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After 12 years in Colorado, the time has come for a change. The only problem is...I don't know where I want to live! Come with me (virtually, of course) across the country as I travel along all the rural roads, small towns, coastal regions, scrub-filled deserts, and damp, dark forests in Anywhere Else, America in search of a new home.
Recent posts

Savannah Will Try to Kill You

Perhaps the reason there are so many ghosts in Savannah is because of the Revolutionary War and Civil War Battles fought on this soil. Or because Savannah is built on top of Muscogee and Yamacraw burial grounds . Or maybe it's just because everything here is trying to kill you.  I'm bad about being aware of my changing environment. I know what to watch out for in Colorado, but as I've moved around the country, I've been pretty ignorant of even the basics, like poison ivy and ticks. about what animals will kill me. I know there are gators in the swamps down here, but I hadn't considered other deadly animals like cottonmouth snakes and feral hogs . Most recently, there's the  Joro spider  invasion that's made national news. Ok, these won't kill you, but, man, do they look terrifying. You'll also need to watch your step. The brick walkways in the historic downtown are in need of repair in many places, making it easy to trip and crack your head open if

Trees and Traffic

Savannah is known for its trees - enormous live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, which is neither Spanish nor a moss . When I told people I met in Winston-Salem that I was coming to Savannah next, the trees were the first thing they would mention. The historic city is built around twenty-two public squares , almost all of which boast this distinctive flora. Sitting in one of these squares feels like stepping into a Henry James novel. You can have the same experience along the much-photographed oak avenue at Wormsloe estate and with the eeriness that the willowy, old trees lend to the famed Bonaventure Cemetery . So yes, it's cliché to post about them and write about how happy they make me, but how can anyone not love them? What is less known about Savannah, or maybe only I was ignorant of, is the traffic. At only 40,000 more inhabitants than Boulder, Savannah delivers endless logjams at all hours of the day. This was especially shocking to me given how much larger the square milea

VRB dOn't

The South is not for me. My Mississippi visit started with a $130 fine , which was annoying but my own fault. My Georgia started far worse and was definitely not my fault. Savannah is a hard place to find an affordable furnished rental in. It's wildly expensive if you want to be in the historic downtown, which I did. I pushed it off last year because with a dog, it was beyond impossible to find a place I could afford for a month. This year, to get a good place at a good price, I booked back on June 6th. I thought I was all set, but I was very wrong. I've seen vacation rental horror stories in the news and I felt fairly certain one would happen to me at some point. It's also just a fact of travel - things go wrong. Since I've been travelling full time for 13 months, it seemed inescapable that I'd have a problem at some point. So it's not exactly that I'm mad at this happening to me. It's more VRBO's abysmal handling of the situation. Owner cancellati

The Other Twin Cities

I haven't been to Minneapolis-St. Paul since I was in fifth grade, so this post isn't going to compare those cities to Winston-Salem . Besides, those are technically still two cities while here in North Carolina, this is just one city, and is thus appropriately nicknamed the singular Twin City . No, this post is simply a wrap-up of my impressions of this place and an answer to the perennial question, would I consider living here?  What I enjoyed: The literary festival I posted about previously Good gym options, including a studio that does Lagree (Megaformer) classes , which is hard to find Super easy to get around and very little traffic So. Many. Restaurants. All the food! Beautiful running paths in the city Several state parks less than an hour drive away, and state parks are free Several excellent museums , historic areas, and a vibrant arts district  that doesn't have the homeless problems that artsy areas in cities in the west have Plenty of festivals and outdoors s

Into the Woods

You know I can't visit a destination without having at least one post about hiking, and Winston-Salem is centrally located for getting out into the woods in any direction. State parks are free here and, as with most places, the crowds tend to be congregated in the first half mile of any trailhead. Beyond that, there are miles and miles of wonderful trails all to yourself. Most of the trails are perfect for running - nice ups and downs without being too steep and just the right amount of roots and rocks to keep your brain engaged without being so many that you have to walk. The forests aren't dense, so you can keep your eyes peeled for bears and the ( probably non-existent ) Carolina panther. You will sometimes hear target shooting, unfortunately, and sometimes too close to the trails for comfort. But for the most part, I was really happy with the trails I found. Pilot Mountain State Park Boone's Cave State Park Lake Norman State Park Reedy Creek Nature Preserve The western

I See Magical Thinking Everywhere

If there's one thing you can't escape in America, it's religion. I mean, if there are almost 50 churches in Boulder, or a 1:2,300 church to resident ratio, imagine what happens to that ratio when you get out into conservative America. You probably noticed in my post about seeing Lauren Groff speak that she was standing in a church. I've gone from the weirdness of Bethel in Redding , California to the southern headquarters of the Moravian church .  Coincidentally, the book that Groff was promoting was a novel about a nun. Of course, her book is decidedly feminist because becoming a nun was a rare way that a woman centuries ago could gain an education, some power, and a bit of freedom. The book is very much not about women being subservient to men, as every religion wants them to be. But I digress. While in Boulder people feel free to inject anti-Republican comments into any and every conversation, regardless of relevance, and it never crosses their mind that someone mi

Playing Bob the Builder

The company I work for gives employees 40 hours paid time off per year specifically to use for volunteering, so of course I want to use it. Who wouldn't take advantage of a great policy like that to both do some good and get away from the computer for a few days? Except, turns out that it's not that easy to use. Everywhere I've traveled, I've looked for volunteer opportunities, but one-offs are really hard to find. Most places require a background check, orientation, and a commitment for a certain time frame. I've volunteered at races, but those haven't been for charity. When I was in Redding, I found an organization that does a lot of trail building work, but the work days are in spring and fall. I was there in summer.  So it wasn't until I arrived in Winston-Salem that I got to put some of those hours to use. I signed up for a Habitat for Humanity build, something I've always wanted to do. The organization's Forsyth County chapter is at the beginni