There is more in the world than Spain

19 September 2016 0 Comments Category: Active Lifestyle, Barbara de Swaan

The Dutch have always been travellers, maybe because it’s such a small country, maybe because we’re surrounded by sea or maybe just because we love to visit new places, meet new people, learn new languages and cultures and food and everything that comes with travelling.

In our opinion, the Spanish in general do not tend to travel much. They do explore their own province or district and on some curriculum you will even read that they have visited Madrid, but that’s about all of it. Exploring the rest of Europe, the beautifull capitols or even leave the European continent, is not on their wishlist. We love Spain and we love to travel through this country, but we think it’s very important for your general development, to travel troughout the world. We don’t want our kids to think that the rest of the world is like our little cosy village on the Costa Brava.

Having said that, we decided to take out a second mortgage and spent our holidays in the USA of Amercia the whole month of August. One of the great things of travelling is the preperation; picking the dates, the flights, where to go, how to drive, what to visit and where to sleep. We started on the East Coast in Miami before we continued by airplane to Las Vegas. Miami was beautiful, tropical and extremely hot and humid. We hoped that the children could start practicing their English from now on but there were so many Cuban influences there, that most of the time people comunicated with us in Spanish. This to the pleasure of the kids!

In Las Vegas we stayed for 2 days and rented a car. Our kids loved Las Vegas: the lights, the gambling, the huge limousins, the attraction parks and the huge hotels.

From there we went by car to the famous natural parks like Gran Canyon, Zion and Bryce where we walked for hours and fell from one incredible view into the other. We have seen a lot of beautiful nature in other countries, but the enormity of these parks was mesmerizing. Luckely our children love walking and nature because with the heat and the long walks it was easy to get tired.


After the parks, we continued to Palm Springs, Los Angeles and along the West Coast to Santa Barbara, Monterrey, Santa Cruz and San Francisco. We have seen seals, sharks, deer, chipmunks and all kind of beautiful birds. We discovered that a lot of Mexicans live in California and that in many parts you can get away with Spanish only. The Americans are friendly and helpful though a little unwordly. Many had no idea where Spain was situated or thought that we speak Portugues in Spain. We were surprised by the amount of extremely overweight people, but we understood the reason because of the food they offer. Everything is in huge amounts, with lots of sugar and fat. The type of food they offer is rather monotone and unhealthy, so we ate a lot of salads beside the hamburgers and pizzas.

San Francisco is a very nice city with a town like atmosphere and a lot of hills. We rented some bikes and drove along the coast and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. We returned with a ferry and had supper at a friends house. After two days in San Francisco we went to Lake Tahoe and another natural park Yosemite, which we loved. From there we passed through Death Valley, the hottest dessert in the world, to return to Las Vegas.

We stayed in Las Vegas for three more days with the main objective to relax next to the pool after having driven 4.500 KM’s through California. The trip was almost about to end but first we took a flight to New York, the Big Apple. For 3 days we crossed Manhatten in all possible ways; we visited the 9/11 Museum, the Statue of Liberty and much more, just so our children would have something to put on their CV beside having visited Madrid. Definately an experience to never forget!



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