by Austin

February 5, 2011

February, 2011

Total Distance for today: 0 today but 37 miles on February 1st.
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 927 miles
STATUS: Been waiting out some rainy weather as the whole eastern half of the country is getting hammered with snow and rain right now.

Athens, GA

Honestly, the weather has been such that I really didn’t get to explore the city as much as I wanted to, and a lot has been going on in the background with my project back in Michigan, Motor City Challenge. Let’s just say that we’re making a lot of key connections right now, and Dillon is pretty much tearing it up!

Though I didn’t sight-see very much, what I have enjoyed is my Couchsurfing hosts. My first host, Jim, is currently attending law school in Athens, and he definitely made my stay a lot of fun. When I asked him what compelled him to pursue law, he said that it has “basically always been there” in his life, and that it is one more step along his path to understanding the world. I think he meant that primarily in a broad sense, like: How does the world work? But I also think he meant it in a more practical sense, as in the business advantage that comes from knowing the laws of the land.

Jim was an excellent conversationalist. We even had a chance to talk briefly about a pet theory of mine having to do with tendency of many powerful, wealthy, and influential individuals and organizations to leverage laws for their own advantage, often at the expense of the less empowered. My best approach for combating that problem is not to make more laws, but to empower people on the low end of the spectrum – to upset the system, so to speak. My vehicle for affecting that kind of social change is business, specifically, entrepreneurship. Call me a social entrepreneur, and you’ll make my day. 😉

My second host, Stefan, originally hails from Germany, and so I was of course very excited to speak a little bit of German with him. He was happy to help when I needed a place to stay for a couple extra days while I wait for reasonable weather. I actually had the chance to attend a German get-together with him at a local bar last night. Turns out my German is a bit rusty, but I was able to hold my own for the most part. That’s something I really miss in my life. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Learning another language gives you a whole new set of glasses through which to see the world. Why? I think it’s because language is so tightly tied to culture that it is hard to fully pickup one without also getting a bit of the other. I appreciate German sincerity and directness. I’ve shared some times with German friends in the past couple years that I’ll never forget.

As you can see, there is a lot to learn and share through CouchSurfing. I really find the most interesting subject to be people in general, so I’m sort of in heaven at the moment. 🙂 Seriously, maybe I should be a spokesman of some kind for CouchSurfing. I talk about it and use it constantly. In any case, it’s off to Lawrenceville tomorrow and Atlanta the next day. I’ll be “surfing” in those towns as well… of course!


About the author 


From a 3412 mile inline skate across America for Freedom to a pilgrimage halfway around the world, speaker and life coach, Austin Szelkowski has lived an intrepid spiritual journey. Over the last 11 years, he has skated across a continent, built 3 successful businesses, been enlightened by a mind-bending spiritual awakening, and endured a terrifying dark night of the soul journey in 2017. His story brings courage in the darkest places – providing a sense of spiritual adventure and hope.

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