IMG_3341They said I needed a retirement goal… what better than to get on the road? In the past 18 months since I left the Army, I have been enjoying life and researching my next step. Eventually I’ll start a second career, but right now I am following my passion. By that of course I mean sleeping late until the cat wakes me up in loud throes of perceived starvation. But also: writing and travel … So why not some travel writing?

“Write what you know” is the common wisdom. Being a lifelong citizen of the United States and a current resident of the great state of Florida what I know is … the roads and towns of the lower 48 (with the two states requiring airfare to follow!).

In 1996 when I traveled through Europe, I would field variations on this question: “American? From which part, New York or California?” I realized how much of our enormous and variegated nation is not on the radar of other nations. Later in life, I realized that much of the United States hasn’t been explored by its own residents. From the snippy  and bourgeois conspicuous consumption implicit in the pejorative “fly over states” to the visual default of television for any unknown –there is a prejudice against the interior of our country and a fetishization of overcrowded vacation spots (Orlando, Las Vegas, Manhattan). I want to relate my experiences that don’t involve the well-known or well-televised.

So I am going to treat my vast readership (my mom and two dive buddies) to reviews of the 50 states. Check back here for my professional opinion, deep wisdom, and stunning insight on our beautiful nation.

First up … California!

(PHOTO: Rimrock Trail in Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge, Texas, March 8, 2017.)