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USA

ONE DAY IN LOS ANGELES

On my flight back home from Hawaii, I happened to have an eleven hour layover in the so-called City of Angels. Los Angeles had always been on my bucket list anyway and since me and my friend naturally didn't intend on spending eleven hours at the Los Angeles airport, it came in quite handy.

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10 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE TRAVELING TO TEXAS

Texas. The Lone Star State, with whom you shouldn't mess with and where everything's bigger. Cowboy-country, the endless plains and probably THE absolute personification of freedom. However, Texas also has kind of a bad reputation at times. They're conservative and dated Republicans, gun lovers and laws like “it's illegal to milk another person's cow”, “it's illegal to possess realistic dildos” - this one's for Dallas only, kinda like to know about the background story here – or “it's illegal for one to shoot a buffalo from the second story of a hotel” - I always thought that would work better from the third story anyway – are adding to it.

So, what actually got me there? Truth be told, I wanted to see that cowboy-country, straight out of a western, searching for the inner yeehaw and so on. Honestly, who hasn't thought about becoming a cowgirl or -boy at least once in her or his lifetime? Right, everybody and I found it. It actually exists, but Texas isn't just cowboys, horses and cattle drives.

There is an unbelievable vastness. We were driving though the backcountry towards Oklahoma and you can go for miles without seeing nothing but grasslands and blue skies. It's a comfortable quiet, where time slows down. No more rushing.

But there are also this modern metropolises. Skyscrapers, huge malls, research, NASA, you can discover it all. So, here are a few facts you should know about, before traveling to Texas.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OR "THE CITY, WHERE I GOT SORE FEET"

Who doesn't the city that never sleeps. New York City. The city, that everybody wants to see, that everybody has to see, where you can go from rags to riches. And now, there's me, telling you that I don't have to visit New York a second time. Yes, you've just read that right. It was nice, experiencing New York City live, for once. The skyscrapers and Manhattan's skyline knock you flying and the Central Park is really pretty, but it's definitely not the most interesting place I've ever been to.

Let's start with our arrival. We landed at Newark International Airport in New Jersey, joining a shuttle to Manhattan, via the Holland tunnel. The shuttle, we had organized, had been a shared one and since our hotel was the last one on the route, it took about one hour and a half until we got there. Thanks to said shuttle, we nearly missed our flight back home, of which more later.

Our hotel had great location. Namely, on broadway, close to Central Park, the upper west side. It was called the hotel Marrakech. Actually, I can recommend this hotel. The location was great and the rate for the hotel room wasn't too bad for New York City conditions.


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534 MILES OF YEE-HAW - A TEXAS ROADTRIP

The United States are known as the country of freedom and no other state is representing this feeling better than Texas. You will get your freedom there at the same time with a huge steak, cowboy boots and empty roads.

My trip to Texas had already been a while ago, to be exact: in 2012. My travel buds and me were like let's go the whole hog and so we went there in July. Yes, Texas in July. As an European. I know, it's utterly crazy and I've never experienced any place around the world, hotter than this state. Well, Havana got close but didn't beat the 113°F / 45°C we had in Texas, but other than that, it was a really great time there.


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Canada