RV-Able: First Impressions of the USA

I have to confess that post-election, I have been afraid of what is happening in my neighbouring country – rallies and rhetoric, protests, and a president-elect who seems more prepared for battle than for harbouring peace.  Doubts about the safety of travelling in the States at this time have crossed our minds.

“Keep your political opinions to yourself!” my husband cautioned.

No worries, I’m not about to spout off to people who carry guns for their own personal protection.  (The worse thing I carry is an inhaler, in case of an asthma attack; and panty liners, in case of …well, leaks.)

“And don’t mention that there are Muslims in our family!”

Check that!  In other words, keep to myself, don’t get personal with anyone and we’ll be alright.  Oh boy – for an outgoing, generally loquacious person, I might turn out to be my own worst enemy.

As we drive toward the border I read news stories about Canadians being turned back at customs, about phones being confiscated, and citizens being questioned about their political viewpoints.  My stomach is in a knot.  Will it be discovered that my family group texts the Obama, Biden memes?  Could that be the fatal flaw that will end our trip before it begins?

Of course, nothing happens at customs, other than a friendly: “Enjoy yourselves”, and I soon realize that most of our travel will be on major highways where we’ll encounter only fellow motorists.

As I relax, I notice that each state has its own particular charm, and all provide Welcome Centers with easily accessible parking (even for big rigs) and clean and friendly facilities.

When we stop at our first restaurant for lunch, I discover that tea in America comes iced and either ‘sweet’ or unsweet, and if you want hot tea with milk and sugar, you have to say so.   And once you order a beverage, it’s not only bottomless, it comes with an offer of one for the road.  How above and beyond the call of service is that?

As we travel further, and wander into more food places, I am called “Honey” and “Sweetie” and find myself returning such terms of endearment.

How, I think to myself, can you be angry with anyone who addresses you so sweetly?

2017-02-07-10-18-58At each of our RV stops, we encounter beauty, and fellow voyagers, some with stories like our own.  No one mentions politics, and while one says she’ll pray for me, religion has not been brought up.

Until, we meet up with my brother.  He and his wife are staunch Trump supporters.  I am proud to say, I hold my tongue appropriately.

I am willing to admit at this point that all that we see on television is only a small part of the whole, and that fear, not philosophical differences is the real enemy.

Next:  Dining highlights.

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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

5 thoughts on “RV-Able: First Impressions of the USA

  1. First, let me say how happy I am that you are feeling well enough to be on the road in your beautiful motor home. I think what you are discovering is that the media, whatever their political leanings, is about getting your attention. And fear gets our attention. The news does not reflect everyday life in the U.S. This election, as noted, was for many of us about choosing a “lesser of two evils”. Our economy does need a change, and it will be interesting to see what can actually be done and what the costs in other areas will be. If we manufacture goods in the U.S. or apply tariffs to imports, it will cost all of us more. But, wouldn’t it be great if a small appliances could last more than 2 years like they did for our parents. I agree with some of what Trump is doing, other things not so much. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the luxury of designing my own candidate. For the most part, I feel that once I voted it became pretty much out of my hands, and I don’t think that attacking the opposition and breaking windows can change that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I certainly understand the need for change – we had the same phenomena in our last election. I was hoping to express how dangerous and wrong fear is. Very much enjoying our journey – although, as you know, illness does not take a holiday. Nice to hear from you. Hope you are well and settled in your new home.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. you must remember that our bark is worse than our bite. the country has so many people with good intentions, the only people you have to worry about are those with bad habits– not bad opinions.

    this is good because the people with bad opinions far outnumber the the people with (really) bad habits. you can show rude gestures to drivers all day and never get shot.

    the one thing you do have to worry about is getting in someones face, or what to do if they get in yours. this is usually between younger people and younger people, and not very likely to happen to somoene your age or someone polite. when two people are in each others faces is when someone is mostly get punched, or worse. or when travelling in a really crime-ridden neighborhood. you could get robbed.

    simply having an opinion that clashes isnt that big a deal, yet. i mean the protests are pretty wild, but remember, those are the peace-love “bridges, not walls” people setting fire to cars, not the trump supporters. im just saying, the people making the most noise right now are the ones who would agree with most of what you have to say anyway. youre fairly safe here 🙂

    do be careful where you break down, especially in the south. although i grew up there, moved north and back again (and north again) and even the worst places arent usually as bad as the stories– especially during the day. happy travels 🙂 also, take none of these reassurances to mexico. i feel the same way about mexico (the location, not the people) that you probably feel about the states!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. likewise. i cant believe youre here! dont drink too much soda here, stick with coffee. youre either getting “sugar” or caffeine if you go to our restaurants– there is no escape! (if you live in an rv it may help a little. also you can stick to real sugar– not that horrible corn– if you put your mind to it. buy some ketchup at the grocer and your own ketchup– its in the ketchup too… if you look at the label for hunt’s i think its the cheapest brand that doesnt always include corn syrup) 😦

        Liked by 1 person

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