2 min read

USA in My Mind, Then and Now

USA in My Mind, Then and Now
Photo by Aaron Burden / Unsplash

It has been 10 years since I visited the USA, as my second destination abroad, ever. I visited New York City, New Jersey, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas in 2013 over 18 days. Me and my best friend, we’ve made it a road trip and drove through the coastal California. I even managed to visit my uncle, whom I hadn’t seen for many years, back then.

The trip has changed me, affected me deeply. I just loved how free everyone was compared to Turkey. People were focused on their lives and seemed less afraid of life than us. They seemed happier than us. I still remember how unchained I felt sitting at a bank on Pismo Beach. Or in that car park of Starbucks, god knows where, sipping my coffee in the morning and preparing for the day’s journey.

It’s been 10 years and I still carry the impact that holiday had on me. It remade me, taught me that I deserved better. It made me look to live abroad, and I eventually did move to the UK.

Now, I’m watching the “debate me” shit, various disbeliefs and the hatred growing within the same country. I’m speechless. The AZ Supreme Court ruling on child abuse, or the stunts that Florida state is pulling, or the abortion rights issue all over (esp. Texas), I’m really speechless.

How the hell didn’t we see this when we were there? Were we that much starstruck to miss what was in front of us? True, we haven’t been to Texas or Florida or any other red state, but how did we miss this much of unbelievable ignorance and stupidity? It’s not like we only stayed for a weekend. It was 18 days! We’ve spoken to plenty of people, chatted at restaurants. Considering that Turkey isn’t far behind on ignorance levels, we would’ve recognised it, right?

There is a big contradiction between what I saw back then and what I’m seeing now. And I’m certain that people weren’t much different when we were there either. The hate and conflict is embedded deep within the USA’s fabric, same as Turkey. In some aspects, the same as the UK.

I’m just shocked at my ignorance and stupidity, as well as my naivety.