This is a guest post by Josh.

During summer ‘16, I set off on an adventure around the United States of America. An adventure I had waited my entire life for. All in all, I managed to visit 13 ‘major’ locations. Out of all of the locations I visited, there were some notably amazing places, rich in charisma and character.

But it appears that everybody that travels to the US always seems to write about how you ‘HAVE to go to New York City’ and how you ‘HAVE to go to California’. Granted, they are both wonderful places. Be it the wonderful atmospheric streets in Manhattan, where pedestrians move at a ferocious pace, the city literally never sleeps. Or the warmer climate that California offers, with a more laidback and relaxed attitude.

Obviously, both locations offer different qualities for different reasons, but you already knew that, didn’t you? Of course you did.

Let me explain: whilst planning the trip across the states, I encountered many articles about New York or California. Obviously, there were others. But predominantly, the main focus were on the two previously mentioned places...


Lightbulb moment


But after spending countless hours researching the locations I would visit, I came up with an idea. See, I’m a big movie and TV series fan. A lightbulb moment then occurred ‘I’d like to visit locations famous for films!’ My mind started racing, Rocky (Philadelphia), Red Dragon (Baltimore), The Blues Brothers (Chicago), Breaking Bad (Albuquerque), Dexter (Miami). That was it, and that was how I planned my journey. I ended up with 13 locations across the US, New York, and California included. 


I arrived in the US in New York, where I must admit the hype from my time researching was certainly living up to the expectations, wow, what an amazing place. I don’t know, there is something about New York, you really can’t put your finger on it. It truly is amazing. I spent 3 wonderful days here before embarking on the rest of my adventure. 

Philadelphia 


Every time I think of Philly, I always think of that Fresh Prince of Bel Air intro. ‘In West Philadelphia born and raise…’ Also, obviously Rocky springs to mind. My to do list stated that I wanted to run up the Rocky Steps and give the double arm fist pump famous pose. I managed to do that, which was surreal in itself but Philadelphia, wow! What a majestic city! I arrived on a hot summer's day, the weather was beautiful. Everybody, and I mean everybody, was smiling and in a good mood. Everybody was relaxed. I stayed here for two days and I loved it.


Top 5 things to see in Philly 


Liberty Bell

This was a historic moment. This cracked bell represents something to a lot of people, a sense of freedom. To be there with it, well that is just unbelievable.

Rocky Steps

So, as a big film fanatic. This was a dream come true. I managed to run up the stairs that Rocky ran up, I did the pose and it was just fantastic. What's more, the view from the top of the steps wasn’t too bad either. For me this wasn’t about the city per say, granted. This was about recreating a childhood memory, and that is just pure class.

P.S. When I took the taxi from the Liberty Bell to Rocky Steps, it only cost $6. That’s a bargain! 

Spanish Festival

Upon walking around Philly, I happened to stumble across a random latino festival. Latin food, latin music on stage. But, not just latin people. There, in that moment right there in Philly, I saw so many different cultures and creed, enjoying themselves. Dancing to the music, trying the food, being friendly to one another. After the bad press America gathers, this was a beautiful thing to witness. Serenity. 

Independence Hall

Again, another historic moment, not just for me, but for many others. Standing amongst a place with such historic value is an incredible feeling. 

Spruce Street Harbor Park

This was an unexpected site. Think hipsters and laidback. This place was perfect. Food joints all over and a relaxing area to chill in after you have eaten. 


I think it's time to shift focus from the ‘major players’ in the tourism industry of America. We all know about New York and LA, while we neglect serious opportunities to explore a more in-depth adventure of the real United States. 

Quick tip: ESTA


If you’re planning on heading to the US anytime soon, visit estaform.org - you may be eligible to travel to the US without having to obtain a Visa. It is quick, easy and cheap!


This guest post was written by Josh and Sophie. Visit their website here.