The other day my friend Barry and I went on a walk. At each intersection we flipped a coin. Heads meant we continued straight. Tails then we flipped again, and then heads was left, tails was right.
Later that evening a group of friends brainstormed taking random vacations:
- Zip codes. Roll up to 5 numbers on a ten-sided die (or 9 or 11 numbers depending on how precise you want to be!), and plan a vacation to that zip code. It might be Smith College (01063), the Northampton Post Office Boxes (01061), Ketichan, AK (99950) or the IRS office in Holtsville, NY (00501)!
- Amtrak stations. Pick a random one and travel by train.
- Megabus. Set a dollar amount you are willing to pay, and figure out the farthest you can travel on Megabus for that amount. Someone should write a program to help figure this out. $25 can take you pretty far if you book in advance.
- Hitchhiking without a destination in mind. Just go wherever the rides you get are going!
- Follow the wind. Take a bicycle trip (or sailboat) and always go downwind as much as possible. Or upwind if you want a challenge.
- Follow the money. Offer your labor to everyone around you and do or go to whomever will pay you the most. Or least. You get to decide what your limits are – legal or illegal.
- Follow an animal’s tracks. Once I followed a moose’s tracks in the snow for hours. They can travel hundreds of miles, so it could be quite an adventure.
- On USGS topo maps, each square kilometer is outlined. Pick one of these, and spend a day exploring it.
- Visit a random intersection of integer degree latitude and longitude lines, such as 42°N 73°W. Who would want to do that? 12,832 so far with the Degree Confluence Project.
Why are these kinds of things interesting to me? I think it creates an opportunity to break away from my ordinary routine and thinking. Who knows what will happen en route or who I will meet?
In October I have two weeks off. Maybe I’ll pick one of these – which one do you think I should do?