Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…a bit late with this

I’m now so far behind with this thing I’ll probably never finish it, and even if I did it would be so vague and misremembered it probably wouldn’t be worth it anyway.

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…done with 2013

I may be a fortnight late, but here’s a rough a month by month run down of my past year. For those depending on my blog for updates of my life, you’re in for a few spoilers. The first few months are going to be the most boring and I’ve left the last few a bit sparse so as not to ruin future posts. All in all, a bit weak.

One ‘interesting’ point is that this has been my third year running that has been longer than the standard 365 days. 2012 was a leap year, 2013 I gained around eight hours (starting in Australia, ending in Copenhagen) and this year I had the double 21 April. I think 2014 will be a short one.
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…giving out pointless awards, North American edition

Almost three years ago I ‘gave out’ some ‘awards‘ based on things I’d liked in Australia, having just left the country to travel around New Zealand. These awards were totally amazing and everyone loved them, so much so that WordPress, almost two years later, sent me an e-mail telling me to do more of them. Having left North American for a while, here are some more pointless bests.
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…squirrelling away the best bits

I may have been a bit hard on America in recent posts, but the longer I stayed there the more I felt I was staying in a country without much going for it. Sure, there were nice parts — San Diego was a lovely town and the Grand Canyon lived up to its reckoning — but overall it was a disappointment.
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…done with Dominican Republic

Because of a bumbling border guard in Vancouver, I had around three weeks of my schedule to fill in. Despite having flights already booked from New York to London, as well as many other indicators that I’m just a normal old traveller, I suddenly had a shortened trip to America on my hands that completely made a mockery of the reason I was given it.
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…done with fast food

Americans are known for being best at a number of things: being obese, destroying other countries and thinking they’re the best at a number of things.

american t-shirt sizes
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…done with New York

As the famous song goes: New York, New York (so good they named it twice in the hope that the repeated marketing message would stick in your head and despite not really knowing much about it you’d think of the name next time you were booking a holiday).

newyork-skyline

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…done with Chicago

From San Diego I took my first flight for a while, going from bottom left to the top right corner of America into Chicago.

chicago-skyline
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…done with San Diego

After Las Vegas I returned to LA for a few more days, stayed in my first proper motel and ate nothing but sandwiches and microwavable meals. I then boarded a bus to get to San Diego, a place I didn’t particularly fancy going, but went nonetheless, and — here’s a spoiler — it was my favourite American city of the trip.

san-diego-marina
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…done with canyoning

There’s not much about America that screams ‘come and see me’ but the one thing I was eagerly looking forward to visiting, and not because it was utterly ridiculous like Vegas, was the Grand Canyon. I guess one day I’d like to go to Yellowstone, hopefully that’s better than Yosemite or it’d be a wasted trip back over.

grand-canyon
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