Dropping Pins from Coast to Coast: My Travels in the United States
By: Kenan Kunc, Fall 2015 Work and Travel Ambassador Scholar
October 10, 2015, was the day I began my journey to famous places in the U.S. I was excited, and of course, a little nervous. I thought of how I had said goodbye to my managers and friends. I wondered if my friends who accompanied me, Mehmet, Akif, Burnhan, and Sinan, felt and thought the way I did. I knew we would make some incredible memories. With our rent-a-car and extra advice from the kind rent-a-car employee, we were on our way.
Yellow Stone National Park
The first stop was Devil’s Tower. The tower itself was fascinating! I took lots of photos there. Afterward, we traveled to Yellowstone National Park. We arrived at night, so all of us had to sleep in the car and try to keep warm! We woke up in the morning to gorgeous views.
We were itching to see more of the area, so we drove along the Salt Lake City Road. It was so beautiful and peaceful! We stopped near a church where some girls approached us. I felt a little shy because of my English, but I soon realized that my communication had improved. I’m so glad they came over to talk to us.
The Grand Canyon is a massive and majestic place. I was totally in awe of the jagged cliffs and steep drops. If I ever have the chance to visit the U.S. again, I will definitely come back to see the Grand Canyon. It’s the perfect place to go and sit and listen to the sounds of nature. Additionally, I met some Turkish people in the Grand Canyon, which gave me a taste of home.
Other tourists overheard us talking in Turkish and they asked us about our visit and what we were doing in the U.S. This was the best opportunity to talk about CCI Greenheart’s Work and Travel program!
LAS VEGAS, let’s do this!
Las Vegas has it all, glittering with some of the best landmarks in the world. Who needs to travel when you can just go to Vegas? It has the Eiffel tower, bustling casinos, lush hotels, and cafes offering bite-sized morsels of other countries. One thing Vegas didn’t offer us was mild to temperate weather. It was quite hot there! Luckily, the casinos had air conditioning. I set my mind on playing jackpot as I didn’t know how to play Poker or Black Jack. After playing for an extended period of time, I realized how dangerous gambling can be. I now understand how people can become addicted!
California: Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco
I visited the Staples Center, what a cool building! I also got a charge out of Hollywood and Universal Studios. I would have never imagined having the opportunity to see Hollywood though I have always been a fan of artistry in the cinema. It was a really memorable experience.
Our next stop was San Diego. San Diego is a peaceful place near the ocean. One day I will come back with my wife. I imagine people in San Diego are always in a good mood. If lived there, I know I would be. Lastly, we went to Golden Gate and took a lot of selfies. It was our 9th day of travel, and I was eager to see The Big Apple.
New York, New York
I was amazed to learn that it only takes 6 hours to fly from the West Coast of the U.S. to the East. My first impression of the city was that it reminded me of Istanbul with the large crowds and interesting smells. Times Square encouraged me to live in the moment. I bowed my head at the World Trade Center, praying to Allah for people who lost their lives on September 11th. I also visited the Statue of Liberty.
I was so happy to take in all the sights and sounds, but I was also looking forward to seeing my family again. I’m so thankful I could go on this journey. I know this won’t be the last time.
See you soon, America.