Travel is always rewarding. The adventure, discovery, and people encountered while traveling have enriched my life immeasurably. I have found that often the things you remember most are the things you did not plan-people, places and events you find unexpectedly. And removing myself from the routine of everyday life, combined with the new experiences of travel, really lets me look at my life from a fresh perspective. My best thinking always happens while on the road.
Over the next few weeks I will visit New Orleans, DC, Charleston, and Savannah. Dixieland! The American South has always held a certain charm to me, conjuring images of white colonnaded plantations, Southern belles, sweet tea, peaches and of course the accent. It seems to me in a lot of ways to almost be a different country, as it in fact was during the Civil War. I'm excited to find out what it's really like here, which preconceived notions will be spot on, and which will be miles off.
Adding an element of the unknown to this already fluid undertaking, I will be using www.couchsurfing.org for the majority of my trip. A stranger's couch is a high-risk, high-reward proposition. You could find a great host who can plug you into the local scene and steer you away from the tourist traps that separate travelers from their money and leave only a cheap souvenier where an experience should be. Or they could potentially be an ax-murderer (though the site assures me it's safe). My only previous time couch surfing was excellent, so my hopes are high.