What can the Arrivals Hall travel blog tell you about the United States of America that you don’t already know? A population of over 300 million people spread across 50 states, 9 time zones and several climates. The US has the world’s largest economy and largest military. It is a world leader in science, technology and the arts. The headquarters of the United Nations and the World Bank are located in New York city and Washington D.C. respectively. The US is also home to the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield Jackson, in Atlanta. The US also has the most Nobel prize winners.
Visa: According to the website of the US Embassy in Dublin “A non-immigrant visa is required by anyone seeking temporary admission to the United States who is not eligible to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program or is traveling to the U.S. for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, medical treatment, study, research and certain types of temporary work“. The Visa Waiver Program allows visa-free tourism travel for up to 90 days for citizens of certain countries including my own. U.S. Customs and Border Protection have pre-clearance locations in 6 countries: Ireland, Canada, Aruba, The Bahamas, Bermuda, United Arab Emirates.
Currency: US Dollar, the world’s dominant currency.
A to B: Depends on how far you’re travelling! Air travel is hugely popular for inter-city travel. Amtrak operates the inter-city rail system. Most of the larger cities have their own municipal transport networks. Car usage is extensive in the US with automatic transmission the default. Cars with gear sticks are called stick shifts.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
My only experience of the US is California and New York and, by and large, I found all destinations safe with the exception of San Francisco. Personal gun ownership is legal and widespread in the US but sadly mass shootings are commonplace. However, law abidance and a respect for authority is the general attitude I both observed and experienced.
Few national monuments and visitor sites chronicle the entire modern history of a country like New York’s Ellis Island does. Operational from 1892 to 1954 Ellis Island was America’s largest immigration station and processed 12 million immigrants during that time. Opened in 1990, the Ellis Island Museum of Immigration is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument and charts the history of immigration to America from pre-independence colonisation to the present day.
The 17th March is St. Patrick’s Day, a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland where people celebrate the country’s patron saint by holding parades. But the largest St. Patrick’s day parade in the world is actually held in New York and in 2017 I had the privilege of not only attending it but, by accident, participating in it as well.