I enjoyed myself, time after time, across the 22 weeks of my trip. I’ve come to think this trick played a major role. Whenever anybody said “You need to eat at …” or “You need to go see ..” a certain thing, I would. I would make every effort, if I had the time and logistics allowed, to go do or see anything that anybody sincerely recommended.
I decided this accidentally, very early in the trip. Somebody said “you ought to go have a beer” at a local brewery in Washington, which had live music. I did. It was good enough beer. It was a cool band. I thought “I’m retired. I’m on vacation. I have all summer. I’m in no hurry. I should do this.”
If you think about it, every time you visit somebody, and they exclaim a recommendation, its something they love and are excited about. So why not? Why not go see?
So I visited parks & waterfalls, ate pancakes & apple pie, drank beers and wines, rode twisty back roads and long scenic bridges. All of this because somebody said “Oh, you should go see (or eat or visit) so and so”.
And sometimes people would give me tips for cities I was going to in the future. When talking about my trip they’d ask where I was goin to next and I describe my next couple weeks. They would tell me favorite restaurants & parks sometimes hundreds of miles away. I’d write them down, add them to my map, and do my best to visit them when I arrived in that town.
It made my already memorable trip spectacular.