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


Day 148

As I begin my final week in Charlotte, I wanted to take time to answer another question I received through the #TGAA website. I'd also like to preface it with a resounding, “Thank you,” to everyone who continues sending me questions and comments. It means a lot. 

This inquiry comes from Allan T. of Altoona, PA:

“Hi Steve, I’ve been reading your stuff for the past couple months and I’m curious; does it ever get lonely out there on the road? Thanks and I hope things continue going up and up. It’s cool to follow along with what you’re doing.”

Thanks for the question! Truth be told, it can get rather lonely from time to time. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s hard to leave my friends and family for such an extended period of time. I mean, even when I was living in Brooklyn I’d still visit home every few months. However, this project is 14 months of non-stop travel. I do my best to call or text people regularly, but sometimes it just doesn’t feel like enough. I’m experiencing so many wonderful things on my journey and I wish my friends were here to take part—but it is what it is. They understand and support what I’m trying to accomplish, so even though they aren’t here physically, I know they’re here in spirit.

Having said that, I'm not as alone as it would seem. I did manage to catch up with a lot of old friends and co-workers at my stop in the Big Apple and I have some friends in three of my future stops too. Another great thing is the number of people I’ve been meeting along the way. It’s been a blast getting to know everyone and becoming a part of their lives. Sure, it isn’t very fun when I leave after a month, but just encountering all these interesting people is a blessing in itself. I also think I’ve changed a lot personally from when I started this journey. I’ve never been the most social person, but experiencing so many new things has really forced me to open up. If 6 months ago you had told me I’d be taking part in run clubs and bar hops, I would have called you crazy. 

In the end, nothing feels the same as having good times with best friends, but I like to think things are going rather well. I also believe that by keeping this blog, I’m bringing everyone along for the ride. So, in a sense, I’m never alone. I’m only a few clicks away from sharing my next experience with the world.

Thanks for following along! I’m glad you could join me.