I’ve spent a life of travelling but I have limited experience of the USA. The places so many Brits have on their bucket list in the USA keep on eluding me. I have passed through JFK airport many times; I have even overnighted in the Jamaica district in Queens once while en route to Haiti. But I have never set foot in the downtown New York City, never stepped onto Manhattan Island. I have never been dropped into Grand Canyon, marvelled at Yosemite, said hello to Yellowstone, not gambled in Las Vegas, had my picture taken outside the White House or made a pilgrimage to Gracelands.
I have driven across the Golden Gate Bridge. I have seen the Hollywood Sign (albeit from a set of traffic lights in Los Angeles). I have been to Cape Canaveral. I did attend one Mardi Gras in New Orleans. And I once saw the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
Generally my trips to the US have been much more eclectic and surprisingly spread apart over twenty years or more. It has usually been down to work or attending conferences. Once I took a holiday from the UK to Houston, a couple of times I hopped over from BVI to take some time out to explore Florida and California. My opinion of the USA started with me feeling there were a few honeypot amazing places but in between miles of tedium, sameness, and a basic lack of character that meant I was not in a hurry to explore more.
I have kept going back and over the years and although I have seen much that disappoints such as the miles of suburbia, strip malls, wide open flat fields with nothing going on, repetitive chain stores for food, accommodation, tyres, supermarkets, cars….. I have seen more variety that I expected and have begun to understand the culture a little better. The best way I think you can do it is stop thinking of the USA as one amorphous blob of a country and see how different so many of the states are.