Taking a breath to let you know what’s going on…

I haven’t gotten a chance to write a proper blog post about Westward Invasion, Road Trip 2010, or whatever you want to call this Kerouacian journey I am on. Currently I am in a Starbucks on the Arizona State University campus in Phoenix. There is free WiFi here courtesy of ASU. I have made a dozen coffee shop stops, but mostly to work. (I write how-to articles for Demand Studios and do freelance marketing writing/design.)

To date, my travel buddy Katherine and I have slept in Wichita, Kansas; Dallas, Texas; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Tucson, Arizona; and Tempe, Arizona. She found all our hosts through CouchSurfing.org, a unique website that fosters cultural exchange through pay-it-forward couch surfing. CouchSurfing.org is a true, real-life community of networked individuals who enjoy traveling and exchanging cultural DNA. I am astounded by our hosts and how willing they are to share their world with Katherine and me.

It has been a wonderful time. Everything is going pretty damn well. I have met so many interesting people, seen so many beautiful things, that I haven’t even begun to be able to express it all. I have stories to tell, portraits to paint in words. I have videos and photos to show you.

I intend to get it all down eventually. I want to spend some time singing the praises of all our hosts. I want to write that review of Hunter Gatherers, an AWESOME play I saw in Dallas (replete with actor interview footage courtesy of my Flip cam). I need to spend a blog post putting this all in context. I want to share some lessons I have learned, or at least some observations.

Travel is nothing new to me. I have been traveling and learning the ways of the world and my vast country for the past decade. This trip is unique, however, in that it encompasses real life and my Internet life and attempts to marry the two. As I said at the beginning of this post, it is difficult to keep up communications and also experience this journey first-hand. It’s a balancing act.

Thanks to everyone who has been reading this blog. Please pass the URL on to those who want to share my interesting experience in real time. I will keep it up-to-date as much as possible, and when the journey is over, I will have a chance to upload some of the hundreds of videos and images I have gathered since January 18th of this year.

Next stop: Flagstaff. Then: Vegas.

Then my new home sweet home: North Hollywood, Los Angeles. I got a hunger for that city and I intend to eat the whole thing.

Fast Forwarding Through Winter – Guest Post by Katherine Glover

My friend and travel buddy, journalist Katherine Glover, wrote a post on her private blog about Day One of our road trip as seen through her eyes. She granted me permission to re-post her words here. I enjoyed it. I hope you will too:

Driving south was like fast forwarding through winter. We got to see all the different phases: the slushy, muddy, melting phase; the scattered patches of snow phase; the snow-is-all-gone-but-grass-is-brown-and-ugly phase; etc.

Now that I’m in Dallas, I keep doing that thing where I leave a restaurant and I feel like I’m forgetting something, because I’m so used to picking up my coat, scarf, hat and gloves before I leave anywhere. This happens to me every end-of-winter; it’s just usually not in January.

We also drove through a lot of fog, which was kind of cool but also kind of scary.

We left Sunday morning (a day later than originally planned), stopped overnight in Wichita and then drove the rest of the way to Dallas, where we’ll be until Friday. We’re using couch surfing, an organization that lets you network with other travelers and find free places to stay. It’s a great idea, not just for financial reasons but also because you get somewhere and you already have people to talk to and hang out with. So far everyone we’ve met has been awesome. The only thing more I could wish for at this point is an extra ten or so hours of sleep.

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Katherine Glover writes a daily food industry blog at BNET. A recent post of hers reports that Hugo Chavez has nationalized yet another economic sector in Venezuela: a supermarket chain! Read it: http://industry.bnet.com/food/10001249/chavez-government-occupies-french-supermarket-chain-in-venezuela/