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Hi guys, my name is Alwin and I was on exchange in University of British Columbia, Vancouver! I did a month-long road trip around the USA before my exchange in the University of British Columbia and I’ll be sharing snippets and little tips about the trip.

So, our first stop was Chicago for Lollapalooza!

Here are some tips

1) once the tickets are out, get it!! Cause early bird is so much cheaper, and resale tickets are really expensive. We bought ours for like 2x the early bird price.

2) pre-drink (even though it’s in the afternoon) cause drinks are expensive in there too.

3) Don’t let your friends get too drunk! cause they gonna drag you down when you wanna rush for Vance Joy : (

4) do yourself a favor and get some Au Cheval cheeseburgers.

5) make sure you go with friends that are pursuing the dad bod dream.

6) follow my tips!!!

Welcome to New York!

We took an Amtrak from Chicago to New York (cause we haven’t gotten our car yet and we wanted to save money) and spent close to 100 bucks and 19 hours on it. Big mistake! cause we later found out that southwest airlines have equally cheap domestic flights and they are not on Skyscanner! On the bright side, we managed to dine in one of the train carts which was pretty cool. Also, when you’re in NY remember to go to Ellen’s Stardust! The waitstaff is aspiring Broadway actors/actresses and they sing ALL the time. it makes you want to eat really slowly so you can watch them sing more, but the food was so good though…

Okay! Now on to my favorite part of the US road trip… San Francisco!!

San Fran is the epitome of sweater weather so bring a sweater or maybe more cause it gets really cold when it’s rainy. We went to Fisherman’s Wharf, rented a few bikes and cycled through the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. The entire route is by the coast so it’s always windy with many touristy, scenic places to stop at. Another pro tip is to sleep in and start cycling around 3. So you can reach Sausalito at 7, take the ferry back to Fisherman’s Wharf (not expensive) and watch the sunset!! So if your parents ever said it’s bad to sleep in… they’re wrong! Oh, and when you’re back in Fisherman’s Wharf get yourself a chocolate coated cheesecake from Rocky Mountain and Clam Chowder from anywhere really cause you did so much cardio today!

We left San Francisco and drove to Yosemite!

Yosemite is a really amazing place and did you know that a very popular MacBook wallpaper was taken there? The great thing about the place is that everything looks so great and the bad thing is whenever you take a photo with the scenery it kinda looks like you’re the flaw in it… Anyway, take lots of pictures! And check the road conditions before driving cause apparently the roads are closed on some days. Also, bring a leash for friends like @oohsst who feels the need to climb over everything?? Ok back to the point, drove through Yosemite and at the other end, there are mammoth lakes!! It’s a small town surrounded by mountains and bears but thank god we didn’t see any. Rent a motorboat at lake Mary and don’t rent it for 5 hours unless you wanna spend all that time taking photos (what we did). Maybe three hours is enough. And pleaseeeee do not wash your grapes in the water even though it looks clear, you’ll get diarrhea (don’t ask me how I know these stuff). Okay now go book your tickets to the USA!!

LOS ANGELES!!

One of my favorite places during my road trips around the USA would be Santa Monica beach. It’s a really long beach with shops and buskers from end to end. So the walk along the beach took us close to two hours cause there was so much to see. (Including an outdoor gym for the girls out there) Somewhere along the beach, there’s a pier and there lies the best hot dog you will ever have. It’s called Japadog!! Basically a really good hotdog bun with Japanese elements in it. We also had the best pizza ever at Stella Barra Pizzeria! I can’t even describe how good it is.. anyway as we were about to drive off from the parking lot a bunch of people started running past us with cameras and stuff. So we shouted ‘What’s happening!’ And they shouted ‘It’s Selena Gomez!’ All of us were really excited but not surprised cause she was probably there for the really good pizza.

Practice makes perfect. That’s why I’ve been gambling every Chinese New Year for this day! LV has so many casinos it’s hard to decide where to go, so drop by everyone and gamble all your money away! (I’m kidding don’t do that). During peak hours, some of the bets can get really expensive, like >10USD/bet for blackjack so you have to hunt for less popular tables/casinos for cheaper bets which cost around 5. Anyway, if you start losing money – here’s a way to break even. Almost all of the casinos serve free alcohol as long as you’re gambling, so just sit on one of the jackpot machines which cost like 1 quarter a play. Play really slowly and drink really fast. So even if you don’t win in gambling at least you win in life!

Went to these three places in like two days and oh boy was it hot.

Drink lots of water especially if you’re traveling during August! It was around 39 degrees and all of us were dying. We walked from our car to horseshoe bend under the sun and the weather really drained us… anyway Antelope Canyon is BOMB. In fact, one of the most popular wallpapers from Windows was taken there. YES, ANOTHER WALLPAPER!!! Bring a camera and take lots of pictures and maybe windows will feature your photos (haha jk that’s not gonna happen) Bring a scarf too cause it’s really sandy and dusty in there so you might want to cover your mouth! That’s all from me! Do check out other articles on exchangebuddy.com to find out more travel tips from other students!

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