I have done two trips recently. A short one and a 4-day vacation trip.
Trees and peace
The first one was in Jackson’s surrounding areas, where the autumn has left its beautiful mark, creating amazing views of water and golden leaves. The Wyoming mountains were magical, every spot seemed to have a story to tell, every tree was a stunning image itself, let alone paired with the purest blue skies.
Jackson Hole is an isolated place, it’s almost in the middle of nowhere, if you think about it. And if there’s a blizzard, every road closes, leaving it completely isolated. Still, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world – as proved by the reviews of the 5 million tourists that come here every year. It has a population of 8,000 people but it fills up in the summer with tourists, temporary workers and the J1 students that come here to work and travel.
Jackson is a place where everyone knows everyone, where almost half the businesses close in the winter, where the stillness is almost overwhelming. Still, you forget about all these aspects once you step foot here, live for a while, get to meet the locals and their amazing culture, as well as the love for this place. And it’s also one of the places where you make good money if you can keep a decent job.
Lights and slot machines
My second trip was to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon. I had a blast. I enjoyed every bit of the trip, of the crowded Las Vegas, with its lights, noise and activity. I liked the Grand Canyon – but my favorite is still the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
Just as expected, Las Vegas is crazy, is opulent, noisy, it wears you off after a while. There’s always so much activity, it feels like a herd of bizon roaming the Strip non-stop. Still, in such a big city, there are opportunities, there are always things to do, to see and to try. The shows, those are great – and they’re definitely missing from Jackson during the winter. I saw Cirque du Soleil – Mistere and I absolutely loved it. I don’t know why, but circus always scared me so, I was a bit afraid before going to the show, but it wasn’t at all scary. It was fascinating, colorful, dynamic and surprizing.
I didn’t get to know Las Vegas more than as a tourist, but I felt the vibe of the city, the thrill of walking down the boulevards along with the crowd and being a part of such a big machinery. It is so different from the country side, where even the largest streets feel like your up front alley.
I came just as happy from both trips, but after the one in Las Vegas, I started wondering: what makes one choose urban over rural or rural over urban?
* All the photos in this post were taken by me, with my personal camera.