Rockstars, couch-surfing, and the thrills of uncertainty…
I’ve found on the road that I am led to my best discoveries through the people I have met. So I’ve gotten into the practice of asking for advice on what to check out in town or even what town to head to next, be that of bartenders, store clerks, or people on the street. And while planning is good and well and aides in staying safe, I find excitement in the ability to honestly answer the questions “What are you doing tomorrow?” “Where will you sleep tonight?” and “So what’s next?” with…. “I have no idea.”
The possibilities are endless.
So before leaving Dunedin I asked a server what he suggested I do that night. Everyone I ask that of gives me an idea or two, but this guy got so excited telling me about his favorite local hangouts. I had no choice but to check a few out. Following his directions I soon found myself passing over a ridiculously long bridge high above the ocean with stunning views of boats, skyscrapers, and sunsets in every which way. This was an exhilarating change of pace coming from the tight-knit marina towns up north in the panhandle. The downtown looked like it came right out of a cliche surfer movie from the 80’s. At the end of the road was a bar stool pointed toward the sand with my name on it.
Beginning to get more comfortable with exploring cities on my own I initiated a conversation with a fella who sat down next to me for a burger. He turned out to be a real righteous guy, he even offered to share his french fries. We discovered he has family that live just twenty minutes from my hometown. The coolest part? He was the lead singer of the band. We had a quick conversation about life and business as he scarfed down his food before he had to run to the stage shouting back that he’d be singing for me and my trip tonight. The only regret I have in sparking that conversation up is not asking for a link to his music for my page.
Next came time to finally answer the question “Where am I gonna sleep tonight?”. I decided to search for a house to sleep at since the city doesn’t offer many places for discreet parking. Thinking I would get few to no responses I messaged 5-7 different people on a couch-surfing website asking for a place to park the van. Besides the the two that were traveling and the lady deathly allergic to cats, EVERY person I messaged answered back yes, and that I could come inside and take a spare bed. The generosity of the people I encounter on this journey never ceases to amaze me. So Captain Morgan and I took up for the night in a spare bedroom of a local in Oldsmar who had moved to Florida years ago from Brazil.