I’ve been to all 50 US states – and I wish I hadn’t bothered


Of course, it wasn’t all bad. For all its faults, America nevertheless served us some delicious adventures – hot air ballooning in Arizona; skiing in Utah; surfing in my favourite state, California. The highlights of our trip were unforgettable. But the rest? I scoured every corner of America looking for some trace of the magic, the hype, the grandeur I’d grown up seeing in films and on TV – and no matter how hard I looked, I always came up empty.

When we ticked off our final state and left America for good, I knew with a heavy heart that I’d never be back. The rest of the world is too big and beautiful, and there’s so much of it I’ve yet to explore. From now on, for me, the party is anywhere but the USA.

50 states at a glance, according to James Wong 

New York

Violent crime, poor hygiene, rat problems and rude people.

Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut and Pennsylvania

Freezing weather, plenty of rain, and lots of toll roads.

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