Monday, June 18, 2007

A New Must-Have Travel Accessory - a Coin

Here's an interesting article called Portland by Public Transit and the Flip of a Coin.

The idea is to take a free day and explore without an agenda. The author had six rules:
  1. I'd begin at the nearest light-rail stop, where I'd buy an all-day pass.
  2. I'd take first train that came along, whichever direction it was going.
  3. I'd take the train ten stops and get off.
  4. From there, I'd walk in the direction the train had been going, and at the first corner I'd flip a coin. Heads, I'd turn right; tails, I'd turn left.
  5. I'd then walk in that direction for ten minutes, then look around. If I saw a public transit stop -- whether for light rail, streetcar, or bus -- I'd go there and take the next transport that came along. If no stop is within sight, I'd keep walking and flip a coin on every corner until I found one.
  6. I'd then repeat steps 2 through 5 until (a) I found myself at or very close to home again, or (b) the sun went down and I had to call for a ride.
  • I had one major sub-rule: I could stop for anything that caught my attention, whether it be a museum, a shop, a work of public art, a street performer, a friendly dog, a good view, an interesting pattern of light and shadow on a building, an interesting person, good graffiti, or what have you. When I was done being transfixed, I'd just flip my coin again to determine the next phase of my route.
It reminded me of the Lonely Planet Guide to Experimental Travel - a book full of suggestions for exploring a new (or old) place.

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