Does the guide go any further south than Sweet Briar though? Inquiring minds, whose women's college beat Princeton in College Bowl in 1966, want to know.
- Fang, Agnes Scott College '07
@harebell These two things aren't mutually exclusive. There are lots of places to go visit and have experiences within a day's drive.
And as for Denver, at least 75% of the most personally impactful experience I had were within two hours of the city -- all told, less than a tank of gas. Yet if I'd had car trouble in the hinterlands, I'd've been beyond screwed. No phone service. High mountain passes. Back roads where I wouldn't meet another car for hours. I kept two gallons of water, good boots, a jacket, and a box of Clif bars in the back of the car, because those are the kinds of things that can be the difference between a story to tell at a party and a funeral. If you're weighing risks versus cheap thrills, in lots of places you don't have to go very far.
@Mira Oh my god, yes to the flip side of the privilege argument. In Denver I also traveled pretty frequently to other cities for concerts, and it was really disconcerting to see how shocked some people were that I'd do something like that by myself. The coat check lady at the Field Museum called me bold. And I'm like, "I just wanted to go to this concert and go to the bao place on the first floor of the Water Tower skyscraper and see some fossils or something..." If liking the confluence of cheap plane tickets, music, bao, and a free weekend is bold for Young Ladies, then something (lots of things! but we knew that) is MESSED UP.
@Emby Back whenever it was in the comments (a few weeks ago? I'm finishing my MA thesis so time is starting to get funny for me -- maybe on the announcement that Jane was leaving?) that people were talking about things in this series that made them a little uncomfortable -- the privilege aspect of traveling somewhere came up, and so did the international travel aspect. Like this is something we can't do in the United States.
And I found myself nodding along to a lot of that, because I've never had times that I didn't know what to do with myself -- but I really wanted to experience being somewhere different. So I moved from the suburban South (where both sides of my family have been for six generations, minimum) to downtown Denver. And I found a grownup job in a cube with benefits. And I did all this solo traveling in the region over three years -- and, like the travelers in this series, I learned a lot just by being in an environment that wasn't like the one where I grew up or where my parents grew up, by myself.
And I'm doing something totally different now than I was then (like I said, I'm in the middle of the MA thesis) but I mean, it was a totally formative/transformative experience to leave the South for a while. It's possible to have transformative experiences while still staying on the track you've had in mind for yourself. The pictures and stories are cool? I mean, I've wanted to go to Mongolia for a long time, and I really enjoyed that particular article in the series. But I wonder what an "Alone in Denver" article would look like, or an "Alone in Seattle" article, or an "Alone in Rural South Georgia" article.
@Fang And here is Uncle Arthur: https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/p206x206/14750_105957459418264_6395420_n.jpg
This is not a story about my dog because I don't have one, but I am currently living with the dog in question and she is a nice enough dog for being a toddler garbage disposal who smells kind of weird and chases the cats.
So my father works on the family farm a few hundred miles away (he is retired, and we grow pine trees; it's not really intensive as 'family farm' implies), and one day he was hiking out to the family cemetery where his mother's aunts and uncles are buried. On the grave of his (great-) Uncle Arthur was a puppy! A skinny one. She looked like a pit bull terrier. Perhaps seven months old or so. My father thought this was strange -- a dog hanging out on a grave -- but figured that since this is a rural area, the dog may belong to someone. Dogs run loose. It's a thing. But when he went back the next day, the dog was still there! Still chilling on Uncle Arthur's grave. Very happy to see my father. Tail wagging, the whole nine yards.
So my father was like, "NO COLLAR? WELP. GUESS I HAVE A DOG. :DDDDDDD" and hauled the dog off to the vet in the county seat, wherein the vet took one look at this mostly-white pit bull terrier and started laughing and immediately IDed the dog as one of the many many MANY inbred pit bull types who inhabit the area. (Dog was likely bred for the purpose of hunting wild boar. This is a thing in the land of my people.) So then dog got some medicine for ear mites and got spayed and my father put a John Deere collar on her and now he shows her way more physical affection than he has ever shown my mother or me (he is a Strong Silent Type) and it is totally mutual. They take naps together. She's 78 pounds and thinks she's a lap dog and he is not about to disabuse her of this notion.
The best part? He named this lady dog Uncle Arthur and believes with all his heart that this dog IS that (great-) uncle Arthur on whose grave the dog was lurking. And that is the story of how my raised-Southern-Baptist father got a FAMILIAR. LIKE A WITCH. They're BFF. It's sickening. :D
@oh! valencia I did, and thank you! It's sitting on my desk right now, alongside the ball of yarn that is gradually turning into a monkey-sized scarf.