Finding Our Way in the Twin Cities

While Backpack Mister is doing some solo overseas exploration UK-style, (Go, Backpack Mister, Go!) Brooklyn Hound and I are holding down the fort here in the Twin Cities. It’s a different kind of fun being the one left to the comforts of home, and not nearly as glamorous as traveling the world, but I’m content managing the business of life while he gets a dose of adventure.

Sign at a restaurant in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

On our daily walk around the marsh today, with leaves turning to gold and crunching underfoot, I was reflecting on several recent developments in life. Since my return from Eastern Europe, I’ve been nearly flattened by a huge workload, hence the quiet on the blog front. I’m not complaining; for most freelancers, it’s a dream to be at capacity. But recently I feel ready to get back to balance, and for me, balance means the relative freedom to roam. Resting is good too, particularly after my over-ambitious jaunt through eight countries in four weeks. But I daresay I’m feeling ready to fly again.

Oh, public transport. How I love thee! Travelers wait for their train platforms to be posted in Prague, Czech Republic. Photo by Charish Badzinski.

Living in the Twin Cities comes with its own set of adventures. I’m most comfortable using public transportation, in part because I can count on someone else to get me where I’m going. That’s because I have no sense of direction. (I’ve gotten lost in every country I’ve visited. It’s a part of the journey for me.) So as we drove on some random backroads to MSP airport to send Backpack Mister off into the world, I panicked momentarily, as I realized I didn’t know how to find my way back home. Backpack Mister frequently does the driving, and he takes a different route nearly every time we go somewhere, so the roads run together in my brain. It has occurred to me that what I need to do is a geography project, grade school-style: trace a map and memorize it so that I can find my way around the Twin Cities Metro Area. Of course, I found my way back from the airport….as I always, somehow, find my way. But since the public transportation options out to the ‘burbs are less than desirable, I’ll need to find myself a GPS, pronto. Or a hired driver.

RollerbagMom once gave me a compass, so I could always find my way home. It was more symbolic and thoughtful than a solution to my lack of direction. Though I love it, I find when careening down I-494 at 70 mph, it’s not the most practical navigation choice.

English translation of a sign in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo by Charish Badzinski. 

Not learning to navigate the Twin Cities is simply not an option. And seriously, how fun would that be? Part of the reason we moved here is because the area has so much to offer. And I’m super eager to explore the many offerings that support a plant-based diet. So far, I’ve joined Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis, we’ve eaten vegan pizza at Pizza Luce, we’ve noshed on vegan goodies with my California friend, LustySunshine, at French Meadow Bakery and Cafe, and we’ve made several trips to The Herbivorous Butcher. Oh, I also had an incredible vegan burger at The Bulldog Northeast! And I’m gathering inspiration from a local blogger and marketing whiz, Laura VanZandt of One Girl, Two Cities, whose vegan tastebuds are guiding her around the Twin Cities, too. You go, girl! We’re planning to nosh some vegan ‘za in the near future at Pizza Nea…is now too soon?

The Mister and I have eaten plenty of non-vegan foods, too, and have spent a lot of time dusting off the picnic tables at Surly Brewing Company. They should be clean by now. Just sayin’. But don’t worry, Sir Surly, we’ll probably be back soon to check, just in case.

We’ve also taken time to feed our souls, taking in some art at the Minneapolis Art Institute, and attending an amazing concert by Sia at the Target Center in Minneapolis. It shifted the camera for me, and inspired me in so many ways, as great art does.

This weekend heralds the start of the Twin Cities Veg Fest, and I’m so excited to attend with gifted author and Earth-angel, CS Sherin. She has an amazing book that’s currently in editing, and due to be published this year, called Recipe For A Green Life. It has so many helpful tips and tricks and intel on how to Green your life. I’m proud to have been asked to edit the book. It’s a huge project, and a total and absolute joy. I hope you’ll watch for it. As editor, I’ve already learned so much about how to create a Green life! Making vegan choices is one small, but powerful part of that shift.

Needless to say, regardless of having no plane ticket, we’re going places. And best of all, we’re finding our way.

Charish Badzinski is an explorer, foodie and award-winning travel and food writer. When she isn’t working to build her blog: Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World, she applies her worldview to her small business, providing strategic communications, media relations and writing support to individuals and organizations.

Find Charish on Twitter: @charishb

Rollerbag Goddess Rolls the World by Charish Badzinski is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


One thought on “Finding Our Way in the Twin Cities

  1. As I find myself too busy to travel anywhere that requires a plane ticket lately, I welcome the over night stays that require my buddy SIRI, (GPS on my Iphone) and and overnight bag that has plenty of lipstick and 2 pair of shoes in it. Exploration, when even local, is a welcomed calm for my soul. Glad to have you more local!


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