This past October I set off on a trip to New Mexico, California and Texas!
I spent my time in New Mexico checking out Albuquerque's infamous International Balloon Fiesta! I got to see the morning glow, where the balloons light up against the dark sky and create quite the effect :) I was disappointed however, that due to concerns related to the weather, the balloons were unable to take off both days I visited. And I had visited the final weekend of the fiesta. Pro Tip: go during the first weekend of the fiesta if you can. This allows for more time to see the balloons take off in the event of inclement weather on one or multiple days. Also, I learned that most of the poor weather conditions occur toward the end of the fiesta, resulting in a cancellation of roughly 30% of planned activities. Nonetheless, I got to learn a lot about the history of the fiesta, how it operates, the changes it's seen over the years, and make many fulfilling connections. So, I left satisfied and with the desire to return another year to see the balloons take off!
My time in Los Angeles was spent with friends. I got to explore Tapenga, the areas of Sunset Strip, Santa Monica, and Venice Beach among other spots. I was reminded of the soothing and temperate weather that this city has year-round, yet also of the focus people have on their image (which one could argue is too strong), along with the need for a car if one lives there.
I finished my time in and around Dallas, where I connected with some of my professional contacts, and got to enjoy the slower, southern pace of life. I recall making the connection that in New York, I often feel that waiters who engage in "small talk" with customers can be seen as inefficient and wasting time when other things need to get done. In Dallas, at every restaurant I went to it felt the opposite to me -- that engaging in conversation with customers not only wasn't a bad thing, it was actually seen as part of their job -- part of creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
I love experiencing other regions of The United States and of the world because it allows me to gain new perspectives and re-evaluate my current ones. Are there any locations you have visited which had this impact on you?