I'M GOING TO AMERICA, WOOO! *sings Miley Cyrus Party In The USA*
(I swear, I'm LITERALLY jumping on a plane to LAX...)
(I swear, I'm LITERALLY jumping on a plane to LAX...)
On January 2nd 2015, I booked possibly the most exciting adventure of my whole life. It was pretty spontaneous and although is going to cost me a small fortune in total (bye life, hello budgeting), I've never been more ready my very first solo adventure!
At the end of last year, I decided that I wanted to do more things just for me. It's the first time I've been single in a while and although this hasn't hindered my decisions before, I highly doubt I would have taken the plunge if I'd still been with someone (because let's face it, it's SO much easier to go away with a boyfriend on an all inclusive beach break). I originally started looking at Camp America to work and travel, but after lots and lots of research came to the conclusion it wasn't for me. I got a new job in November, I'm pretty happy there and don't want to leave to work abroad, but I still had a travel bug in me that was itchy to book something.
When the New Year rolled around, I couldn't help but really feel the whole 'New Me, New Year' thing. I asked work if they'd be flexible in letting me take three week off in the summer and being the super lovely people they are, they agreed. (I even sent them the link to show them exactly what I'm doing!). My mum was an Au Pair in San Francisco at a similar age to me now, and I've heard many amazing stories about the things she did and saw out in America. So when I pitched the idea to her, she was super keen and supportive (thanks Mummy), so I clicked 'booked', paid the deposit and it's been 6 days since and I'm STILL so giddy about it.
"So Brogan, where are you going?!" I'm starting in LA, trekking around the West Coast of America for two weeks, before finishing back in LA. (check out the map!!) I'm going with a company called Trek America, who've been running since 1971 and are pretty well known for their camping and solo adventures.
The trek I booked is called the Westerner 2, but I went for the Budget Lodging Tour (BLT) version as I like a bed at night! The exact same trek is available if you'd like to camp; and although I don't mind being in a tent, I prefer the idea of little cabins/motels/hotels knowing that after a really long day I'm going to (hopefully) get a good nights sleep. I looked at doing the Southern Sun trek (equally as good), which goes right across America, but having already visited New York and Florida and it being a bit longer, I thought I'd keep this trek to areas I've never visited before. Plus, two weeks felt like a good amount of time.I fly out to LA at the end of June, will be in San Francisco for the 4th July (way too excited about that) and return home 10th July. The trek itself is two weeks long but I'm staying a day before and few days after so in total, I'll be away for 18 days.
I'm going all on my own but will be meeting 13/14 other trekkers just like me. Trek America actually told me that there's two girls travelling together, but the rest of us are solo travellers too. We're all aged 21-27 (we'll have no problem with those drinking laws!) and we'll have a trek leader who'll be with us every step of the way. Trek America is open for anyone aged 18-38, so it's great we're all of similar ages, although it wouldn't have bothered me anyway.
I'm most excited about meeting new people, a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and experiencing Independance Day in San Fran. I've watched god knows how many YouTube videos and to be honest, everything looks amazing. Yosemite National Park will be beautiful, especially as I studied it at school for so long. I've climbed Snowdonia in the UK and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, so any hiking (despite how girly and unfit I am) won't be new to me either.
This trip doesn't come cheap, but as I'm turning 21 in March and not only want to remember this as the year of adventures, I couldn't think of a greater gift to ask from my family than the experience and opportunity to travel. I'm actually really late to the game as apparently, most people booked their treks MONTHS before me, but I was happy to get some discount and the very last space. When Trek America told me I was their final passenger to complete the date for that tour, it honestly felt like fate.
I could ramble on for so much longer about this but for now, this is part one of many blog posts to come. I'll be sharing hauls of things I've bought, my packing before I leave and of course, I'll be vlogging whilst I'm there too. I'm going to try and not live the trip through the camera (my batteries won't last anyway, haha) and will most likely vlogs bits and bobs for memories and to share with you. Either way, there's going to be loads of content. To be honest, I probably won't shut up about it. Especially on Twitter. Sorry in advance. ;)
I'm also going to take this moment to say a MASSIVE thank you for all your incredible tweets and messages of support and love. You guys are the best. Honestly.
Here's to a New Year, new 'me', a new adventure and cracking my first new year's resolution; getting out of my comfort zone more! If you've done Trek America let me know your tips and tricks below or join in and follow my journey by tweeting me @brogantatexo. S'laters!