Five summers in the USA – an incredible amount of unforgettable experiences

"Summer in America is for people who want to step out of their comfort zone, get to know a new country and different cultures, experience adventures and last but not least for those who would like to find friends from different corners of the world and visit places that they have never seen before," says Viktória from her own experience. "A person's horizons will expand, it will enrich them with valuable experiences that are difficult to obtain in ordinary, everyday life."
Viktória Tarnoková from Dunajská Streda
Student of Regional Tourism Management at the University of Konstantin Filozof in Nitra

What unforgettable experiences did you have?

After five summers spent in the U.S., I collected an incredible amount of unforgettable experiences. If I had to name the strongest ones, for me as a city kid it would definitely be my first encounter with a bear, watching moose, and climbing the highest peak in New England, Mount Washington. I also had the opportunity to participate in a true American celebration of the 4th of July; I went with my friends on a road trip to Niagara Falls, and I walked along the most famous beaches of the Hawaiian Islands.

Is there something you didn’t expect and the program brought you?

First of all, self-confidence and self-assurance, but I also gained a second home. I never expected that such a strong bond would be formed between me and a place on the other side of the globe – I have returned to the small town of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire five times and never once thought about spending the summer somewhere else.

Any travel tips or practical advice?

My first and most important advice, which I myself have never been able to follow, is not to reach the luggage weight limit when leaving Slovakia. Even if you think that you will need all these things, you are definitely wrong – in the US, you will probably buy some things at Walmart, T.J.Maxx, or Target right after your first paycheck, and at the end of the summer you will find that you will not even fit everything in your original suitcase. There is no need to stress unnecessarily when planning travel, but it is better to start early, especially when it comes to buying plane tickets. There is no need to be afraid of the unknown, as one will remember these experiences for the rest of your life, but on the other hand, you also need to be careful. End-of-year travel is not a time to save money: buy what you like; pay for a ticket to Disney World; taste the specialties of the given location and try the sports that have been tempting you for a long time (how about surfing in Hawaii?). Believe me, I didn’t indulge in any adventures either and now I regret the missed opportunity very much.

Final tip: If you’re in Boston, be sure to watch a Red Sox baseball game and then sit down at a nearby Wahlburgers restaurant – not only is the food great, but according to the staff, there’s a high chance you’ll run into Mark Wahlberg himself (unfortunately, it didn’t work out for me, but fingers crossed)