Once upon a time I used to fly to Amsterdam just to listen to a band. (No, I wasn’t rich, I just had great flight benefits with Northwest Airlines). Now I travel occasionally to academic conferences and for the rare vacation.

I’ve been home for about 18 hours after traveling in a circle from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Chicago to New Orleans to Houston to Denver and back. After my NWA years I considered myself an expert traveler.


I made four errors:

  • Three bad pairs of shoes for walking. Not horrible (no stilettos), but not good for the miles I put on in the Garden District and the Colorado foothills.
  • Assuming WiFi is plentiful and the bandwidth large. Kudos to the Metropolitan Airports Commission or whomever stocked the MSP Humphrey Terminal with outlets, mini desks, and oceans of WiFi bandwidth. Let’s just say all the other airports I visited could learn something from MSP.
  • Not upgrading my AT&T iPhone plan. Seriously, one month of “hotspot” service wouldn’t have broken the bank.
  • Failing to download student work to grade offline. See above.

Of course I learned a lot, too.

  • I’m most creative after learning something and then literally walking around with it. The hours I strolled through New Orleans (see WiFi above) caused a plethora of research ideas to bubble up  (and a lot of blisters, too).
  • Stories from Tee-Eva’s snowball shop will stick with me forever.
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul have wonderful sidewalks.
  • No one really cared if I live tweeted from Riot Fest Denver. No one.
  • I love taking random photos with my phone.
  • Let other people shoot videos.
  • You can buy band aids just about anywhere.
  • Only in Minnesota (I think) are earplugs freely distributed and easy to buy (thank you Pine County Fair Demolition Derby and First Avenue). I was lucky to find them at Riot Fest.
  • Minnesotans like to find each other and revel in our collective wisdom of being, well Minnesotans. And we love our accents.
  • New Orleanians are the best storytellers.

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Video courtesy of Chris Pollard

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