Category Archives: USA

H2O has inspired many artists. For this challenge I decided to show you a different interpretation of water. I’ve got many beautiful photos of waves, waterfalls and serene lakes. This is not nature at its best though, but rather a human perspective of water. I found this little piece on a power box wandering through Fremont, Seattle, an area full of art and street art. I love that even a lot of the swimmer’s tattoos relate to H2O.

Everett, Washington, is only a half hour drive from Seattle. It’s home to one of the biggest manufacturers of airplanes in the world: Boeing. Well, it’s one of the sites in the world where Boeing works on airplanes. Here the 747, 777 and 787 are assembled from pieces flown in from other factories. I don’t know all that much about airplanes, but a big metal thing that can take you across oceans in the sky demands a bit of fascination. It’s intriguing, even if it can all be explained by physics. If you think airports are exciting, try seeing the assembly line of Boeing 787! Since I didn’t have a car, I went with a tour operator from Seattle. A friendly, slightly crazy, driver with a pilot hat took us to the Future of flight, which is the visitor center. There is a small exhibition there, but to be honest that…

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I’m walking to the train station and that area has some bus stops, but also seems to be a popular place to hang out, especially if you have no place to be. One man comments on my backpack and says I must have been everywhere, big smile on his face. He shouts something to his mate further on and as I pass him I hear him: “It’s like in a movie man. The light shining on your face. Hair blowing in the wind. It is perfect man.” I can’t help but laugh. Goodbye Portland. You travel to a city, grab a guidebook, look online for some inspiration. Then you make a list of the sights and start exploring. But what if the things to see are a bookshop, a donut store and a bunch of breweries? Portland is still a bit of a mystery to me. I loved my time…

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Rainy day in Seattle? Ok, pretty common this time of year. Not necessarily the worst though. There are many things you can still do, like visiting one of the museums. The EMP museum kept me entertained for over 3 hour and I pretty much left because they were going to close. What’s so great about it? It’s super interactive and hands-on. The EMP focuses on pop culture and has some permanent and some changing exhibitions. They’d just opened a Hello Kitty exhibition, but I sort of raced through this. It was full of items with Hello Kitty’s face plastered on it. It seemed to be extremely popular but I never got into that. The girls dressed up like Japanese anime figures definitely did. There are rooms dedicated to film, more specifically fantasy, science fiction and horror. There are costumes and props and explanations about imagined worlds. These spaces are exciting…

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I’ve arrived in Seattle. I open the train doors and walk off. One of the train staff is yelling. He’s yelling at me! Apparently you cannot open doors yourself in America. I try to find the bus stop, but the locals send me off in the wrong direction, so I decide to keep walking. It’s starting to rain as I walk through 1st Ave. Not really sure how far the walk is, I start to doubt myself. The rain is only getting worse. When I step into the hostel, the water has crawled up to my knees and my hair looks as if I just got out of the shower. Welcome to Seattle. Since I can’t check in yet, I walk towards the Pike place market. It is much bigger than I’d imagined and it is covered. They sell everything from collector’s items like stamps to food and clothes. There…

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This is me a few years ago, high above the Grand Canyon. It’s almost as if you’re looking down upon a different world when look over the edge. It’s so big, so wide… almost surreal.  

The big advantage of travelling solo is that you often don’t have to plan things way in advance. That popular hostel might have one bed left and popular activities have that spot that others don’t want to fill. And so it happened that I got lucky in San Francisco on my trip to Alcatraz. I hadn’t realized that boats got booked well in advance and I might miss out! Being only the lonely I got a ticket for the same day though. After an hour wait I hopped on the boat towards the infamous island. Every ticket comes with a specific time and this means that there is not much waiting around from then on. Being one of the first I got the prime spot on the boat and enjoyed the chilly morning ride. It was clouded and windy and thus the weather added to the experience. Arrived at the…

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As a Dutch person I’d never heard of Ripley’s bizarre museum. It seemed to me like a typical American thing and when I read about it I immediately decided I just had to check it out. Basically, Ripleys believe it or not is a museum full of curiosities. Among the items on display were shrunken heads and upper bodies, replicas of really fat and really thin people who have once lived. There were people with bulging eyes and a guy who’d taught a pet snake to crawl through his nose and come out through his mouth. Spoiler alert! The best joke is a bunch of mirrors on the wall. Next to them hang stories of what some people can do. For example, one could touch his nose with his tongue. The sign said to check in the mirror if you could do it yourself. Haven’t we all tried this at…

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Every now and again, museums open up to the public for free. The Louvre in Paris opens their doors to anyone who’s interested on the first Sunday of the month, the MoMA in New York has their Free Friday Nights and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg lets people in for free on the first Thursday of the month. Plan your visit well and a city will welcome you with open arms and doors. On my trip to San Francisco the Academy of Sciences had a free entry day. For a penniless student it’s the perfect day to explore. Of course this huge pro comes with a lot of cons. There are a lot of people, both locals and tourists, that feel penniless and seize the opportunity. When I joined the cue I was told there was a 1,5 hour wait. Luckily this turned out to be less than an hour.…

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The Yosemite national park just has to be part of a trip to California. However, without a car it can be tricky to get around the park. Since I didn’t just want to see the popular valley, I decided to book a three-day tour with Incredible Adventures. There were only a few other people on the tour and therefore we had a very comfortable trip to the park in the big van. From the start it felt like a road trip with a group of friends. There was no set itinerary and we could all decide together what we’d like to do. Our first stop was in the Sequoia forest with the humongous old trees. We made a beautiful walk through the forest, passing some interesting spots. There was a hollow tree you could stand in, Telescope tree, and as the name implies you could look all the way up…

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