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Whether you’re thinking about relocating to start a new life in North America, or you are simply looking for a little insight and better understanding of the culture behind the American Dream, here is a complete A to Z of (some of) the ways to live your life the United States’ way.

hoomaluhia botanical garden


Every life begins with your ABC’s, and education is one of the United States’ top priorities. The nation as a whole spends more than one trillion dollars per year on educating and schooling its young, and opportunities and chances to develop academic skills are amongst the highest in the world. A literacy rate of 99% for both male and female students, and some of the top higher education establishments in the world, make the USA a great place for the young to learn.

America is the home of pop music, and nothing represents that better than the letters D,E, and F, or more precisely, the DEF of Def Jam records. This New York label was home to some of the most famous hip hop stars of the 1980s, and represents everything exciting and vibrant about a music industry that remains one of the nation’s top exports to this day.

The United States doesn’t settle for half measures. So instead of the letter G, we have extreme G. America’s theme parks are a tourist attraction that bring in millions of visitors from across the globe each year. But it is the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio which boasts the Millennium Force: the world’s most extreme roller-coaster, which puts riders through an immense 4.5 G-force through two of its turns!

Hawaii, with its state postal code HI, is the remotest state in the union, lying almost 2,400 miles to the west of the Californian coastline. The volcanic archipelago is home to landscapes and wildlife unlike anything found within the mainland. And if life in the United States is new to you, then Hawaii will give you something in common: its unique culture and way of life is something that most American citizens have never experienced either.

J is for July, or more specifically, the 4th of July. America’s independence was a hard-won prize, achieved as much through clever diplomacy and civil action as it was through blood spilt on the battlefields. The month is a special time in the states, and is celebrated with festivals, re-enactments, and parties across the country.

Next in our alphabet, we arrive at K,L, and M. Or, to reverse it, MLK, the initials of America’s greatest civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. Though he was assassinated in 1968, the legacy of the pastor’s son from Atlanta Georgia is one of the most important in the nation’s history, and his campaigning brought freedom for millions of African Americans.

N.O. Is the abbreviated form of Louisiana’s “Big Easy”, New Orleans. The south’s undisputed city of jazz is a perennial favourite for visitors, who fall in love with it’s unique cultural blend of the deep south and old French influences. The music, the architecture, the night life, and the traditional cuisine of New Orleans are unlike anything else found in the United States.

P,Q and R may seem like a tricky one for our alphabet. But luckily, PQR is also the national weather service’s designation for Portland, Oregon. This quirky and characterful Pacific Northwest settlement is America’s most environmentally-friendly city. As well as boasting impressive green credentials, Portland is home to many of the nation’s top microbreweries, so fans of craft ale will feel right at home!

Florida’s St Thomas University (or STU for short) is the historical training ground of one of the NFL’s most famous franchises, the Miami Dolphins. The team trained here during their golden age, when the Dolphins were one of the teams which introduced the world to American football. The NFL is now America’s favourite sport, and the season culminates in the Super Bowl: where the top two teams compete in the world’s most watched annual sporting event.

VW stands for Volkswagen Group of America, responsible for commercial to high performance vehicle brands, including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Volkswagen cars in US territories. If you are planning to resettle in America, you will need a domestic licence, but with a car hire at Avis, USA road laws allow visitors to get behind the wheel immediately, using their current overseas license.

Nowhere typifies the rock and roll lifestyle of excess like West Hollywood did in the 1980s. And from its legendary nightclub the Whisky A Go Go, we reach the end of our American alphabet with the club’s band-in-residence, the glam rockers XYZ. Like so much of that era, this band is probably best consigned to the past. But “The Whisky” lives on, and is one of LA’s hotspot that most definitely does require revisiting at least once.

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