By Kenneth Justice
~ “So Kenneth, what are you going to do with your blog for 2014?” my friend asked. It was a week before Christmas and The two of us were sitting in a packed café watching the many people rushing to-and-fro in the midst of their holiday present shopping.
—) A teenage couple standing in line were arguing about how much more shopping they really needed to still accomplish
—) Another couple with their two little children looked exhausted from toting the young ones around all day
—) The barista’s behind the counter looked worn out; the line of customers seemed never-ending and stretched as far as the exit door
”I wonder if people sitting at coffee shops around the world are seeing the same kinds of things we are seeing right now?” I said aloud
In that moment I realized what I wanted to do with my blog for 2014; what if I could go to coffee houses all over the world to meet readers, strangers, friends, and anyone else who might cross my path on a coffee house tour…and what if I blogged about the entire experience?
Before I realized it I had already made up my mind; The 2014 Drinking in the Culture Tour had become something that I was willing to commit myself toward making happen
—) Could I do it; I have no bloody idea
—) Would I be able to afford it; probably not
—) Where would I go; to as many places as I can
—) Did this seem like a crazy idea; yup
Yet what better way for a blogger who writes about culture to expand his blog than to travel around to coffee shops and meet new people? What better way to expand my own understanding of Western Culture than to devote an entire year of my life to visiting as many coffee houses around the world as possible. What better way to connect with readers than to have coffee with them….in person!
The simple fact of the matter is that the blogging community is just that; it’s a community.
As many of us have noticed; Western Culture has become very disconnected. Gone are the days when everybody hung out with their neighbors. Gone are the days when community was second nature to society. And so many people have found a community within the world of blogging……..and perhaps this year will be an opportunity for me to better learn the true extent of this community.
My 2014 goal will be to set aside as many as 20 weekends this year and visit the following destinations beginning with my already scheduled trip to Costa Rica this January;
Cities I’ve penciled in for sure are;
—) Minneapolis, MN
—) Toronto, Canada
—) Boston, MA
—) New York, NY
—) Philadelphia, PA
—) San Diego, CA
—) Chicago, IL
—) London, England
The rest of the cities I will choose as I go. I’m leaving many of the weekends open which I will determine later in the year depending on the suggestions by my readers; perhaps Seattle, New Orleans, Dublin, or fill-in-the-blank………Whichever cities receive the most suggestions will be the ones I pencil in as my final stops. The United Kingdom trip will be the last trip of the year as I will need a little bit of time to put together the final details and determine which cities I will visit.
What I could really use from my readers are;
—) suggestions of cities for me to visit
—) suggestions of coffee shops or café’s that I could hang out at
—) suggestions of churches, synagogues, or any particular religious institutions that I could visit; I’d love to attend as many of my readers ‘houses of worship’ be they Christian, Jewish, atheist (they have those now) or fill-in-the-blank
—) low cost accommodations; what are the best priced hotels? (I don’t have a money tree in my backyard)
I want to drink in as much culture as possible….and I might have a few cups of coffee along the way.
It goes without saying that many of my readers are more than that; they have become friends. Any of the modest success I’ve experienced via blogging over the course of the last year is because you have been a major source of encouragement in my endeavors here on The Culture Monk.
Those of you who comment regularly to my blog will never truly know how thankful I am for you and what a source of inspiration your participation has been to my life. Hopefully, this year will mark a new chapter in The Culture Monk Website taking it to places I could have never foreseen.
As with many of the elements of life there is a level of fear that creeps up in the background of my mind; will I really find enough money to go to this many places and more…..all I can do is step forward with a little faith and pursue that which is in my heart to pursue.
For now, I think I’m going to drink another coffee while I pack my bags
On my Homepage will be a link to the Drinking in the Culture Tour which I will keep updated with cities and dates….I hope to meet many of you in the coming year!