I can’t recall going from initial idea to buying flight tickets so quickly, or planning a trip mostly based on another’s suggestion. I’ll be house sitting and cat tending for a dear friend in Atlanta, GA. Her job sometime requires being away from home for a week or 2 at a time, returning for weekends or a week depending upon the assignment. My 4 week house sit will include at least 1 week with her. I haven’t seen her in 11 years, so 1 week works for me.
Think about it (I did). I travel for several reasons: 1) New people, places and things, 2) Photography, and 3) Food. A month in Atlanta will be plenty of #1. I haven’t spent more than a trivial amount of time anywhere in the South since age 13. Her place is within walking distance of the college where she works, in a neighborhood with many faculty and post docs. Not exactly typical Atlanta. However, access to ‘typical’ and photography is a very close bus line which connects to 2 metro rail stations. I have no doubt a city I’ve never been in will stimulate my photomojo for a month. And, in appreciation, I will work at learning how to create some ‘Aww…’ worthy cat photos.
As for food, didn’t the South invent and perfect artery clogging, pork fat flavored, salt delivery systems? Seriously, a major appeal to house sitting is access to her well equipped kitchen. I haven’t had that since leaving the US in 2008. Actually, I haven’t had access to a kitchen of any sort. I’ve loved to cook since not long after grad school. I’ll see if I remember how.
Atlanta by way of Paris? By way of Tokyo is the rational choice. It’s the shortest and lowest cost route. But I’ll have to change planes somewhere, so why not stay a few nights? I’ve recently been there, done that in Tokyo. So I selected Paris because it’s Paris. Also there are rational reasons. Air France has non-stops to both Bangkok and Atlanta, a Premium Economy class with 6 more inches of leg room, and the fare is same for a few nights layover as a few hours layover.