Expert advice on travelling from the UK and ROI to the USA
I'm a travel addict. I've been all over, but feel my happiest in the United States (and Canada - coming soon). If I'm not travelling, I'm thinking about it. If I don't have a trip booked, I'm planning one.
The travel ban was brutal. I spent much of that time planning trips...
When the border opening date was announced I quickly booked my first trip and spent hours each day researching the new rules.
Once I'd got them nailed, I began helping other people get their heads around all that was now needed to hop over the pond.
How all this started...
In January 2020 our sons (then 5 & 6) pestered to be allowed to set up their own YouTube channel. Instead, I compromised, we could set up a family Instagram account and share updates on our travel.
I warned that it was quite possible that no-one outside of our family and friends would follow us, but it would help them get used to a camera and work out if it was something they were interested in.
We surprised them with a Florida trip the next month and started sharing content, but I quickly fell really ill with pneumonia (now assumed to be COVID 19), and it all fell away.
A fortnight after I was finally able to return to the UK (long story), the world ground to a halt. Our account had to change tack, and became all about a family trying to stay sane during lockdown - and home improvements born of itchy feet energy!
The Borders Opened!
Thank goodness, America finally opened her long closed borders! What a great day that was, in November 2021.
I watched with tears in my eyes as the matching A350s from Virgin Atlantic and British Airways took off from Heathrow together, bound for a similarly synchronised landing at New York City's JFK airport.
I then cried my eyes out later that day, watching families, couples, parents and children reuniting in the airport - travel is important.
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It hit home all the more because I'd helped people on those planes fly that day. I'd helped with paperwork and testing and the visa waiver process and all the little things that need doing.
Sure there were journalists & bloggers onboard, but they were also excited families, normal people, off to be reunited with their loved ones - and as someone who had also been kept from someone (one of my best friends lives in North Carolina), I felt their glee!
I'd helped them get there - helped them understand what was needed, and made sure it was all done at the right time.
And they were only the first - helping people travel to my favourite place became addictive. Solving problems, researching information, speaking to the authorities.
I can't lie - receiving the messages of thanks is amazing. Knowing I've helped is addictive!
And so, CrosswalkClan has morphed into an account that provides personalised guidance & support to more than a thousand followers, and tens of thousands more in Facebook groups and on Twitter.
As someone who can knock together the occasional website, it seemed logical that I created somewhere that, going forwards, we can more easily store information and resources to help people, without relying on Instagram story highlights and Reels.
Thus, here you are now!
As you'll be able to tell, I've put this site together quickly and there isn't too much information on here yet, but I've begun the migration of content over from Instagram, so it will grow...
Watch this space!
Since travel re-started I've had several USA trips, with my solo trip in November 2021 being the first (Manchester > Dublin > New York > Raleigh NC > Orlando > Manchester) and as a family we had trips in April/May 2022 (Manchester > Orlando > Atlanta > Las Vegas > LA > Heathrow > Manchester) and April/May 2023 (Orlando). Myself and my Husband treated ourself to an Upper Class long weekend to Orlando in June 2022. There are always various short hops and business trips too.
We've also had multiple UK city breaks, to Manchester, Liverpool, London, Glasgow and Belfast amongst others.
I'm due back in the States in September 2023, with my cousin, and we'll see what else pops up in the meantime!