Friday, 15 May 2015

Day 14 – Monday 27th April

I have to admit, in the final moments of my American adventure, Las Vegas has won me over. It got me. I’m officially converted to city life, although my bank account is screaming at me not to. I feel pretty bad to admit that I was relieved to be back in the city after my time on the road. Maybe because I’m from a small town, it made such an exciting change to be in such an unfamiliar, large place.
However, I can’t help but look at Vegas quite critically now. After all the places I have seen on this trip, Las Vegas feels less personal, as if there is a lack of connection between the place and the people which visit it. Vegas is all about money and selling a lifestyle to its visitors, which is vastly different to places such as Kanab or Marble Canyon. In a sense, I can see through Las Vegas now, past the glitz and the glamour, to see how tacky it really is. This doesn’t mean to suggest I don’t love being in Las Vegas though, but I don’t think I could ever live here. I’m happy to be a passing visitor through the city. Moehringer suggests that “Thought people enjoy coming to Vegas, what they really love is leaving”[1] Maybe this is why I’m suddenly so fond of Vegas now, because I know I’m leaving, and I’ve gained a whole side of appreciation towards the city. Or maybe I simply just prefer it to many of the other places we’ve visited. Either way, I will be happy to go home, despite how much I’ve completely loved every single experience in America.
(The reverse of the famous 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' sign, saying goodbye to each visitor.)
Something Alasdair Spark said in our final seminar in the city resonates in my mind whilst considering all of this. “Why do some people live in places you wouldn’t? What does that say about them? What does that say about you?” On reflection, I’d be pretty happy to live in Flagstaff or the outskirts of Vegas. Why? Because I feel they each reflect a part of me, the small town girl full of creative ideas and dreams of bigger cities. I don’t think I’d suit places such as Kanab and Marble Canyon, they were too quiet and dissociated with modern living, I felt too much like an outsider there. Maybe this says a lot about me as a person, but ultimately, my views of America are really positive, and I can’t wait to come back to the States.

[1] J.R. Moehringer. “Las Vegas: An American Paradox”, Smithsonian Magazine, October 2010

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