Day 390 (aka Christmas)

Merry Christmas everyone (who celebrates Christmas)!

This is actually the second time I’ve spent this holiday away from my family. The first one happened the year I moved to NYC. Since I arrived in the city at the end of November, I thought it kind of silly to pack up and fly home a few weeks later—plus it cost an arm and a leg. I spent the day wandering around Times Square, which was completely empty. Let me tell you; it was a sight to behold. I bet very few people out there have ever seen Times Square without thousands of people mulling about. It was actually a really special moment, because there was a light snow coming down and the weather was just perfect. It’s an image I’ll never forget. Though I followed that up with a visit to this random diner in Queens and the food ended up making me sick. So, I like to chalk the whole thing up as a wash.

But despite its flaws, I’ve decided to try for a similar adventure today. This afternoon I’m going to walk around Market Street in the Financial District, as I assume it’ll be rather empty as well. I then plan on picking out a new movie to see (I say new, because I ended up watching The Interview online yesterday) and heading to one of the city's many diners to chow down. Hopefully, my stomach will be more forgiving this time around.

Those are my plans for the day and I’m sure they’re far different than yours. I just ask that whatever you’re doing today—whether celebrating or not—enjoy it. Every holiday is unique and you should never let it pass you by just because things don’t go as planned.

Merry Christmas everyone,

-Steve-

Day 387

Last winter, when I was traveling down the east coast through Boston, NYC and Philadelphia, I remember telling myself, “I can’t wait until next winter, because I won’t have to put up with any snow”. Well, the months have come and gone, and now I'm in the midst of my very first snowless holiday season. At first it was a welcomed change, since I’m sure there will be plenty of snow waiting for me in Cleveland at the end of January. 

However, now that we’re in the week of Christmas, I can’t help but feel a little let down. For as much as I complain about winter weather, I never quite realized how much I cherish the sight of it this time of year. Granted, I don’t necessarily want to drive through it or anything, but I do find myself longing for a light dusting every morning. It’s almost as if my brain keeps forgetting it’s winter, since all I’ve seen in the past 4 weeks is rain, rain and more rain. Point being, I don’t think I could ever live somewhere it doesn’t snow. I guess that narrows down some of my choices for when this project is over too.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I received a rather interesting question through the site over the weekend and I wanted to give it a proper intro. In fact, before I get to the question, I want to send a gigantic ‘thank you’ to everyone out there who's sent me an inquiry over the past 13 months. Thus far, I’ve fielded more than 600 of them and that’s pretty awesome! But without further ado, here’s today’s question from Andrew B. of Oklahoma City:

Hey Steve, I’ll be graduating at the end of next semester and I’m curious if weather ever factors into how much you enjoy a city. I ask, because I’m considering a move to Montreal once I finish school.”

Montreal! Wow, I’d love to go there sometime myself. As I mentioned above, weather plays a more important role than I probably ever realized. It's just one of those things you don't often think about, except in extreme cases. I think it all has to do with personal preference. The best thing you can do is sit down and be honest with yourself about what kind of conditions you want to deal with. After all, some people say they love rain—but do they really?

The other thing you’ll want to do is check out the forecasts from last year. I always had some preconceived notion about what the weather would be like in a certain city, but more often than not, I was surprised by what I actually encountered. For instance, I hadn't considered it would rain more in San Francisco than it did during my stays in Portland and Seattle combined. Plus, I discovered Portland rarely ever gets snow, which I wouldn’t have guessed in a million years. It just seems like a place where it snows, doesn’t it? On top of that there's humidity in St. Louis, heat in Austin and earthquakes in Cali—all good things to consider. 

When it comes down to it, if you’re going to move somewhere, just be sure to put a lot of thought into it first. Some places seem like a good idea, but once you actually get into the meat and potatoes of it all, you might find it’s not the paradise you initially thought it was. That's also why I recommend visiting a place before moving there; word-of-mouth isn't always accurate. 

So, there you have it. A little weather talk from #TGAA. I hope wherever you are in the world right now, you have an incredible week and a great holiday season.

Oh, and thank you Stephen

-Steve-

Day 361 (Turkey Day)

Happy Thanksgiving (to everyone celebrating)!

As you can see by the blog title, we’re almost at the one-year mark. I still can’t believe this whole thing started that long ago, because time has been flying by. Then again, time is a flat circle. So, who am I to try and make sense of it all?

I’m sure everyone out there has a very busy day planned, but I did want to take a moment and thank every single one of you. I need to thank my friends, family and colleagues, who have supported me from the very beginning. As well as everyone I’ve met along the way; those who have helped make this project a true success. The individuals who continue to send me questions through the site and the people I interact with on a daily basis, both on- and off-line. There are so many of you out there who’ve helped make #TGAA both interesting and inspiring for everyone involved—especially me.

Throughout the past year, I’ve made a lot of new friends and it’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know all of you. I can’t even begin to rattle off names, because I fear I’ll forget a few. So, before you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner or the day’s big football game, please take a moment and check out this page. It’s all of the great people, who have made this adventure…well… great.

Have a wonderful day everyone! I’m off to wander around a bit, before I head over to Bluehour for my own little slice of the holidays. I’ll probably post a blog from the train this weekend too. So, stay tuned.

P.S. — Be careful if you’re out shopping tomorrow. No deal is worth a broken leg.

-Steve-