My second stop during my one-month trip in the United States was Texas. There’s a lot to say about this great state.
My first five days were spent with my cousins in Fort Worth. Although most Europeans may not know of this ol’ town, Fort Worth is classic. I truly felt the Texan culture there (yes, there is culture in the United States). Walking around the stockyards made me feel like I was in the Wild West because the stockyards have been there since the Wild West (yep, they’re old).
My cousin Mary was also the best tour guide as she told me so many interesting things about Forth Worth. It got its name, Where The West Begins, because Fort Worth was famous for gunslingers, bandits and gangs. Back in the day, you’d get shot in Fort Worth if someone didn’t like you. It was a tough place.
Mary also took me to another quaint town called Weatherford which is around 30 minutes away from Fort Worth. I liked Weatherford’s small-town feel which is similar to Fort Worth. The downtown area wasn’t big but it was so aesthetic. Plus, I loved stores and there were a few good ones.
I also learned a lot about Texan culture. Mary mentioned the Alamo to me a few times and I didn’t understand how important the building was until we watched the movie based on the historical event.
Texas was part of Mexico before the Americans liberated Texas from Mexico’s dictator, Santa Anna. A lot of men died defending the Alamo against the Mexicans. Santa Anna’s army won and continued to conquer Texan land before Sam Houston’s army destroyed Santa Anna’s at San Jacinto. Texas became a republic for 10 years before it decided to join the United States.
While in Austin, I visited the state capitol building and got to see beautiful paintings depicting the battles at the Alamo and San Jacinto. The tour guide was very informative on Texan history and having watched that movie, I knew what he was referring to. I felt like I was in a history class and I loved it.
Austin is quite different to Fort Worth. I expected Austin to be a buzzing city, but really, it’s just a big downtown city with restaurants and sky-rising buildings. So yeah, not so many stores.
I quickly learned that to see Austin, I needed to rent a scooter. Visiting the state capitol building and going to Barton Springs were the two best things to do in Austin.
The natural water at Barton Springs was colder than Hondoq but it was definitely refreshing to swim again (those who know me know that I love swimming). I also realized that swimming in springwater is different to seawater. The salt keeps you afloat when you’re swimming in the sea, but in a natural pool, the water is constantly drowning you. I had to try my best to keep afloat.
There’s also plenty of nature around Austin. I got to go kayaking at Lady Bird Lake and it’s a huge lake. Picture being completely alone floating in the middle of a lake (which I’m pretty sure was polluted). It was pretty relaxing.
One thing’s for sure about Texas, it’s really hot. I noticed that Texans drive everywhere and I bet it’s because of the heat (and cause they have the best roads). Whereas New Yorkers walk everywhere or rely on public transport, Texans rely on their cars. I couldn’t bare walking around Austin in the heat (so thank God for those scooters).
While in Austin, I found some thrifting gems. And I got to visit 6th Street which reminded me of Paceville. Bunch of bars, clubs, music, and tourists. I got to dance and I didn’t care who was watching.
There’s always something to learn when you’re traveling. While in Forth Worth, I learned that Texas has a lot of history and it’s a good place to be. You can live real comfortable in Fort Worth.
On the other hand, Austin was not what I was expecting. I felt like there wasn’t enough in the city – and I know why. I realized that I secretly hoped that Austin would be like the feeling you get in New York City.
I wanted to Austin to check the place out for a potential future here but I can tell that this place isn’t for me. It’s too quiet. The fact that there aren’t even enough people walking in the streets like I’m used to is already a lot. Austin definitely made me realize that there’s nowhere like New York wherever you go. That’s something for me to think about.
So, this is my final day in Texas.
My cousins were very good to me while I was visiting them. I loved seeing them and am very grateful to them for hosting me!! I got to try so much authentic food, Texan beer, and learn more about what makes Texas a great state.
And so I’m also leaving Texas with a food baby. I’ve had so much food within these last eight days (Texas has really good food, especially Mexican, which is my favorite!)
I definitely want to visit Texas again. Next time, I’ll head to San Antonio. I need to visit the Alamo!
You’re probably wondering where’s my next stop.
I didn’t think I’d ever go so far out West but, surprisingly enough, I’m going to Las Vegas. It’s gonna be interesting.
Stay tuned for my next article to hear all about it.
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