I hope everyone is having an eventful 2022, I’ve noticed an increase in people living their best lives and thought I’d share my recent trip with you guys and tell you about Florida in Winter.
My mom has lived in the United States for the past eight months and as I didn’t have any major plans for the new year I thought why not go visit? The states are usually expensive to fly to, but the tickets were luckily very cheap on the dates I had been looking and it just seemed like a sign from above that I need to go immediately!
It was a little nerve wrecking as it was my first trip outside of Europe for an extended time. I was on a connecting flight which always increases the anxiety by about 40 per cent. All we needed to prepare for the trip was a covid test, Visa (which costs only 17 dollars for Irish citizens) and a covid pass.
Obviously, my passport documentation too but it was fairly easy to get there in the end and border control were very kind too so no major events to be anxious about on your way to Orlando.
Don’t laugh, but what I was most excited about was seeing a Walmart and Target. I just really wanted to know if it’s more like a Tesco or Lidl, what do they really sell? How far is the range of ridiculousness? Will I see people on scooters wearing short shorts and diapers as I had previously seen in Walmart memes? So many questions that I will answer for you guys at the end.
Immediately I was set back by the weather, I knew it would be warm, but I didn’t really believe it if you understand me? As I left Ireland it was gloomy and grey as it usually is during the winter months, but in Orlando it was sunny skies and dry land!
Everyone knows Florida, specifically Orlando is the place to be if you’re a Disney or Universal fan. There are so many themed parks and amazing alligator adventures to attend to that you minorly lose yourself and sight on your wallet. I am embarrassed to admit how much I have spent.
Most of my trip was split doing fun activities like pirate minigolf, cat cafes, theme parks, and shopping malls. I have to say, American clearance stores are brilliant for sucking you in! Branded items selling for almost 50% below market price is both amazing and terrifying to see. There were of course some downfalls, a major one of them was the fact that everything in Florida was a lot bigger and spaced out, which made my little Lisa Simpson heart shatter. The cars were huge and the petrol costs almost set me flatlining. I was ashamed to constantly have to ask my mom or her husband to drive me places because I physically could not walk there myself, not to mention the public transport there is practically non-existent.
I obviously went at the peak of the Omicron pandemic and was a little worried by how laid back the American government appeared to be about mask wearing and covid certificates. It was frankly very concerning as they had almost 500,000 sicknesses reported daily. I had been to Disney world and Hollywood studios during my stay and as much as I had hoped the rules would be stricter there, I must admit there was a huge problem with overcrowding and the non-essential mask wearing. The only place they had insisted masks be used is inside the rides, but I didn’t see how it helped when we were breathing down each other’s neck for about 45 minutes before we got indoors.
I was taken aback by how kind people were in America, it seems a little strange, especially to me as an Easter European who only heard nice things said to me on my birthdays… sometimes.
It felt a bit like a distorted reality or a Sims game with the fact that palm trees were decorated with Christmas lights and houses, that were otherwise green and summer like, put a grinch and bubble snow in their front yard. Another downfall was the food, I’m not going to lie to you, it’s exactly as you expect: a bit flavourless, greasy and sweet. I don’t mean to diss the food, but it was strange that the calorie count was displayed everywhere. I struggle with an ED and found that it had been extremely triggering. To the point where I lost 2 kilos from avoiding food in fear of the calories.
Apart from that America was extremely fun, so many things to do for people of all ages, it will cost you a pretty penny, but the adventure in itself is worth it. Feed your skin some vitamin D and wear all your summer outfits! (that you keep buying even though you live in Ireland during Summer… Bestie I get it I want you to look fly too but it’s too cold for fashion in Ireland)
And to answer the question you have been asking since the beginning of this article; what was Walmart like?
Honestly, it’s like a Woodies and Tesco has a baby with Lidl’s bakery section. They had boiled eggs in a jar… so you don’t have to boil them. Do with that information what you will.