When someone asks you how many countries you've visited, what criteria do you use to calculate your answer?
Does passing through count? Or do you have to stay at least one night or visit more than one city or town? Is enjoying a city break in Rome, for instance, enough to say you've ‘visited' Italy?
When it comes to the USA, there's a very strong case to be made that seeing just one city is not nearly enough to say you've truly ‘visited' America.
Can anyone really claim that staying for a week in New York or Los Angeles – common entry points for foreign visitors – gives you a true representation of a country that is nearly ten million square kilometres in size and populated by almost a third of a billion people?
In order to fully experience the diversity on offer in the USA, you simply have to hit the road – crossing state lines and passing through city limits.
From the hustle and bustle of New York City to the exotic flavours of New Orleans, no one metropolis is the same. And in between, there are natural wonders to captivate you, such as the Grand Canyon and the Niagara Falls – places that scream ‘America' just as loudly as the government buildings in Washington, DC.
There are the oddities too, which say much about the American psyche – from the gambling mecca of Las Vegas to the UFO hotspot of Roswell.
See all these on a coast-to-coast road trip, and then next time someone asks you how many countries you've visited, you won't need to hesitate when you proudly say ‘the USA'.
This post was brought to you by TrekAmerica.