One of the first questions we ask someone after hearing about their pending travels is how long are you going for? It’s a critical piece of information that influences the rest of the conversation. And depending on the relative distance, we can access whether or not the trip sounds worth it. Three days to Dallas sounds good, while three days to Tokyo might seem a little … Continue reading Detachment

The Savannah Plan Past and Present

I recently finished The Oglethorpe Plan: Enlightenment Design in Savannah and Beyond by Thomas D. Wilson, AICP, current planning consultant in South Carolina and former director of planning in Savannah. My paperback copy is easily an ounce or two heavier thanks to the constant highlighting and noting throughout the text. Considered well-researched by many in the space of city planning, Wilson’s book provided a much broader view … Continue reading The Savannah Plan Past and Present

Couchsurfing in the American Southeast

I moved to Georgia a little more than a year ago–for the second time. Well, kind of. I lived in Atlanta during the summer of 2012 while working at my first engineering internship. I always knew I was returning to Ann Arbor, yet despite this, I always felt I didn’t take advantage of the nearby gorges, mountains, or countryside. So for a second time, I … Continue reading Couchsurfing in the American Southeast

Four Years of Credit Card Hacking

Since beginning full-time work four years ago, I’ve successfully leveraged the opening and closing of seven credit cards for remarkably cheap travel. I’ve been over the oceans and across the nation, all for a fraction of the cost. And four years later, I’m still going strong. Some refer to this art as travel hacking or credit card churning, for the legal and clever exploitation of airline-branded credit … Continue reading Four Years of Credit Card Hacking

Doing Hard Things

This past weekend, I attended the Mountain Film Festival at the Trustees Theater in historic Savannah, Georgia. Based in Telluride, Colorado, the Mountain Film Festival is a traveling documentary group bringing adventure and outdoor films to cities across America. I’d heard good things about the MFF and even recognized a few adventure photographers on the bill. Despite feeling burned out from work, I decided to … Continue reading Doing Hard Things

Tracing My Family Genealogy

A couple of months ago, I discussed 23andMe with a friend. His sister participated in the service to learn more about her genetic make-up, specifically a breakdown of her common DNA traits with ethnicities around the world. For a modest cost (given the the advancement of genetic sequencing), she confirmed rumors and beliefs surrounding her ancestral origins. While I didn’t care much for receiving a pie chart … Continue reading Tracing My Family Genealogy

Simplifying the Urban Code

My previous post The Seaside Experiment discussed simple, but revolutionary design features in which Duany and the Seaside team demonstrated to the world. Seaside has no shortage of controversy, to be sure. That includes the creative and unique urban code developed on this privately-held piece of land. In most cities, the urban code typically details the style, use, and form of buildings–whether or not it’s retail, residential, a vacation … Continue reading Simplifying the Urban Code

The Seaside Experiment

J. S. Smolian purchased an 80 acre tract of land near Seagrove Beach in south Walton County back in 1946. Located in the Florida panhandle–west enough to operate in the central time zone–Walton County stretches from the Alabama border to the white-sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s here that the new urbanist town of Seaside, Florida was created. Something From Nothing Seaside, Florida … Continue reading The Seaside Experiment

Resilient Communities

This past Monday evening, I attended an Emergent Savannah event titled Connect, Reflect: A World Cafe Conversation About Building Resilience. I noticed the flyer at my local coffee shop over a week ago and thought it sounded up my alley. I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but I knew they modeled the event off the World Cafe, which is a (commonly discovered) conversation methodology … Continue reading Resilient Communities

Getting Around: The Philippines

The final month of any year ushers in a reflection of the past 52 weeks: how I’ve progressed, failed, changed, and learned. Recently I’ve been pouring over photos and writings from my first solo international adventure last fall (ok, so a little over a year ago) and I’m finally energized to share my thoughts on the island nation of the Philippines. Writing is a strange … Continue reading Getting Around: The Philippines