My first post to Instagram in the USA was for an event in Virginia named Tourism Distinction, an event hosted by the American national recreation area to showcase for American tourists, in D.C. and across the country, people who are doing great things within the travel industry.
While in D.C., I was impressed at the amazing diversity of outdoor and cultural offerings I had in Virginia and the rest of the country, especially those that could be enjoyed by people without travel. I learned more about some amazing places in my travels to D.C. where American tourists and young travelers can enjoy and learn about the American outdoors.
I visited four national parks (Whitewater, Olympic, Badlands and Tupper Canyon) and three national recreation areas (Will Rogers Dinosaur Preserve, Shenandoah Valley and D.C. Waterfront) that showcase great outdoor and culture experiences to people. In D.C., I visited the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, Washington, the Capitol, the National Mall, Gateway National Recreation Area, Meriwether Lewis National Historical Park and Monocacy National Wildlife Refuge, where the cafe served excellent food and beer. At the Exploratorium, I explored exhibits on the Science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields in the presence of other students at the International Exhibition.
So, while I found no shops or restaurants in the mall or the National Mall, I was lucky to see the Lincoln Memorial and Monument, the Washington Monument and Capitol on a Saturday, and I did not mind being alone with the view. While I was excited by the atmosphere of Independence Mall, I did not find it to be really accessible to more members of the public. One could definitely find a park or a museum within walking distance of the Mall. At the Capitol, it is fascinating to see people walking around.
But I love the nearby international exhibition, the Exploratorium. As an aspiring electrical engineer, I explored many of the exhibits while in the American Pavilion. Though I could not use the International Display Area (associated with the Pacific Science Center in a different building), I could use the Resource Area (a good facility with lots of mechanical equipment for a student to explore). Most students only walk around the American Pavilion, and I could find much more interesting exhibits and interesting exhibits at the Exploratorium.
My next travel plans were to go to Provincetown, Massachusetts, to attend the American Society of Engineers (ASEE) convention. The first thing I noticed about the town was that the people were friendly, and they all went about their business. While I knew before I got to the convention that ASEE is a nonprofit organization, I was very surprised that its government is a government entity — the American Society of Engineers (ASEE). I also found out from the president that their organization’s charter is up for renewal in the upcoming year, which the board will vote on.
Because of the nature of the organization, we met different people. I met several professors from Zayed University in Abu Dhabi and Mt. Vernon-Yale, a well-known university in Yale. These professors gave me my first taste of the Dubai tourism market, and I also learned that my impressions of the UAE are quite positive.
As a girl, I was fortunate to travel to all five continents and every country in between. I am excited that the international ranks of ASEE are growing. The association hosted one of the greatest conferences of engineering and technology in our time and I can look forward to other excursions in the coming years. While in the USA, I especially wish I could say thank you to ASEE for their kindness, hospitality and appreciation. I am thankful to my parents, who continue to guide me, and I hope to meet more people who are proud of America and eager to become a part of its story.