles to San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico Bus from LA to San Diego costs around 20 dollars, and it is not too far. San Diego has beautiful ZOO, but world’s most guarded border, as well. With Mexico. To be honest, no one recommends me to visit Mexico, because border policy of United States of America. My J-1 visa are valid for a period while I will work, then I have 30 days grace period to discover culture of United States. At the time, when I leave USA during my grace period, my visa looses validity and I can not re-enter USA back on them. BUT there is a solution, Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) available for few countries around the world. Luckily, Slovakia is one of them, so I can enter USA back, as tourist but I have to convince the police man at the border, that I will leave USA. ESTA is valid up for 90 days after you enter USA, but in my case, I can not stay another 90 days, since I have already been in USA for 3 months. It seems complicated, but I hope it is not. I have already asked my university for confirmation, that I will continue my studies and I will provide hotel reservations and booked flights back to Europe at the border. Otherwise, I will have to stay in Mexico, but I am willing to take this risk.
And why am I so determined to go to Mexico? It is my dream to cross world’s most guarded border, between Mexico and USA, in San Diego and Tijuana.
5. Los Angeles to New York City Since my return flight back to Europe is booked from New York (EWR), I have to come back to Big Apple. I have booked flight with Jet Blue again, you know, I love them for their baggage policy. This time I decided for overnight flight, so I saved some dollars for accommodation. Evening depart from Long Beach in Los Angeles (LGB) airport to Boston (BOS) and then next, short flight to New York (EWR). Two more days alone in Big Apple and then, after three months, finally back home.
I really looking forward spending my summer this way, I will take pictures, write articles and make videos. If you are interested, stay tuned, suggest to friends and travel with me :)
Milan Bardun 2014 – because it is better to travel, than to arrive
IMAGES SOURCE: Jet Blue logo, Golden Gate Bridge