Diverse Cultural Experiences
Earlier this year, a group of friends and I took a weekend trip to New Orleans. My first trip to the Deep South amazed me; we got a good look at the aquatic landscape on a swamp tour that departed from Slidell, LA. Churning down a river that leads into the Gulf of Mexico, we passed wooden homes on stilts, shrouded in flora and fauna I had never seen before. We saw a wild boar splashing in the swampy brush and the bumpy backs of alligators poking through the water's surface. I saw so many things for the first time that day; it was nothing like any other place that I had visited prior.
For my friend Allison, who is from Austin, TX, traveling in the US demonstrates to her how diverse, exciting, and unique the country truly is and is an ongoing reminder to respect the people who enrich the United States. Visiting areas such as Little Persia in California and Little Somalia in Minnesota were experiences that stood out to her.
According to my friend Laura, who is from Dallas but has familial roots in the Southwestern US, a must see in New Mexico is the Turquoise Trail, a bypass road of (the less picturesque) Highway 24, which connects Albuquerque with Santa Fe. The distinct culture of New Mexico is on display during a drive along the trail, which takes you through the scenic Sandia Mountains just east of Albuquerque and on to the small "ghost-town-turned-artist-mecca" of Madrid. Continuing on, Laura recommends stops in Golden and Cerillos on your way to Santa Fe, a cultural and historical terminus she feels best "represents the spirit of New Mexico."