A few years ago I ended up in Las Vegas where I was intending to do a workway at a hostel on the strip. But, the place was seedy and I got out of there as soon I could I already had a flight booked to Sacramento 10 days later so I couldn’t go too far. I jumped on Wikitravel to see where else I could go that was close and St George, Utah looked promising. The next day I caught a Greyhound through some gorgeous scenery and got dropped off outside a legit American diner (it’s the small things that excite me!). A few minutes later I was picked up by some of my new hosts, the mum and one of the sons from my new family.
What followed was one of the best weeks I’ve ever had while travelling. I got to experience typical everyday American life – and it was awesome! What I didn’t expect was for them to find accent so difficult to understand. Half the time they just looked at me like I’d told them I’d arrived on a hovercraft full of eels and the other half of the time they burst out laughing at the sounds coming out of my mouth. During one memorable dinner the father was talking to me about New Zealand (his best friend had served his mission there) and after I’d spoken for a minute or so in response to a question he asked, he turned to the rest of the table and said “can someone tell me what in gods name she’s talking about, I can’t understand a darn thing”. Queue awkward moment! Haha!
Some of my most memorable highlights;
Seeing snow for the first time and staying in a log cabin near Brian Heads – and the next day going sledding.
Going to a dive bar with an ex-mormon on my first night and watching a local man dance chuck berry style across the stage as I sipped on my first ever blue moon.
Hiking and seeing ancient petroglyphs at Anasazi Ridge – and then getting taco bell afterwards.
Eating biscuits and gravy (YUM)
Meeting a girl in a hot tub who is now one of my favourite people.
Having in depth conversations about faith and religion (I’m somewhere between an agnostic and an atheist) and the meaning of life.
They taught me that friendship truly does transcend all cultural (and language) and religious barriers. This was such a special time in my life – I don’t think I’ll ever return, even if I could I probably wouldn’t because I know it wouldn’t be as special a time as it initially was, but I think of them often and fondly. I’m so grateful I had the chance to experience a slice of American life, and a slice of Mormon life.
I’d love to hear any of your crazy couch surfing stories!