It’s been a minute since my last travel update and if you haven’t figured out from the last few, I’m most definitely trying to kill time at the airport. After leaving Sydney just under five weeks ago, I flew back to America and was reunited with Kyle to continue the American leg of this adventure. Together, we explored five cities in the United States and Mexico and crossed another five festivals off the list. A LOT has gone down in the last month so instead of writing a novel, I’m going to share my favourite memories from each destination.
There isn’t a single dull moment during The Year Of Summer and the madness continued the second I arrived back in the states! On our first full day in Atlanta, our friend Troy and I spent the afternoon in a Fresh Market (basically super overpriced organic AF supermarket) where our love and bond of free samples was born. We started out sampling the candy (which I didn’t even know was a thing) and eventually moved over to the nuts and dried fruits. But it didn’t stop there… basically anything we could stick our hands into became a free sample (terrible, I know!) We even ended up sampling the fruits and vegetables out of the salad bar! If you thought that was bad … our adventure definitely got worse! I was craving cheese so we made our way towards the deli where we were dumbfounded at these MASSIVE wheels of cheese amongst the prepackaged slices. We played a game trying to guess how much these wheels cost and then flipping them over to reveal price tags in the $300 range. That was until… I flipped one over to find that someone had misplaced the decimal point and this 30 pound wheel of cheese was labeled as $2.70! I jokingly suggested that we should try to buy it and both of us took this joke way too far to the point where we found ourselves wheeling 30 pounds of cheese out of the store! After capturing the look on Kyle’s face when he saw our purchase in the back of the Uber, we went back to our hotel and began brainstorming what to do with it. We invited our friends Shaun and Amanda over and spent the rest of that evening walking the streets of Atlanta giving out massive chunks of cheese to the homeless!
Back to one of my favourite cities in the world and it’s almost impossible to pick a favourite moment because the entire week was absolutely insane! One of the best days would definitely have to be the Thursday before EDC (it always is!) Before the massive day even started, I received an amazing offer to become a full time member of Festival Squad, an EDM blog/media outlet/absolutely dope group of people that I’ve been writing for for a couple of months now. (Check out all the articles I’ve written for them here). My first stop was the Basscon Pool party at The Stratosphere where Gammer played a surprise b2b set with Da Tweekaz! I finally got to meet my friend/fellow YouTuber Cotton Kandi and it was everything! I also got to catch up with Da Tweekaz and MC D before the set (aka before things got wild) and talk about upcoming travel/festival plans. After finding my friend Robin, we proceeded to get stupidly drunk in the middle of the day to the point where I jumped into the pool entirely clothed and completely ruined the make up that was supposed to last the whole day! Before I continue, I have to give an honourable mention to my favourite braid babe Marsha aka GetBradified for not only rescheduling my hair appointment last minute so I could continue to be a hot mess at the party, but working her magic on me the next morning to have me looking dope AF all weekend!
After making myself look semi presentable again, I made a quick stop at the Bellagio for the EDM twitter meet up before packing up my stuff and heading to the mansion that we were staying at for the week. Walking in still completely drunk as hell, I finally got to meet the whole rave fam after talking online for months and catch up with the ones I had already met. This fam is absolutely insane and I’ve never been with a group of people that I felt so comfortable with meeting for the first time! My favourite part was finally meeting Jake and freaking out the whole house by sitting in the middle of the kitchen and screaming at the top of our lungs (which we had been planning to do for months)! My last stop was Omnia to see Porter Robinson where I invited Cotton Kandi to come and join my friend Henry and a couple of his friends for the night. We ended up running into MC D and a couple of other Aussies as well. Of course, it isn’t a night out on the strip if you don’t end up at Denny’s so Cotton Kandi and I made our way down the strip where two other YouTubers joined us. Oh and of course, I arrived back at the mansion when the sun came up and ended up locked out.
After parting with most of our belongings and reducing our luggage to a single carry on each for the remainder of our travels, Kyle and I hopped on a plane back down to Mexico where we eventually met up with Shaun and another friend named Amir. We didn’t do too much since it was our second time there this year so I don’t have a particularly memorable moment but I did have a very interesting experience. I decided to challenge myself for the week and restrict myself of two things: Cash and a Sim Card. Earlier this year, I found myself in a situation where I didn’t have access to physical cash and somehow managed to travel for three weeks without it so I figured this would be a piece of cake. Since we were only in Mexico for five days, I didn’t see the point in exchanging any physical cash or purchasing a sim card and because the one I currently use doesn’t work in Mexico, I had to rely on wifi for the entire week. Overall, the experience was pretty easy since my friends were able to cover small purchases that required cash and call Ubers when we were out and about but it was definitely awkward being the only one not on their phone at times. My biggest challenge was definitely at the festival and I find it humorous that the one time, a festival actually had decent phone signal, I still couldn’t find my friends because I didn’t have a way of contacting them. Although I was perfectly happy wandering the grounds alone and making new friends, it felt weird not being able to share the experience online as it happened and I ended up having to post all 105 snaps at the end of the night when I got back to the hotel. Not having cash wasn’t a big deal until towards the end of the night when I could feel my stomach eating itself but none of the vendors accepted card. Overall, depriving myself of what seemed to be important has definitely changed the way I travel and to this day, I continue to travel without physical cash and limit the data usage on my phone to emergencies only.
A BONUS ADVENTURE
Our next stop was New York but getting there was an adventure in itself! Rather than dropping $500+ on flights and accomodation, we opted for the longer and cheaper route for less than $200 per person! This did however, take three days and involved a 10 hour greyhound, a cross country flight and a 12 hour drive! My favourite memory was spending the night with our friend Thomas. After picking up our rental car in Charleston, SC, we headed north and I began looking up things to do along the way and places to spend the night. I randomly remembered we had a friend who lived in North Carolina and after a quick phone call and reroute, we were headed to his house for the night! Not only did he open his home to us but he also cooked us a dope dinner and spent the night catching up teaching us how to play darts (which I kinda but don’t actually suck at!). The next morning, we were up bright and early and I ended up driving 6 hours up to Washington to stop and quickly catch up with our friend William before continuing to New York. I am beyond grateful to have made so many incredible friends from all over the country on this journey so far that are willing to open up their homes and take time out of their day to hang out!
I’ve travelled to America six times prior to this and I had never been to New York up until now so I was keen to finally be a tourist again! The entire week was filled with incredible memories and I got to hang out with one of my subscribers that I met at Ultra Miami earlier this year. We had lunch at an adorable cafe that she recommended and she showed me around the lower part of the city which was dope! My favourite moment was actually at the very end of the trip. After exploring central park with Kyle, Amanda and our friend Dillon, I ended up buying everyone tickets to go to the top of The Rockefeller Center so we could watch the sunset together. At the top, one of the security guards asked if he could play on Dillon’s guitar and he ended up performing an original song which was something you definitely don’t see every day at the top of the rock! This memory in particular was very special to me because although I’ve become so much more careful with my money since starting this journey, I would still happily drop money to see my friends smile than spend it on myself. (Oh and that view was to die for!)
My final stop in America. This was my second time in Chicago for Spring Awakening and I was super excited to catch up with all the friends I made last time I was there! There are two moments in particular that stuck out for this one. The first was finally meeting another one of my long time subscribers, Lexy. We have been friends online for over a year and I was beyond excited to finally hang out with her! We spent an evening at Navy Pier talking about anything and everything and watching the fireworks. She showed me around the city and also took me to a dope pub before heading to the second day of the festival together where I got to catch Ganja White Night and Big Gigantic with her. The other was hanging out with the Spring Awakening fam. We had about 20 people spread out across three floors of an apartment and I got to spend the weekend with some dope new people! My favourite memory was sitting in the living room after the second night of the festival, blasting the three hour Defqon.1 legends set and playing cards against humanity for the first time. For once, I wasn’t the one that wanted to play hardstyle and I ended up bonding with a lot of the fam and introducing the rest to my favourite type of music and sharing my experiences travelling to festivals in Europe. I’m also officially changing my title from Festival Junkie to Festival Encyclopaedia because I realised I know WAY too much about festivals.
And that concludes the American leg of The Year Of Summer! After just under six months exploring the United States, Mexico and Colombia, I am about to make my way back to the other side of the world where I will be travelling through Europe and Asia for the rest of the year. Leaving America is bittersweet because although I’m about to embark on my biggest European adventure yet, I’m super heartbroken not being able to have my rave family by my side. And of course, this marks the end of my travels with my partner in crime. I have been dreading this day all year and although I’ll be seeing Kyle again in Europe, I am officially travelling solo again for the rest of the year.
Until next time America! ✌🏻