I visited 19 states, got culture shocked about every day, hiked through tons of national parks like yellowstone, grand tetans, arches, bryce canyon, zion national park, grand cayon, mesa verde (that is now closed indefinitely), ...

Proof: http://i.imgur.com/3iDex36.jpg


Lot's of recurring questions:

How much did it cost? - I spent 10.000USD. Could easily have done it on 4.000USD. I just went nuts a bit. Where did you go? - Main travel plan: NYC - Chicago - St. Louis - Kansas City - Denver - Roadtrip to Wyoming, south dakota, montana, Yellowstone national park, grand tetans, Idaho, Utah, All National parks in southern utah, Arizona, Grand Canyon, Colorado - Denver - Kansas city - St Louis - Nashville - Atlanta - Orlando - Washington DC - NYC. Of course also did everything in between and many side excursions with locals.

Edit 2: I love the response, never thought this would be of interest to anyone. If I missed your question or follow up question, please be patient or message me privately. I'm up to talking to anyone about anything.

Edit 3: Lots of interest in more pictures. I'll make public albums. Please be patient!

Edit 4: Soooooo many questions! Unfortunately I have to go right now (you know, time difference and all ;)). I will return to answer more in about 12 hours from now. Also, all the people I asked to contact me, please do! All the people that want to contact me privately, please also do!

Edit 5: Lot of people showed interest in my video of the Grand Canyon: Here it is! https://vimeo.com/47893337

Edit 6: general map of the trip. Is only roughly plotted out of course: http://imgur.com/Grn9N0V

Edit 7: I will keep answering questions, but please be patient. 7500 comments to go through is a lot! And my inbox is filled with PM's too. I will respond to everyone though.

Edit 8: For all people saying I forgot California. It was a choice not to go there this time. Only had so much time. I feel the west coast deserves its own multi month trip. Going to West coast is my childhood dream so it will happen.

Edit 9: OK, so I think I got every question. If I didn't respond to you personally it's because I answered your question already about 100 times. Sorry, but look through thread and you'll get your answer. If you still have questions for me, PM me!

Comments: 8262 • Responses: 54  • Date: 

Tk14388952 karma

What was the most surprising thing you learned about Americans

skrln2338 karma

That we Europeans have the wrong idea of Americans. Unfortunately media portrays americans as shallow, fat, stupid, narrow minded people, which they totally aren't! Unfortunately all my friends think this and I try to convince them to just go to the US and see for themselves.

It's just that the people I just described are the loudest and get the tv and internet fame that we get to see them...

Movintoch717 karma

As a fellow Belgian that did 3 weeks on the WestCoast last year, I can only agree. We were standing on the side of the road in the desert, just looking and immediately this guy on a bike stopped and asked if we were okay. Our car broke down at a gas station in Fresno, it took about 10 seconds before this guy came and helped us. It would probably take way longer here.

skrln259 karma

People would think you are pretending to have broken down here and are trying to mug them if they would stop to help.

lurker_becomes_lurkd533 karma

Americans have the wrong idea about Europeans too. I think anyone who is spoon fed ideas and notions about people without actually meeting the people are going to have the wrong idea about them. We're all people. We all have merits and flaws. I don't think anyone's flaws outweigh their merits.

skrln290 karma

Exactly, its just that when you are told something over and over again, and multiple sources indicate the same thing, and everyone around you starts echoing the same thing, that thing becomes something of a truth to you. I never wanted to believe this about americans and I'm glad I didn't, i still try to convince my friends everyday.

Mackydude793 karma

What's the biggest cultural difference you noticed between the US and Belgium?

skrln1712 karma

You guys are so open and friendly. You can stand on the corner of the street waiting to cross it and just say: Hey, how are you doing? to a random person next to you. They'll always be friendly and answer. Doesn't matter if it's a girl or a guy. You could literally talk to anyone anywhere and have a conversation for hours!

Stuff like that is a big no-no in Belgium (and I feel in Europe in general). If you're sitting on a bus or a train here, everyone minds their own business and would never talk to one another. It would even freak them out if you did. Like if you talk to someone there always has to be a hidden agenda and they're incredibly suspicious. Even in bars, people just go their with their own group of friends and rarely talk to people from other groups.

I was depressed when I got back because of this... I even wonder how I make friends here.

There are tons more though :p

Zerraphina636 karma

I'm from the US. I lived in Germany for a year and traveled to Belgium, Austria, Slovenia and France. I can't agree more. The only friends I had during my year abroad were the other international students and a few Germans. It is incredibly hard to make friends in Europe. Like you said, people keep to themselves and would look at you funny if you tried talking to them like you would in the US. I found another American or Canadian on my train rides only a handful of times and we would always start talking(usually for the rest of the trip - an hour or more). The other passengers were mortified. Hehe. But overall, I loved living in Europe, but really missed and then appreciated the social culture back home. I hope you come to visit again soon!

EDIT: Wanted to add that I do speak German. I studied the language for 8-9 years prior to my trip. I spoke German the entire year minus the time around other Americans/Canadians/Australians/Brits/Scots...etc. This issue wasn't due to a language barrier, but a cultural difference. I think "It is incredibly hard to make friends in non UK Europe." would be a better statement. Don't get me wrong, europeans are helpful - I'm a petite girl and if I appeared to be struggling with my bags someone would go out of their way to help me, but this is an entirely different issue.

skrln505 karma

Next time you're around, let me know (this is for everyone here). I would be more than happy to meet you and show you around!

cmb8570384 karma

I'm planning on visiting Belgium in July for Tomorrowland.

skrln268 karma

They're internationalizing the festival as it got sold for billions. So there will be a tommorowland in your area withing a couple of years.

hde12875 karma

Where are you in Belgium? I should be arriving for the semester on Wednesday.

skrln142 karma

I live in Ghent, but I work in Antwerp. Where are you coming to in Belgium? I'm always up for hanging out!

hde12849 karma

Leuven. Not that close, but compared to America, nothing's really far apart in Belgium. :P I definitely wanted to visit Ghent and Antwerp anyway.

skrln16 karma

We should meet up. I can show you around in belgium and would love to do it! Get in touch!

Mackydude394 karma

That's an interesting assessment, and I'm glad you like us! Though judging from your photos it seems like you were mostly in the west or midwest. Cultural attitudes in America greatly depend on where you are in the country. I think your statements hold true for the west and midwest, but where I live, on the East Coast, most people are like the Europeans you described. They just go about their own business, and don't really say hello to other people. I'm attending college in St. Louis next year and something I noticed about the midwest is it's very laid back and people will say hi to random strangers on the street. (not east st. louis though, they'll just shoot you)

skrln442 karma

I sort of get what you're saying that it differs from region to region, but the least talkative people I found in Denver. The most social people were in Nashville (god I love that city!), NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington DC.

I traveled the east coast quite a bit, it doesn't show in the pictures because there is only so much room for pictures and I picked my favorite places mostly.

St louis I had great experiences too, was warned about eastern part, did not go there :p.

Black_Hitler153 karma

Atlanta! What did you think of my city? I would be mortified if you didn't have a great time in my home city!

skrln81 karma

Like i said, only very briefly in Atlanta. Was fun, also didn't feel too safe unfortunately.

PuroMichoacan142 karma

Chicago reporting! Yes we like to talk a lot.

skrln109 karma

I like to talk to you guys too!

mlaerome78 karma

Fellow belgian here, chiming in.

It's true what you say about Belgium. The people here are not as open or talkative as people from the States. However, I've travelled Europe quite a bit now and lived in Portugal for a year. I've met the most amazing people I've ever know there. Open, warm, understanding and all eager to share their stories. I had the same 'drawback' effect coming home again..

skrln88 karma

It gets better with hospitality in Europe when you go more south. That is also my experience...

silkyjohnstein543 karma

What were your expectations of American culture before you came here? What was your favorite part of America to visit? What was your least favorite part? If there was one problem that you noticed, how would you fix it?

skrln1264 karma

I knew it would be different from europe, but I couldn't know why beforehand. I just thought it would be bigger, because that's something we always hear about the states (like you hear from texans ;)).

I had a sense of the consumerism and capitalism you have going on because of whit I experienced in movies/tv shows/internet... And we have capitalism over here as well in theory, but it just doesn't work the way it should.

I mean, if i go to a store in the states i am helped within 5 seconds of walking through the door and they will do everything to satisfy me as a customer. In contrast, if I go shopping here it feels like i'm a burden to the guy behind the counter and it is a privilige for me that I am allowed to buy something from them if they feel like it. I was more than happy to spend my money in the states!

Favorite part, wow, difficult question. Naturewise: definitely Utah with all it's parks. People wise: NYC and Nashville

Least favorite: although still awesome: St. Louis because there just isn't much to do there. I met a great guy whom I stayed with for a couple of days, but that was the only interesting thing about my stay there. And ofcourse the arch, just so I could say I saw it ;).

For your last question: There is something I don't understand about americans. I met the most friendly, giving, social, caring people that would go out of their way to help me and others in their lives. Charity is a big part of their lives and they love to give. But when there is a structural plan to help all the people in the states get their medical insurance all of the sudden you get a vibe of egotism and they don't want anything to do with that. Although it is a great system as proven in many countries that have had social security for ages...

It feels a bit like double standards to me... I don't get why you want to help someone else on a small scale, but you don't want to help someone else on a larger scale AND help yourself as well.

I don't want to turn this in a political thread, but you asked, so I answer :). How I would fix it? Well, I can't obviously.

nussdorf454 karma

How many chicks did you bang?

skrln592 karma

I fell in love with a girl from Kansas City... That's why I went there twice ;). It sure wasn't for the scenery. I'm not the type of guy that would try to use the european thing to "score" us women.

SassyLittlePrick411 karma

What's the best food you ate in the U.S. that you can't get in Belgium?

skrln936 karma


I'm not kidding. Best burger I had was without a doubt the Double Cheese burger from Denny's in Cortez, Colorado. It was the afternoon I resurfaced from the Grand Canyon and was in dire need of fat and calories. Surprisingly I was in the States for 2 months already at that point, but haven't had a burger yet anywhere.

Other memorable burgers: Double D burger from Hooters in NYC (was my last night, so emotion will probably have a part in this memory).

Boy, what I would do to have another double cheeseburger from Denny's... We don't have that chain in Belgium (we only have 2: Mcdonalds and Quick (which you don't have over there if i'm not mistaken), but they are ofcourse both crap. I even looked for countries in Europe that has them to just go over there and have another of those burgers... But I will have to come back to the States for that!

nkizz357 karma

Please for the love of god if you go back go to five guys and/or in and out. Best american noms I've ever had

skrln42 karma

Have heard about five guys and in and out! Unfortunately, there were no In and outs anywhere near where I went. It's more of a west coast thing? Definitely on my list!

Mackydude5 karma

I ate at Quick when I was in France for a month over the summer, I thought it was pretty similar to any random BK or McDonald's burger. I am jealous though of European cafés, I wish we had those in the US.

skrln25 karma

I didn't like BK one bit... Even Mcdonalds was better quality to me...

Mackydude10 karma

skrln35 karma

I don't get it.

sabu632391 karma

Favorite American beer?

guybehindawall696 karma

Are we the same in assuming that since OP is Belgian he's a highly qualified connoisseur and judge of beer, and thus hoped we impressed him?

Black_Hitler523 karma


skrln562 karma

Haha, I like you guys!

I'm weird with alcohol though. I either don't get drunk at all (even if i drink shot after shot and chug beer after beer in short time), Or i get drunk just from smelling my beer before I even drink it. It's like russian roulette, I never know what I'm going to get when I go out.

That said, I've tried many delicious (local) beers. Can't remember all of them, but they were great. Atmosphere and company also adds a lot to the awesomeness of my beer consumption of course.

One beer moment I remember the most was in downtown Denver, 16th street (the shopping mall street). I was walking past a Hard Rock Café and they had a tv on the outside. It was playing Nothing else matters by Metallica and since I'm a huge fan and hadn't visited any hard rock café yet I had to go in and sit at the bar and drink a beer. It was from an orange tall tap and called something along the likes of "woodchuck beer" or something. Someone help me out with this one please? Would like to remember.

Also, specials are amazing! Again, your capitalism works. A bar wants customers? A bar will give you tons of beer for little money to get you in. I remember in Kansas City we had 20 beer platters for 10 dollars. At the end of the night I was buying platters for everyone in that bar :p. Spent about 100 bucks and was the most popular guy there that night :p

austinaustinaustin67 karma

Hooray for Kansas City! I'm from Missouri myself. Thank you so much for doing this!

I believe wat you had was actually a cider. Woodchuck's a popular one over here. Did it taste like delicious fermented apples?

Edit: although if it was a beer, maybe it was Shock Top? It's got a very prominent orange tap: http://www.beeravenue.com/i//Web_Shock_top_tap.jpg

skrln96 karma

Had an awesome time in KC. Nothing really to see there, but the people more than made up for that! I remember multiple pool parties that started at 4 am in local apartment community pools. With lots of beers, bacon, cheescake and the most beautiful girl I've seen in the states.

apudebeaumarchais305 karma

I am so charmed by this thread and all your answers. So glad you enjoyed yourself here. Was this your first ever visit to the US? If you were to come back again (which I hope you do get to do!) What would be the number one place you had to revisit? What would you do that you didn't get to do last time? I'll be visiting Europe for the very first time this spring and this thread got me all sorts of excited. Cheers!

skrln263 karma

Yes, first visit, definitely not the last as you can read from other answers.

I will definitely be back!

Revisit? Utah and all it's parks and Grand Canyon. And Nashville! I get goosebumps just thinking about Nashville! it's like the hyenas in the lion king when they here Mufassa's name, but then in good way! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhZ0TKdgJGg

Didn't get to do the west coast. Definitely on my list! California, Nevada, Washington, Oregon.

Let me know when you're in the neighbourhood! I'm always up for meeting americans!

mirthquake270 karma

I've lived all over the US, and have spent time in 46 states. Given your apparent interests and the places and events you have expressed interest in, please allow me to suggest the following as places to not miss on your next visit:

  • Los Angeles, CA. You may only want to spend a couple days here, because it's a huge city and public transportation is terribly inadequate. But you repeatedly mentioned growing up viewing America through the lens of films and television, and here's where it all is. In an afternoon spent walking around Beverly Hills you can see many of the familiar sights that you've seen countless times on the screen. It's a vibrant city full of diverse culture, glamor, nightlife, and excellent people-watching. If you plan months ahead of time (maybe even a year ahead), you can book free tickets to be in the live studio audience of the filming of your favorite TV shows. This can be LOTS of fun. I've gone to That 70s show, Everybody Loves Raymond, and a few more. My sister went to Friends and Conan O'Brien. The shoots take 5-7 hours, you are kept entertained the entire time by various comedians and musicians, the hosts and stars often spend time chatting with the crowd, sometimes the guests will tease individual members and give out merchandise. It's a lot of fun for no money.

  • Taking a bus North along the California coast is stunning. The Pacific can a violent and dramatic ocean, and it thrusts into California's jagged cliffs with large waves and bursts of water. If you like to camp, which I believe you do, make certain to spend time at Big Sur. It is a thickly wooded area where you can pitch a tent on the beach and hike into the redwoods. The trees, rocks, waves, and sky all seem larger than life. It's the perfect spot to go alone with a book or a camera or simply by yourself and get lost in thought for a few days. This may be my favorite natural spot in all of America.

  • San Francisco, CA. The city's culture is unlike anywhere else in the country, and its landscape, architecture, music/art/nightlife, and food are all exceptional. It's a fun-loving, welcoming, international place where all types of people come together to celebrate each other. Be sure to wander around the Mission District, the Castro District (see some films at the gorgeous Castro Theater), don't miss the historic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and the adjacent Golden Gate Park, take a train under the Bay and visit Berkeley on a sunny afternoon, ride the ferry to Alcatraz Island for the best museum tour I have ever taken, visit Fisherman's Wharf to find the Musee Mechanique. Spend weeks here if possible, and also give yourself time to wander North through Napa and Sonoma, which are beautiful regions (similar to Southern France in weather and appearance) full of exceptional wine and food and relaxed culture, and up into Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, each of which are overgrown with lush vegetation, down-to-Earth farming communities and liberal universities, and are world-famous for their fine marijuana cultivation.

  • Okay. As I was writing that last bit about San Francisco, I realized that I could spend the next 12 hours writing about and linking to my favorite destinations, both general and specific, located across this massive nation. So instead of writing a novel I'll just write an abbreviated list and invite you to send me a private message at any time, now or in the future, if you have any questions. I have friends all over this country, so if I don't have the answer I'll know someone who will.

  • The Badlands region of South Dakota, which echoes some of the geographic appeal of the Grand Canyon, but is much more haunting and desolate in the way that the vast stretches of Wyoming are. It is simply breathtaking.

  • Oregon and Washington both have culturally rich cities, geographically interesting landscapes, and are beautiful due to lush foliage and interesting coastlines. If you visit Washington I insist that you take the short bus ride up to Vancouver, Canada, which is too much fun to miss.

  • New England, especially Southern Vermont, Southern New Hampshire, coastal Maine, and Western Massachusetts. The pastoral beauty of these states is unsurpassed. All 4 seasons are strikingly different and have their unique charms, so choose carefully based on your preferences. I strongly prefer Summer for outdoor activities and simple relaxation and Autumn for its hypnotically crisp air and unsurpassed beauty. If you cannot tell, this is where I live, so I may be biased.

  • Washington, DC. It is always overrun with tourists, which is a nuisance. But it's nonetheless interesting enough to spend a day or two there to see such grand architecture and monuments such as the White House, Lincoln Monument, Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, etc. Regardless of your nationality or political beliefs, these are spectacular and historically significant buildings and monoliths that I am glad I saw. Especially the Lincoln Memorial.

  • NEW ORLEANS. Trust me. Spend as much time here as possible, and stay in or near the French Quarter. You may never want to leave.

skrln47 karma

Very interesting to read. Thank you for your effort! I will take your advice.

I did the DC thing, and it's like you described.

Joe_The_Atheist299 karma

Favourite place you came across during your travels?

skrln640 karma

Had to be grand canyon. It's like they say: you have to stand on the rim and overlook it just to get a grasp of the vastness of it. I was lucky I was able to do a hike through the Canyon. Was by far the most inspiring, dangerous, insane, awesome, beautiful, crazy, breathtaking experience of my life so far. Partly because I did it with minimal gear, no preparation and all on my own. Wouldn't advise it to others. I mean, you have to do it, but PREPARE FOR IT, and then do it!

I made a video log of my hike. You can see me suffering the further you look in the video :). I'll post it if there is interest (20min runtime)

Edit: happy cakeday to you!

Gwenniej279 karma

As a fellow Belgian that also wishes to explore the US someday, how were you perceived? Any misconceptions that they had about you? Oh and, did you learn about any big social no-no's? A bad example I have is using your wiping hand to eat in countries that don't use toilet paper.

EDIT: And the question that is on every Belgian's mind here, what part of Belgium are you from? It's the right one I bet.

skrln565 karma

People were completely baffled by my enthousiasm and excitement. They loved me for being me and loved the experience of seeing something new just like me. No misconceptions at all.

Social no-no: if you meet someone, and they lean in, it means they go in for a hug, not a kiss on the cheek. I missed that one a couple of times and that lead to surprisinly cool nights out :).

skrln143 karma

Every part of belgium is the right part. Please don't be that guy that wants to separate!

arkansas80271 karma

Why did you make the trip? Are you independently wealthy?

skrln883 karma

This is a good question.

Ever since I can remember I had a fascination for the United States. I can remember there was a show from a Dutch Clown and acrobat (called Bassie en Adriaan) in which they traveled through the midwest. http://www.standaardboekhandel.be/_img/scale.rb?img=images/023/8811034837022.jpg&w=800&h=800

I must have been 4 or 5 years old when I saw that and was just blown away by the nature. I didn't know places like that existed in the world. Then throughout my childhood I learned more about american culture through movies and eventually internet. I loved america so much I learned english on my own by the age of 8 (I didn't have tv or internet back then, i still don't know how I got to learn it). And when I was a teenager I always said I wanted to move to the states. At first it was kind of a joke and it slipped my mind when I went to the european equivalent of highschool and college, because I was just too busy studying. Then in my final year it popped back into my mind and tought to myself it was now or never. At first I was going to go for 2 weeks, 1 week in NYC, and 1 week to remote family in Denver,CO. But when I was researching more about the states I got overrun with that feeling again from when I was a kid and the plan changed to a multiple month long trip through EVERYTHING :D.

I wanted to move to the United States (And is till do, and I will as soon as possible), but I wanted to use the trip as an eyeopener, see what's what, where I would want to settle, see if it would really be my cup of tea, and then also go sightseeing.

I remember not sleeping my first 6 days in the States from pure excitement. As soon as I touched down in JFK it felt like I had come home, not on a holiday. Ever since I am determined to become a US resident. So watch out ;).

I paid for everything myself, not wealthy of any sort, but I'm doing alright.

cool_beansncream286 karma

Want to get married?

skrln269 karma

You a guy or a girl? Where from? Age? I'm not saying no to the idea ;)

iamaorangeama300 karma

FYI you should look into this, getting married to a citizen is one of the easiest ways to come to the US!

skrln359 karma

Funny story: the girl I fell in love with in Kansas City actually proposed to me when we first met in Chicago! I thought it was a joke until she asked 4 more times. I should look into that.

So, girls of america, if you want to marry me, get in touch ;).

Myself285 karma

It's an interesting trip I would like to do as well, how much money you would say one person needs to do this? how much did you spend?

skrln100 karma

I spent about 10 grand. But that was because I wanted to go all out. You can easily do it on 4 grand if you live on a tight budget and go camping/couchsurfing more. It's transportation that costs most, then food. (except for when you go to hotels, than that's your main cost)

Valhalla_Awaits238 karma

I hear from a lot of Europeans that they find Americans to be really kind, approachable, and friendly. Did you get this impression while visiting?

skrln282 karma

Most definitely. See my other answers for details. The friendlyness was something that had the biggest impact on me.

Hawbe161 karma

Like you, I will be travelling to America/Canada for 3 months alone (from the UK) and backpacking down the west coast from Vancouver to San Diego (by train) and then flying to Austin, Texas.

What are some tips or advice you would give me that you had wish you'd known before you had set off?

Where did you stay, did you find cheap affordable places to stay along the way or did you find other 'free' alternatives (e.g couch-surfing)?

What essentials did you bring with you? Did you need to pick up any clothes/items as you went along?

What things did you learn to keep safe, if needed at all?

What's one thing as a non-american that I HAVE to see or try?


skrln268 karma

Tips and advice: I hope you go by yourself. Just soak up everything and everyone. You'll be accepted as their best friend from the moment you meet them.

Prepare your trip and plan everything you want to see/do, but don't over prepare. I mean, don't set yourself a strict timetable. Leave room for random side trips because people will invite you to go do stuff with them. Do it and enjoy!

Cheap places? Campground/couchsurfing.com (but please only use this one because you want to meet people in the process, otherwise just go camping).

Essentials? You don't need much, not even for 3 months. Less you pack, more you are free to do what you want. I overpacked and could have done with half... I packed 15kg.

NEVER had a really bad safety encounter. If you ever feel unsafe, find people. Only once felt scared when I was walking alone through NYC at 4.30 am and felt like a guy was following me and catching up to me.

Just went into the first building with a concierge that I saw and explained my situation. He was very friendly and offered to call the cops. I just said I'd wait in the lobby for a few minutes.

Don't do anything non-american. Love the americanness of everything! It is great!

djuggler161 karma

Very nice! You've seen more of the United States and done more than most Americans.

skrln135 karma

I heard that every day when I was there :) I'm glad I got to experience it, hope you get to do the same in your lifetime. Both in the states and around the world. Travel sets you free!

Havercake146 karma

Did you hire a car? I heard that public transport isn't great there.

skrln560 karma

Public transportation was amazing in cities (at least compared to Belgian public transport). Best was ofcourse subway in NYC. Chicago was great too, but it takes a long time because of big distances to the suburbs.

In the more western states I had a car from very remote family in Denver that I could borrow. I made a 8 state roadtrip in that car. Was awesome. First song I played through the radio was ofcourse Born to be wild :D. Epic childhood dream coming true right there. Was on the I25 heading north to Wyoming at sunrise.

In the eastern states I used Megabus.com a lot to travel between cities. Awesome service, low cost, great luxury.

Bigger distances, I flew between cities.

TheManitee50 karma

I-25 in Wyoming is probably my favorite spot in the world. I dont know why, but it's just amazing.

skrln149 karma

I was mesmerized by the emptiness of Wyoming; I have literally haven't seen anything like it ever! (pun intended on the I haven't seen anything ;))

sabu632136 karma

What did you find interesting/surprising about American English?

skrln308 karma

Nothing much. I've know American English for about my entire life, it's all I hear in tv shows/movies/internet. The only British English we have in Europe is when you visit the United Kingdom.

StGeorgeJustice1249 karma


dmead773 karma


SpacemanSpiff56685 karma



skrln457 karma

I was in a bar on the eve before july 4th. At midnight all tv's turned to an image of the Statue of liberty with an american flag behind it. Everybody started chanting U-S-A. It lasted for about half an hour! Never was so overwhelmed in my life with a feeling of being united! LOVED IT!

TheSourTruth219 karma

Did they start clapping wildly too? We like to clap.

skrln54 karma

No clapping :p

skrln55 karma

Be nice! This is not the america I experienced!

graham6942120 karma

How did you like Chicago?

skrln194 karma

It was cool in a way, but it was my stop after NYC, so I compared it to NYC and because of that NYC appeared more lively ofcourse. I loved the cleanliness of the city though! Also loved lake michigan. Would like to go kitesurfing there. Unfortunately there were no rentals in the immediate Chicago area. Did talk to a couple of local kitesurfers and they said there was a great spot on the other side of the lake near South Haven.

aimbonics98 karma

What do you think of our food portions?

skrln204 karma

I'm a big eater, so I was fine with them :). Honestly, didn't experience too absurdly large portions. Where do I go for that?

pokergentleman75 karma

How much money do you think you spent all together on the trip, excluding food?

skrln124 karma

without food? Couldn't tell. in total? I guess about 10 grand.

lightandtwisty58 karma

What were your impressions about race relations in the U.S.?

skrln95 karma

GREAT Question!

In NYC: Non existant. I was shocked how everybody mingled with everybody! I like to think that in western europe we are very much against racism, but the fact of the matter is that all prejudices remain here and it sucks! I only have 2 arabic friends. All races keep to themselves here, try not to bother eachother and than say they aren't racist...

Like i mentioned before in this thread it is weird for belgians to talk to eachother randomly in the streets, it would be out of the question to just go up to a group of foreigners and try to talk to them. They wouldn't want it, and everyone would think you're crazy for trying!

I think it was more apparent in other (more southern) regions of the states.

pokergentleman47 karma

Where did you stay? Hostels, hotels?

skrln224 karma

Couchsurfing for the most part because like i said in a different post in this thread the main reason for me to go to the States was to meet local people and to get to know the local way of life. This is also the reason I went alone on this trip and didn't bring any friends. It forced me to be social to everyone and it allowed me to soak up every single bit of americanness around me. I feel i wouldn't have liked the trip AS MUCH if i had a friend, because we'd be talking dutch to eachother and wouldn't have met as many people on the way.

cant_read_adamnthing45 karma

You've said in several comments that you really liked Nashville. Being a Nashvillian, I'm curious as to what you liked about it so much.

skrln113 karma

People, accents, I love your accent. Please become my friend and talk to me! Atmosphere, Music, food, weather, layedbackness, accent. Oh, and the accent was awesome too!

mgearliosus24 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. I always think it's interesting hearing about somebodies trip across any country.

If you're ever in Central Florida, I'll buy you lunch!

skrln17 karma

Keep in touch! I'm not kidding! I made amazing friends in Florida and I still talk to them every couple of days, so i will return to florida for sure!

Did I tell you to keep in touch already?

DemetriMartin11 karma

Did you see any interesting wild animals?

skrln12 karma

Up close: Moose, Elk (see picture, it was a 12 point buck), nearly ran into a herd of dear on a dark misty mountain pass in colorado, grizzly, bison, lizards, alligators. And most scary: heard a mountain lion in pitchblack darkness when I was descending into the grand canyon in the middle of the night on my own. Didn't know if that animal was 300ft away from me or 30ft. NEVER BEEN MORE SCARED IN MY LIFE!

HonorAmongSteves8 karma

Holy shit, that would have been scary. They sound like a scream. They also eat people.

skrln5 karma

Yes, that was what worried me. Like they say if you see a bear, you go lay down and play dead covering your head?

Advice given to me when encountering a mountain lion: Fight back agressively or die!

vxx9 karma

How much money did you spend on the journey?

skrln14 karma

About 10 grand in total