One thing that living in South Africa taught me, as I may have mentioned before, is that beauty exists in the land around you. Being in Cape Town by the clear and colorful harbor and with the ever-looming Table Mountain watching over me it was very easy to believe that I was surrounded by beauty both natural and man-made. I began to realize during my time there, however, that though beauty may be a bit more obvious in some locations, others have just as much to offer through character and history. This thought started a firestorm of ideas and potential plans to not just explore places exotic, but the land surrounding me at home- my backyard, so to speak.
Shortly before I left Cape Town to come back to Georgia, I made the decision to dedicate the year after my college graduation (probably following my extra semester during the fall of 2012) to traveling the US. My goal is to travel and explore (albeit breifly, if I want to touch all in one year) all fifty states. With this ambition in mind, a good bit of my current and upcoming paychecks are going straight into my savings account.
While I am waiting until that blessed day post-graduation, in the meantime I want to do what I can. What can I afford at this point in the realm of traveling that allows me to keep my savings account untouched and intact?
The answer to that is simply local. I have weekends and holidays to get to know my state a little better. They have a saying in South Africa, "Local is Lekker", "lekker" meaning "good". Well, Not only do I really wish I had a bumper sticker that said that, but I also want to live it out!
Reading more about Farmer's Markets and eating healthfully local is becoming more of a priority for me, but I also just want to understand what exploring "local" means.
I have a wonderful book called "A Literary Guide to Flannery O'Connor's Georgia." I got it at the monastery near Conyers, a place I encourage everyone to visit! (p.s. It took me three tries to spell "monastery" right. C- for me...) The book highlights the places in Georgia that were meaningful to O'Connor. I am figuring, if I really want to start looking more at my home state, why not pick up my book and start? The book starts out at Savannah, which is where Flannery was born and spent a few years of her childhood. I've been to Savannah briefly, but it was filled with karaoke and rollergirls, so I don't really count that weekend. What this means, is I have to start planning a weekend trip to Savannah!
Wish me luck!