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By Mike Jerrard

By the title, you might think I mean South Africa or possibly South Australia. Then again, maybe it’s Saudi Arabia, and if not there, then surely “S.A” must be South America, right? No, the place I speak of is none of the above – it is a place like no other.

It is a destination where you can find yourself amongst such a diverse array of ethnicities that should you have been blindfolded and let loose you may, in some instances, not be sure what country you are in. The food, music, and entertainment is such a blend of tastes from all over the world, and a place where signs and instruction manuals are written in so many different languages that it sometimes takes time to find the one you can understand. So if you think you may want to travel here then read on, but you may be surprised just where this place is.

Situated in the western hemisphere somewhere between Canada and Mexico lies a country like no other in terms of its diversity, a place I like to call the States of America; or S.A. Now before you ask yourself if I forgot to put a “U” somewhere, let me confidently say that I am simply correcting the title and spelling of this country because I found a mistake in it.

Located

Located in the Western Hemisphere between Canada and Mexico

You see from a young age I was told a certain “U” stood for “United”, and when placed in front of the words States of America, one would believe it would imply that those so called States of America were united. Well I have come to realize that somehow this mistake has been overlooked by so many because the States of America that I know are far from what you would call united.

So now that we have the correct name for this country let me introduce you to its people which we call Americans. An American is well….um…hmmm…not sure how one would describe an American. As far as skin color they come in all shades, and you would be hard pressed to put on an American accent as there are so many that differ from one another. Americans don’t have unified beliefs, but rather they differ greatly in what they believe is right in regards to religion, life, and personal rights. So what is an American and how can we describe them as a whole??…good question!

As far as landscape goes it should come as no surprise that this too differs greatly depending on where you are. You are bound to encounter just about every climate imaginable here and will experience every weather condition Mother Nature can thrown at you. There are subtropical forests, swamps, huge mountain ranges, the deepest canyons, glaciers, the hottest and driest of deserts, beaches, enormous lakes, grand waterfalls, and amongst all this are massive sprawling cities. You may have to contend with enormous snowfall, tornadoes, dust storms, wild fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, hail, tsunamis, excessive heat, and dangerously severe cold temperatures. If you like variety when it comes to your surrounding landscape then this is definitely the place for you.

L

Landscape differs greatly depending on where you are.  Above – Utah

Florida

Florida

As far as flora and fauna go, yep, you guessed it….diverse. Large herds of bison roam the west along with Bighorn sheep, moose, elk, deer, Mountain goats, and antelope. Throw in some dangerous mountain lions, three types of bears, wolves, jaguars, alligators, sharks, and rattlesnakes. If that wasn’t enough you also have whales, manatees, walruses, coyotes, beavers, hundreds of species of birds, sea turtles and dolphins. Literally the S.A. is a zoo! As far as plants go you can expect to see giant redwoods, palm trees, pine trees, grasslands, rare orchids, citrus trees, and well just about anything you can imagine.

As far as attractions and activities go, you definitely will have no shortage of options. Anything you dreamed of purchasing can be found at shops and malls scattered everywhere. Ease of transportation makes it quite simple and economical to take in many sites. Isolated wilderness exists for the adventure seeker and busy cities for socialites.  Just name an activity and rest assured it will be offered somewhere.  Pretty much every landmark on the planet either originates here or has been reproduced as an exact replica which can be found in places like Disneyland or Hollywood.

Spending time in Venice...in Disneyland, Florida!

Spending time in Venice…in Disneyland, Florida!

So what more could you ask for?  It is a traveler’s dream; only thing is, how long will it last?  You see with so much diversity there is bound to be conflict. You cannot expect a country which is made up of so many ethnicities, and increasingly so with more and more equal numbers, to get along.

You would be smart to make travel plans sooner rather than later because in a country which has already seen one civil war, it is more divided now than it has ever been. From an even political party split to an ongoing racial war, the states are becoming more divided by the day. Tough issues such as gay rights, guns, marijuana, and abortion are being tackled not on a national level, rather on a state by state basis with enormous differences in how each state handles them.

There is much talk of cities within states seceding from those states as they do not agree with decisions made, and come election time the country as a whole is divided almost perfectly even on how to deal with the most important issue at hand. We have a situation where individual states are beginning to act as though they are their own country, and when too many small countries with differing beliefs are all clustered together you get a possible recipe for disaster such as the case in the Middle East.

Sounds far fetched to think that a country so “advanced” could become another Middle East scenario, but when you look at the extreme diversity contained within the borders it is not implausible to think that at some point conflict could break out and lead to an internal war.

No other country in the world is so diverse when it comes to its people and beliefs. Look at some of the largest nations in the world and they are nowhere near as diverse. China(91%) Chinese, Australia(92%)white, United Kingdom(92%) white, South Africa(83%) Black African, Germany(91%) German, Russia(84%) Russian. Now compare that to the States of America where you have (70%) white, (14%) Hispanic, (12%) African American, and (4%) Asian. So called American minorities accumulatively total a number greater than the entire population of places like South Africa, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, and even Russia. There are around 50 million Hispanics and 40 Million African Americans in America which both are greater numbers than the entire population of Australia.

So you see, S.A. is a must for your bucket list, but do so while it still exists, for one day you may need several different visas to take in all America has to offer. For now, America stands as one so called nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all – or at least that is what its pledge of allegiance would have us think.

Featured Photo Source: DC Clotheline 

 

 

    12 Comments

  1. It’s pretty bizarre how different things are in a country that’s sort of viewed as one big thing. It’s always a little silly when politicians talk about the “real” America, as if somehow 300 million people would have a “correct” culture that’s more accurate than the others. The difference between Alabama and San Francisco is about as different as London is from Turkey.
    OCDemon recently posted…Fun facts about PolandMy Profile

    • Couldn’t agree with you more – it’ll be interesting to watch over time if any of the States do end up succeeding or forming their own nations…I cant see the political and cultural tensions within the States easing off anytime soon!
      Megan Claire recently posted…S.A – Have You Been?My Profile

  2. Love this post – so true. Next on my list to visit! Road trip across the ‘S.A.’!

  3. Very interesting to read your perspective. Yes, we are very diverse by state and region. You usually see the united part when something tragic happens. The days and months after Sept. 11, as close to a majority of this country as you can find, I’d say it was united.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted…A Nashville Trip, a Table and Some Good ConversationMy Profile

    • Thanks Lance 🙂 I definitely agree that the country is united after an incredible tragedy…just really sad that it doesnt last.

      Also during large sporting events like the Olympics – sports seems to promote a sense of unity and patriotism. I really loved the movie “Invictus” which told the story of Nelson Mandela to this point; united black and white South Africa through Rugby.
      Megan Claire recently posted…Our Favorite AdventureMy Profile

  4. The diversity was definitely something we noticed and appreciated. It’s very evident when you road trip across the whole country. That Florida shot is amazing!
    NZ Muse recently posted…What to do when visiting AucklandMy Profile

    • We absolutely love Florida – it’s kind of a world of it’s own!! Hoping to soon take another extended road trip across the States – there is just so much to see and do!
      Megan Claire recently posted…The Chimps of GombeMy Profile

  5. Interesting and creative article.

    I was born in the UK, and now live in Spain, both countries obviously a fraction the size of The States – but same applies even here. The difference in accents in the UK is so pronounced people from different regions sometimes struggle to understand each other – and in Spain even more so. In fact there’s 5 totally different languages there. Same rules apply for the landscapes.

    I’ve only visited 3 places in the States on my travels: NYC, Utah and Alabama, and they could not be more different. There really isn’t enough time in a single lifetime to experience everything the states has to offer – but I think all countries, however small are at their core just a collection of unique smaller parts.
    Phil recently posted…ValenciaMy Profile

    • I think you summed it up really well – that all countries, no matter how small, are just a collection of unique smaller parts.

      I do hope that the disagreements within the United States especially start to ebb and people take a more practical approach to understanding each other’s differences. A lot of riots recently in the streets over issues specific to racism.

      It’ll be especially interesting to see what happens tonight with Scotland potentially succeeding from the UK. Interesting if that goes through if it will set a trend throughout other nations.

      Thanks Phil for your thoughts 🙂

  6. Hey Megan

    Interesting thoughts. I’ll leave the politics aside, that’s another story.

    I’m English but lived the last 4 years in the States and have been fortunate to have traveled the entire country, most recently a 3,500 road trip! It’s incredibly diverse and no wonder that many Americans never holiday anywhere else.

    And I’m fortunate enough to have worked with many 2nd home owners, from energetic places like Asheville, to the more remote Mendonoma region north of San Fran. Diversity comes out, but in the very best possible sense!

    • Hi Andy

      I’m so glad you’ve had the opportunity to travel throughout so much of the States. We’ve been trying to take as many road trips as possible to explore the whole nation. As you said – it’s so incredibly diverse and with so much to see!

      I do agree that it’s diverse in the best possible sense. Though it will be interesting to see if country borders to change in the future. I doubt it will be for a very long time; though I think I heard rumours about Texas trying to push to become it’s own nation.

      I guess borders never last forever, and we just need to take advantage of the world we have while we have it!

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