There is no other country in the world that we think we know so well, even if we have never set foot on it. And nowhere in the world as capable of exploding all our preconceptions so completely from that first moment. The USA is everything you expect and much, much more.
The world’s cultural, political and economic powerhouse for the last century is like nowhere else. Even calling it a single country feels wrong, as, while the states are “united”, they are also very separate in many ways. Comparing arty, liberal New York’s whirlwind of languages, immigrant cultures and opinions with no-nonsense Texas (catchphrase: “don’t mess with Texas”) or the Latin swelter of Miami with intellectual Massachusetts is impossible. California’s great cities, Los Angeles and San Francisco, offer something different again. LA is a place of glorious, glamorous excess while San Francisco is cool, liberal and open-minded. The Pacific Ocean and diverse Californian countryside will leave you breathless. One thing, however, is constant throughout the USA and that is the famous warm welcome.
There’s only one way to really get to know the USA and that is by exploring for yourself. Of course, you could prepare by consuming any number of Hollywood movies dedicated to the American dream, reading Kerouac’s On The Road or just switching on the TV. US culture is literally irresistible.
But the cities are only one aspect of America. The spirit of rugged individualism that Herbert Hoover ascribed to the American people comes not from the towns, but from the wide open spaces that just beg to be explored, whether the deserts of Nevada, the Rocky mountains that run all the way from New Mexico to Alaska or the Great Lakes of the north east.
Once you’ve had a taste of America, you’ll be hungry for more. Learn English in the USA with ESL and tuck in!