Tightroping the USA

What seems like a very bizarre sport to some has made news this week, as daredevil Nik Wallenda completed his longest tightrope walk ever at the Wisconsin State Fair. The 36-year-old acrobat comes from a long line of tightrope walkers, with six generations before him participating in the same, nail-biting activity.

Wallenda walked along 480 metres, suspended ten stories in the air. Having already walked across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon, and between skyscrapers in Chicago, the stuntman was seemingly more than comfortable with this feat, and even conducted a Q&A as he completed the walk. The walk took 40 minutes all in all, and marked his longest suspended walk ever.

The most impressive and terrifying element of Wallenda’s walks is the fact that he carries them out without any harness or safety nets. Despite this fact, his poise and tranquility resonate, and from a spectator’s perspective, it seems as though he is walking most casually indeed.

Having grown up in a circus environment, it is no surprise that the native Florida stuntman found his muse in tightrope walking. He insists that the activity is more of an art than a stunt, and that he rigorously calculates every move and requirement before embarking on a life-risking walk. He insists that the mental focus that he achieves is the fundamental factor that contributes to his consistent success.

Rest assured, tightrope walking is not the only way to traverse American land, and the British traveller can quite easily make it from A to B via public transport or hiring a car, without the need for wires suspended at ridiculously elevated heights. The most important thing to acquire before setting of is an ESTA; as a British citizen, you don’t need to apply for a visa if you’re heading to the States for tourism or business for 90 days or less - instead, you can apply for ESTA online, which lasts for two years and eradicates the need for excess red tape.

The Wisconsin State Fair takes place every August and lasts for 11 days. It is just one of many fabulous American fairs and festivals that take place during the summer time, and is an excellent starting point for discovering this part of the USA; particularly impressive due to its proximity to the Great Lakes region.

If you’re heading over to the USA this summer, don’t forget to apply for your ESTA USA online, and make sure that your passport is valid before heading off!

Happy travels!

Travelling to the United States? Do you have your pre-planning checklist in order? Visit our ESTA Guide for more information about obtaining your travel permit. We'd love to hear from you. Send us your comments or questions for travel assistance.

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