Saturday, June 11, 2011

Travel Insensitivity

Sioux Falls, SD

Sometimes when I talk about big things in the future, I don't really grasp them.  It's not that I don't have the information about it - I knew, when I went to the Philippines last year, that on the way back I'd have one flight leaving 16 hours after my previous one arrived.  I had all the information, I had the itinerary, I knew the gates, I had the map of the airport.  But I hadn't accurately imagined what sitting in an airport for 16 hours would feel like... what it would be like to arrive outside the Manila airport and find a single line of chairs bolted to the concrete wall, full of people sleeping, with a line of people waiting for anyone to leave an unclaimed chair so they could take their turn.  As much information as I actually had, I still hadn't really understood on a gut level what the situation would be.

I think it's a type of scope insensitivity:

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Minneapolis, MN

I'd been trying to keep up with posting every day, and until I opened up the blog to write a new one, thought I'd been keeping up.  I've been busy enough that I didn't even notice that I didn't post yesterday.

I've spent the last few days in the greater Twin Cities area visiting friends.  While I don't know anyone at all in most of the cities I'm stopping in, here Minnesota, I know too many - even staying for 3 days I still didn't get time to see everyone.  After staying at Luke and Laura's Tuesday night, I got up in the morning and got breakfast with Luke and a tiny little place called Al's Breakfast.  It's in a space that used to be an alley, so it's just barely wider than a car, with a counter down the middle.  On one side of the counter is the servers and a few cooking tools, and on the other is about 12 stools, and just behind the stools is a line of people waiting for an open stool.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Busy Busy

Minneapolis, MN

I've been trying to find time to post, but it's been a busy couple of days.  Last time I posted was Sunday morning, having just had an awesome couch surfing experience.  I'm glad to report that while it might not be possible to top that experience, it is at least possible to match it.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Des Moines, IA

This summer, I'm taking a few months (from June to about the Middle of September) and my motorcycle and setting foot in all 48 continental states. The plan is pretty flexible, though I have a few dates I need to meet - Be in Vegas around the 20th of July or so, be in Memphis around the beginning of August. Other than that, it's pretty open to whatever I feel like doing. The route I'm planning on taking is roughly like this (this is NOT the actual roads I'll be taking, just a general area I'll be in).

Whole thing combined (not editable):

So here's what I need from you guys.
  1. Do you know of an awesome place that I should definitely see that (hopefully) isn't too far off my planned path? An awesome state park, a cool microbrewery (definitely let me know about these), a monument, or just the coolest thing in one of the cities I'm visiting? Let me know. The first two links go to a "my maps" page which should allow you to edit the maps and add placemarks of places you think I should go. Put your name, what it is, and why I should stop there, etc.
  2. Do you have a place I can crash for a few nights? I'll mostly be couch-surfing for the trip, but I'd much rather stay with friends or acquaintance if possible. All I need is a couch and a place to park a motorcycle, and maybe a shower. Actually, let's make that shower a requirement, as I'll be coming in from a few hours on the bike. If you can house me for a while, put a placemark on the map, let me know for how long and if there's any restrictions on it (weekends only, have to get up early, have to share the couch with your pet goat, etc.).
So that's pretty much it. Let me know what you guys think. Rate the map, comment on it, whatever. Just try not to move the actual destinations that I marked down on there - I'll move those if I actually decide on a route change.

Here's a map that I'm updating as I can to record where I've actually gone.  (Note: there's multiple pages, so you need to scroll down in the left pane and click "next" to see later parts.)
48 States Actual:

Note: Apparently you need a google (gmail) account to edit the maps. I'd recommend getting one anyway, since they have a lot of good services, but if you don't have one then the "edit" button doesn't show up. I'll try to add locations for people who can't.

Click on one of the two links above - first one is from Peoria out to the west coast to Las Vegas, second one is Las Vegas through the South, up the east coast and then back to Peoria. Then follow these directions:

Edit the map by clicking here:

Add a placemark by right-clicking where you want to add it, then selecting "Add a placemark"

Add a title, a description of why I should go there (or when you can offer me a couch), and your name, and click "Ok"

Click Save if you still want to add another, or Done if you're finished.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ideal Couchsurfing Experience

Kansas City, KS

If I had to picture my ideal couchsurfing experience, it would probably be something like this:

Cool guy in a nice apartment.  Go out for some craft beers and a meal, ideally brewed at the restaurant. Get some kind of tour of the city from someone who knows it.  Hang out with his group of friends, maybe see a concert or local show. Go to a low-key bar and talk.

Anybody want to guess how my night was last night?  I'll give you a hint: I did all of those.