A whole year of this….REALLY???

By Kenneth Justice

~ “So Kenneth, what are you going to do with your blog for 2014?” my friend asked. It was a week before Christmas and The two of us were sitting in a packed café watching the many people rushing to-and-fro in the midst of their holiday present shopping.

—) A teenage couple standing in line were arguing about how much more shopping they really needed to still accomplish

—) Another couple with their two little children looked exhausted from toting the young ones around all day

—) The barista’s behind the counter looked worn out; the line of customers seemed never-ending and stretched as far as the exit door

I wonder if people sitting at coffee shops around the world are seeing the same kinds of things we are seeing right now?” I said aloud

In that moment I realized what I wanted to do with my blog for 2014; what if I could go to coffee houses all over the world to meet readers, strangers, friends, and anyone else who might cross my path on a coffee house tour…and what if I blogged about the entire experience?

Before I realized it I had already made up my mind; The 2014 Drinking in the Culture Tour had become something that I was willing to commit myself toward making happen

—) Could I do it; I have no bloody idea

—) Would I be able to afford it; probably not

—) Where would I go; to as many places as I can

—) Did this seem like a crazy idea; yup

Yet what better way for a blogger who writes about culture to expand his blog than to travel around to coffee shops and meet new people? What better way to expand my own understanding of Western Culture than to devote an entire year of my life to visiting as many coffee houses around the world as possible. What better way to connect with readers than to have coffee with them….in person!

The simple fact of the matter is that the blogging community is just that; it’s a community.

As many of us have noticed; Western Culture has become very disconnected. Gone are the days when everybody hung out with their neighbors. Gone are the days when community was second nature to society. And so many people have found a community within the world of blogging……..and perhaps this year will be an opportunity for me to better learn the true extent of this community.

My 2014 goal will be to set aside as many as 20 weekends this year and visit the following destinations beginning with my already scheduled trip to Costa Rica this January;

Cities I’ve penciled in for sure are;

—) Minneapolis, MN

—) Toronto, Canada

—) Boston, MA

—) New York, NY

—) Philadelphia, PA

—) San Diego, CA

—) Chicago, IL

—) London, England

The rest of the cities I will choose as I go. I’m leaving many of the weekends open which I will determine later in the year depending on the suggestions by my readers; perhaps Seattle, New Orleans, Dublin, or fill-in-the-blank………Whichever cities receive the most suggestions will be the ones I pencil in as my final stops. The United Kingdom trip will be the last trip of the year as I will need a little bit of time to put together the final details and determine which cities I will visit.

What I could really use from my readers are;

—) suggestions of cities for me to visit

—) suggestions of coffee shops or café’s that I could hang out at

—) suggestions of churches, synagogues, or any particular religious institutions that I could visit; I’d love to attend as many of my readers ‘houses of worship’ be they Christian, Jewish, atheist (they have those now) or fill-in-the-blank

—) low cost accommodations; what are the best priced hotels? (I don’t have a money tree in my backyard)

I want to drink in as much culture as possible….and I might have a few cups of coffee along the way.

It goes without saying that many of my readers are more than that; they have become friends. Any of the modest success I’ve experienced via blogging over the course of the last year is because you have been a major source of encouragement in my endeavors here on The Culture Monk.

Those of you who comment regularly to my blog will never truly know how thankful I am for you and what a source of inspiration your participation has been to my life. Hopefully, this year will mark a new chapter in The Culture Monk Website taking it to places I could have never foreseen.

As with many of the elements of life there is a level of fear that creeps up in the background of my mind; will I really find enough money to go to this many places and more…..all I can do is step forward with a little faith and pursue that which is in my heart to pursue.

For now, I think I’m going to drink another coffee while I pack my bags

Kenneth

On my Homepage will be a link to the Drinking in the Culture Tour which I will keep updated with cities and dates….I hope to meet many of you in the coming year!



Categories: Drinking in the Culture

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510 replies

  1. Atlanta, GA. Come and visit here and the coffee will be on me.

  2. Wow! This is big news! I have been waiting to hear the big announcement and popping in and out of wordpress. Great idea! I hope it all works out with funding. When you do come to England, aim for B & B’s as they are actually cheaper and nicer than hotels. Maybe consider visiting other parts of the country as well….maybe consider renting a vehicle and driving to Scotland. It’s a great road trip!

  3. When in England, what about this coffee shop in Norwich, possibly the smallest in the world. Run by a lovely lady, just 5 seats so you can be sure of good conversation! http://www.thewindowcoffee.com

  4. I LOVE this, Kenneth! I insist on treating you to coffee when you’re in Boston. Make sure you visit when I’m around (because I love to travel and meet new people, too).

    • Absolutely :-) Boston (along with Philadelphia and New York) are going to be cities that will be early on the list sometime in April……I’ll keep you posted on the dates :-)

  5. It will be nice for you to blog about your entire experience

    >

  6. Cafe Envie in the French Quarter, New Orleans.. I visit NOLA quite a bit and this is my 1st and last stop in the city.. Every city needs a Cafe Envie

  7. Huh! That’s a fantastic news, Kenneth! I’d love to sip a coffee with you somewhere in this World. Just let us know in advance, exactly where you’ll be. What I can say now…there is no other coffee better than the Italian one :)
    Good fortune!

  8. Seattle ~ I would meet you there for a cup ~ cool idea Kenneth

  9. What a great idea! We will all enjoy this project and I’m sure you’ll have no lack of “come stay with us” support. Fly into Tampa, FL, and Everett & I will treat you to coffee and a cigar. Ybor City in Tampa has several lovely little cafes where you can get a hand rolled cigar and a cup of coffee. This might be a domestic stop on your worldwide tour, but there’s a lot of history/culture in Tampa, not to mention a very interesting local population!

    • Coffee and cigars go so well together :-) …I think it’s been nearly two years since my last cigar and it’s about time for me to have another….Florida is a definite possibility :-)

  10. WOW…this is awesome news! Great, no fantastic idea!

    As far as the jitters are concerned, they always come but I have found if you dismiss them…they won’t slow you down. This project is going to be such a rush for you! Yea, sometimes it will be stressful but as you are moving forward towards your goal, I’m betting your jaws are going to hurt from smiling so much.

    Some tips I found on traveling on a budget…some useful, some not…http://www.earthporm.com/ultimate-guide-traveling-youre-broke/

    Also, you could have a “sponsor” link to your blog where people could donate. I’d throw in a few bucks. As long as your don’t harass people to donate, I don’t think they would find it offensive. I’d bet even some of the cafe’s would sponsor you if you let them know what you are doing.

    Take lots of pictures…and think about creating a book on the subject. :0

    • Thank you so much mrs. P I will check the link out……I’m a bit hesitant to ask for money because of the bad economy and I don’t want anyone to feel like I would ever try and “use” them so I’m gonna try and do this on a shoe string budget and if extra money happens to come my way somehow I will count it as a blessing :-)

    • I understand, I tend to shy away from asking for money as well.

    • Yea…if there was a way I can do it in an extremely humble and non threatening way perhaps I will….but right now I’m gonna just plan on doing it as I can :-)

  11. Ha hah ha hah (repeat a lot). :-) Brilliant!! Blue sky thinking at its best. And well worth the suspense. Now off to ponder your courage and inspiration and implications.

  12. Well, of course you have to make the pilgrimage to Seattle to visit the “Mecca” of coffee shops, Starbucks at the Pike Place market, the place it all started. :)

  13. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Drinking In The Culture journey with Kenneth Justice

  14. Brilliant idea! I don’t have any suggestions but I am looking forward to your tour.

  15. Happy New Year! This is great news. I would recommend checking out the website airbnb.com for inexpensive accommodations. If you’re not familiar with it, people rent out rooms or flats, campers, etc. My husband and daughter are traveling Europe right now and booked all their lodging that way. If you’re really adventurous, there’s couchsurfing.com. I’d like to recommend you check out a cowboy church on your travels and stop in Ft Worth, San Antonio or Austin. Super friendly people in Texas.

  16. Such an awesome idea, Kenneth! Love it! =) I wish you all the best on your coffee drinking trips! ^^ Can’t wait to read your stories about them ;)

  17. Sounds like a plan to me! I’d be delighted to sit down to a cup of coffee with you when you’re in MN, may I suggest Uncommon Grounds or Blue Ox if you’ve not yet picked a venue. Although, if you’re willing to schlep over to St. Paul I’d recommend Kopplin’s, or if you’re more about hearing stories than drinking coffee look into Fresh Grounds. Most of the hotels in the Minneapolis city center are a bit pricey or creepy so I would suggest staying in a suburb nearby for better pricing without compromising cleanliness, otherwise I do have several guest rooms sitting vacant on my second floor.

  18. Traveling the world, discovering different cultures, different people, and interesting stories. What a great idea. I knew you had a mission. Italy, Florida and New York would be my coffee stop and in Europe credit cards would be better choice. Don’t blink for a year and keep your camera next to your coffee.😀 You can never taste the coffee if you don’t smell it.:)
    Have a safe and unforgettable trip!

  19. This is such a delightful idea.
    He he looking forward to see you fly over to Holland. any city is good but would have to find out the shops. coffee shops here are slightly different than you are used to :D . and would gladly be a guide.
    have a great year doing what you love doing. may it be filled with lots of smiles conversations laughter and love.

    • Ya know holland intrigues me a lot….I know I can do the British isles for sure but holland might have to wait till the beginning of 2015…however I’m gonna be watching the flights like crazy and if I can steal a deal then I just might show up in your neighborhood…….

    • Yeah it is the land of drugs sex and rock and roll. it is a way of living. Just give a shout if it ever happens.

    • Absolutely…..I’m hoping the year leads to an even bigger project in 2015….so I’m keeping my fingers crossed and perhaps I will have another new years surprise next year :-)

  20. Why not Singapore…Beijing or Shanghai, or even Tokyo?

    • I would love to visit Singapore and Tokyo…..I’m not sure if I can swing it on my budget this year because from the U.S. the flights are often outrageous…..however if I can make this a long term project than Asia might not be too far off in the distant future……I’d also really like to visit India as well; I’ve had more than a thousand different readers email me from India this year

    • Hmmm…put some thoughts on opening “The Culture account”?
      If all of us, your readers would contribute only few bucks to it you would be amazed and able to step in your favorite cafés in the world 😀 (just a thought)

    • Yea….I dunno…I’m hesitant to ask people for money….I don’t want anyone to think I’m trying to use them…..

    • Don’t ask, just do it. They say: Keep smiling, you never know who you’d fool.😀 I bet I’m your poorest reader in your block, but I’ll be the first one to contribute. Like to help people that raise their voice, reach out others the way you do. :)

    • It will be so great if you can accomplish it all…wishing u the best, and if u are ever in Singapore, I can show you how the locals do coffee :)

  21. San Diego Shout out! I don’t drink a lot of coffee in public, but it would be my honor to treat you while you’re here and to engage in great conversation.

  22. What a great idea! I would suggest you visit the “small towns” on the way to the larger cities. I also suggest Santa Fe, New Mexico and Durango, Colorado. I think you will love both of these towns and won’t be disappointed. There is a church in Santa Fe (Catholic) that has a sweet story. Centuries ago a chapel was built for the nuns but it did not have any stairs to the upper floors. Therefore, the sisters were unable to get to the upper floors. They prayed about this and one day a man with a donkey stopped in and told them he would build them stairs. He made the most gorgeous stairs you will ever see (spiral) which was made from wood that cannot be found in this country. After the completion of these stairs, he and his donkey left, never to be seen or heard from again. I’m sure there is more to this story but this is all I know. Durango, Colorado; Telluride, Colorado, Ouray, Colorado, and Silverton, Colorado are all very interesting and beautiful places to visit. Halfway between Durango, Colorado and Cortez, Colorado (about 25 miles) are the Mesa Verde Indian Ruins. These are the ruins of the Anasazi Indian Tribe (who are now extinct). Their homes were built on the side of a very high cliff and are amazing to see. It is near the little town of Mancos, Colorado which would also be a great little town to have coffee. There are actually many Indian Ruins in which to see in the Four Corners area. Also, Moab, Utah offers some very beautiful and extraordinary rock formations. If I can think of anywhere else, I will let you know.

  23. Wheeee what a wonderful idea, Kenneth! I’m envious. Especially of the London stop. Hope your “Drinking in the Culture Tour” is everything you hope it to be, can’t wait to read all about it! Safe travels!

    • Thank you :-) London isn’t do far away…..you’d be surprised how inexpensive a trip to there can be…..of course, I won’t be staying at I’ve star hotels ;)

    • I’ve always dreamed of going to England. Maybe someday…
      I see my city (Minneapolis) is on your itinerary. I hope your plans are to come when we’re a bit more thawed out here, it’s freezing! I think we’re expecting a high of 0 today!
      I’m afraid I’m not real “in the know” about coffee houses in the area as I’m one of those “Starbucks/Caribou people.” ;) But there is a place called Bob’s Java Hut you could check out. It’s kind of a biker (as in motorcycles) coffee bar, I’ve met out of town friends there a few times who have rode in for visits during the summer. They have a website… http://www.bobsjavahut.com/
      I can’t really recommend any accommodations for lodging either, as I don’t usually stay in hotels in my own city, ;) but if it’s “culture” you’re looking for I would maybe look for places to stay in the uptown area of Minneapolis… http://www.uptownminneapolis.com/

    • I will check those links….and just for the record I like Starbucks too :-) ….dobetteralways has convinced me to wait till April to come to minneapolis :-)

  24. Fantastic idea. I will put a plug in for a stop at Madison, WI. It is a beautiful city (especially in the summer) with lots of great coffee shops. For religious diversity, there is a well-known Buddhist Temple just outside of Madison that the Dalai Lama visits (although it won’t be this year as he was here in 2013). If you are driving, it is on the way between Chicago and Minneapolis. If you add Madison to your tour I am happy to set you up with accommodations and interesting coffee shops and other places to meet people.

    Peace and Happy New Year!
    W. Ockham

  25. Wow! Great goals for the year, I hope you achieve everything you intend to and more this year. If anyone was going to travel, meet and greet people all around the world and tell us all about it, I couldn’t think of a better blogger. You have given me a nice opportunity to look forward to this year, where I can live vicariously through you and I can’t wait to be a part of your world coffee shop tour!

  26. Sounds like an interesting idea! I’m about an hour outside of Toronto, so I’m not sure if I can be much help on that leg, but if you’re willing to venture out to a smaller city nearby that has an interesting history (manufacturing town gone sour – featured as the ghost town in the movie Silent Hill, now rising up as a University town, with strong connections to the native community), a coffee shop in the local newspaper’s former headquarters (that makes homemade apple fritters!) and a church with a superhero (and who are actively involved with community events), I can point you in the right direction!

  27. Jackson Hole in the summer can’t be beat.

    http://elevatedgroundscoffeehouse.com/Home_Page.php

    is a must do. There is a brand new Starbucks flagship store on the town square that would be a fantastic place to sit and have coffee. If I am in town you can stay with me. (it isn’t a cheap place)

  28. Sounds to me like 20 weekends is being swallowed into becoming 52 weeks. Also sounds like you have offers of help in all shapes and sizes coming in. Logistics is going to take over your life. Jesus had twelve disciples to do a bit of roadying for his gig. Think you could do with some of the same – cos I am seeing people itching to be part of this adventure. Time to admit you have again caught our imagination with this. Let the ripples ripple. Pebbles ahoy (and you said you weren’t doing enough?????). I doff my cap to you, sire.

    • Paul….yup, I’m going to enjoy my trip to costa rica in 12 days and then when I get back I’m expecting this year to be like a whirlwind…..52 weeks might be a bit improbable but I’m gonna do my best to visit as many places and people as possible……the more I can keep my travel and accommodation cost down the more places I can visit :-)

  29. Hey! Where’s San Francisco?? :(

  30. While I cannot help in your quest, as I live in Leeds, England; I do share your enthusiasm for coffee houses. I am fortunate that in my favourite one, Salvos Salumeria, they are happy to allow me to while away the hours writing my posts. They have joking said that I will feature in their new publicity campaign, as a number of the letters I write while there get published in national newspapers. I hope this does not sound arrogant. I just want to celebrate the virtues of coffee houses.

  31. This is great! May I suggest Nashville, TN? I went to college there for a few years (Belmont University) and loved the city, not to mention they have great coffee shops and great people. I don’t know about good hotel accommodations, but I do know great coffee places include Bongo Java, Frothy Monkey, and The Well Coffeehouse. I have been to many churches there…my favorite is Ethos Church. I could suggest other churches, but the best suggestions are likely to come from people you converse with in Nashville, if you were to go there.

    Can’t wait to read all about your adventures! And Happy New Year!

    • I was thinking about Nashville because it’s so close to me…it’s not that bad of a drive at all, and even though I’ve been through there before, I’ve never really just hung out there for the weekend …lucky you to have gone to college there!

    • You should do it then! And yes, so lucky! I had a wonderful time there.

  32. Wow! That’s a huge announcement and I really wish I could tag along or do the same for myself but I have zilch money. :( oh well. I think another commenter said it – use the blog as a basis for a book – I think that would be awesome! I would suggest Needles but there are no coffeehouses here and to be honest, I’m feeling a bit left out. I don’t have any coffeehouses I can recommend because well I thoroughly dislike coffee lol. The only city that’s close enough to me that might have one is Las Vegas – my guess is most of those coffee places are just filled with either locals jaded by tourists or hungover tourists lol – I could be wrong but just a thought. I suppose given those scenarios, Vegas could still be an interesting stop depending on what you’re looking for. I don’t know what you could find, but you might try a little smaller city like Santa Cruz, CA (which isn’t super small but it’s not a metropolis either), or Sebastopol, CA because you could get a little different feel of culture not only because northern Cali is so unique but also because smaller towns/cities have a different vibe also. My only other suggestion is: Venice, Italy! I don’t do coffee but that city is amazing. It’s also supposedly sinking so trying to get there before it’s gone is a good idea. :) Of course, I think anything in Italy is amazing and I doubt you’ll have any trouble finding an awesome coffeehouse out there. Best wishes for you in 2014 Kenneth! Looking forward to hearing of all your travels.

    • Jen, lol as many times as I’ve clicked on your newspaper I’ve never actually looked up needles to see where it is….is it close to Vegas, SoCal? …or where? Perhaps we can meet up somewhere halfway to hang out for a minute :-) (lol or maybe longer than a minute!)

    • LOL too funny; Needles is in that little nook of the upper southeast corner of Cali – bordering Arizona and Nevada. It’s SoCal but it’s also east – most people think that SoCal is only the coast but that’s just not true. Las Vegas is about an hour and a half north of here – I was considering going for today but I’ll do that during my weekend instead I think. San Deigo (which you have listed) is about 4.5 hours west of where I’m at. I might be willing to do that because I haven’t spent any time there yet and maybe it’s time for me to spend time there before I ditch Cali. I like it here but I’m getting the itch haha. Besides that would be a good weekend adventure for me. :)

    • Ok…I will keep ya posted on what dates I’m looking at…it would be fun to see ya :-)

    • I wholeheartedly agree :) Have a good Jan. 1 Kenneth!

  33. Have a blast. Great idea. Hope it’s everything you dream it will be. :) Happy traveling.

  34. Candy Café, Dublin, Ireland. :-)
    All Insomnia Cafés in Ireland. :-)
    Prices for accommodation vary, travelling a day sooner or later is often useful.

  35. Well, of course, I suggest that you visit my town of Santa Cruz, CA. Just south of San Francisco (about 75 miels) – you could visit coffee shops from both SF and SC. We have the famous Beach Boardwalk, the University of California, and I lead a monthly ukulele gospel singalong where 50 or so folk gather in the park and have “church”.

    As for accommodations – FREE. You can stay with us.

    Oh yeah… and we have a LOT of coffee shops to choose from.

  36. Couch surf with us in the DC area- just 3 hours south of Philadelphia. Perfect follow on! Small town Del Ray Cafe to Busboys & Poets will give you a variety of perspectives.
    Live this travel idea!

  37. What a fantastic, amazing idea! I was going to try and suggest a coffee shop here in my little corner of the world, however, not being a coffee drinker, my suggestion my have just a selfish motive. Also, it took me 20 minutes (jk) to scroll down to comment, so I’m thinking you have enough suggestions. I am left with one important question…what does an atheist church look like? Is it just a vast empty building? Hmm…On this first day of the year, I must tell you that I have loved reading your blog. I get my cup of tea ready in the morning, settle into my chair, and scroll threw all the blogs on my reader until I find yours. It’s how I start my day now. Thanks Kenneth

    • Kim, lol I just read an article about atheist churches recently….I’d never heard of em but apparently they are getting popular. I guess atheist like certain elements of church (without the god part) and so they have singing, sharing, and a message…very interesting to say the least

    • I guess I find myself wondering why they sometimes fight so hard against something/one that doesn’t exist. It is an interesting fact though.

    • Hmmmm…..very good question. Maybe it’s just me…but I always thought that if I was an atheist I would pretty much do whatever I damn well pleased…and I can’t imagine spending much time arguing with people …..

    • Same here…just another thing I puzzle over in my already overcrowded mind, luckily I choose which puzzles to work on. :-)

    • Yea…so many puzzles that I’m puzzled over in life that I try not to think about it all ;)

  38. Well, I am in a total backwater here is Norwood NY. The nearest coffeshop is 5 miles and the nearest good one is ? Probably not the most logical place for you to visit, but if you do, let me know. My wife’s church is a great congregation and the culture up here is at least rural and peculiar. It sounds like a great idea you have there. Go for it.

    • I’m guessing Norwood is upstate NY? It might be tough for me to make it off the beaten path, but I have truly loved talking with you this year and if there is a way I can swing it then I will do it :-)

    • 150 miles north of Syracuse. I am about ten miles as the crow flies from the St. Lawrence River and the nearest actual city is Montreal, an hour or more away. I love it. It is nearly as out of the way as you can get these days and be in the northeast. The tippy top of Maine may have us beat but not much else.
      I have enjoyed your blog as well. Keep up the good work.

    • Yea, that might be a bit far for this year’s trip but perhaps if this one is successful I will make it something I do every year :-)

  39. Sounds like a fun plan, Kenneth. It appears that you are the ‘big city’ type. Although I live in a big city, I can’t help you much with ideas, as I’m not a big city kind of person. :) Now, if you’re interested in small towns I may be able to give you a couple ideas.

  40. To be young and able to even consider doing this…Wow! must feel great just thinking about it!

  41. Brilliant! By the way the staff at Costa in Dunfermline Scotland are so fantastic they virtually never look tired even when the queue as almost through the door. Their friendliness and cheerfulness is remarkable because they work as a team and love their work. Its a great place to hang out. Come and visit us… By the way maybe get a round the world air ticket – that is the cheapest way to really do it. I think the rules still are you can go anywhere as long as you go FORWARDS. So the route could be done as an elaborate zig-zag from North to South to North etc. Wonderful;!!!!! Post me in….

  42. What a brilliant plan! Wishing you all the best for this adventure. And looking forward to reading about it. I’m guessing Sydney’s a little out of the way? :)

  43. While in Denver some of the local coffee shops to consider are:
    Ziggi’s (Longmont-multiple locations in the city)
    Ink! (Denver Metro+)
    DazBog (Denver Metro+)
    Each has its own cultural followers, I recommend others, in front range area from Denver to Ft. Collins if you would like.

  44. Love this -what a great idea! If you consider visiting Colorado or South Africa, I’ve definitely got some suggestions for you. Wishing you a Happy New Year and can’t wait to read more!

  45. Hi Kenneth. It’s another great post and would like to start the new year with a nomination of excellence. Your blogs are always honest, inspiring, and keeps us thinking. Here is the link and have a great new year.

    http://mydoodlepage.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/excel/

  46. Båstad, Sweden. A gem, the Swedish equivalent of St Tropez or Nice (during two weeks of summer). Let me know if you make your idea come real. I roar sure would chat with you.

  47. Belfast Northern Ireland, try Cinnamon cafe on Stranmillis Road, Maggie Mays and the Students Union Cafe at Queens University and kits of coffee shops on Botanic Avenue, Lisburn Rd and Ormeau rd. Days Hotel is cheap but theres also a very cheap hostel on University Road that has a great reputation. At Anne’s Cathedral and Cathedral quarter are lovely spots with theatres, restaurants and cafés. Do enjoy and give us a shout :)

    • I love staying at hostels a lot….I will write all those places down and will definitley keep ya posted…I’m gonna try and hit as many places in the UK as possible…i spent a week in Ireland years ago and loved it

    • Great! Dublin’s just down the road- have you ever been to Galway? We lived there for over a year, it’s magical, with lots of coffee shops!

    • It’s been 10 years so I don’t remember all the cities I visited….I may have had one two many pints of Guinness which is clouding my memory as well ;) j/k …but I did spend a couple days in Dublin and loved it, I remember seeing the cliffs of moher and I was positively amazed…it was one of the most amazing sites I’d ever seen at that point in my life

    • For sure the Burren and Cliffs of Moher are amazing. Guinness is certainly the danger here though! I do like your ideas about the blogging community- there is undoubtedly a form of social connecting going on that was missing in western society for some time. Bloggers’ posts are a major inspiration. So best of luck with your project :)

    • Right, so this year I’m going to test out how deep the ties are within the blogging community….I’m hoping to visit as many countries, states, and provinces as I can and visit as many bloggers as possible…..I’m not entirely sure what to expect but I’m excited :-)

    • I think you’ll find some hesitation as
      Well as enthusiasm when you approach people. There’s a a strange mixture of openness and hiding in the blogging world – probably because it’s much easier to converse via messages and comments than face to face – as an anthropologist I’m intrigued and look forward to hearing about your experiences. You could write an ethnographic book about it!

    • I think your observation is right….that’s also why I’m going to visit coffee houses and cafe’s everywhere I go because its always easy to meet people at a cafe and learn about the local culture…..I very well might turn it into a book in the future

  48. Wow, that was a lot of comments to scroll over to get here. Normally I would read them but today I’m on a strict time frame. Sorry
    Anyhoo. Wow!! No one else knows yet, (my secret for the time being) but I will be in Portland in October and would love the opportunity to catch up for an hour and a coffee. Chances of this are…slim, none, possible?
    From Down under :-)

  49. ahhh – so this is what the idea is – muy buena!!!!

    I have a few more ideas to share later – like on your way to Toronto -depending on the route – maybe you could go through the Buffalo and Niagara Falls area –
    (if you make it to Buffalo-Niagara Falls- Rochester area – I will have a complementary Aveda pampering session set up for you (at one of my sister’s salons http://www.euphoriasalonspa.com/index.php
    (and mani-pedi if you so desire)

    anyhow, – great idea -

  50. —) city for you to visit: San Francisco, CA

    —) suggestions of coffee shop: Caffe Trieste in the North Beach area of SF (and not far from City Lights Bookstore which is almost a religious institution for bibliophiles) http://www.caffetrieste.com/index.html

    —) suggestions of churches, synagogues, or any particular religious institutions: Grace Cathedral (which has a replica of the Gates of Paradise from Florence) and Mission Dolores (the oldest intact mission in CA and oldest building in SF)

    —) low cost accommodations: um, SF is not known to be the cheapest place but there are lots of places on airbnb (even if you stay in oakland and take BART in)

    Hope this helps and happy travels!

  51. Would you by any chance want to visit Lee’s Summit Missouri? The cafe at the HyVee where I work is full of interesting people. I would like to talk with you myself if it could be worked out.

  52. Reblogged this on Oh My Blog! and commented:
    What a good idea. Kenneth you should add Ocean City, NJ to your list. We have the best coffee house ever.

  53. Hope to see you in NY Brooklyn is the home of culture and some pretty cool coffee shops

  54. See, I told you You were going to move – LOL.

    I guess finding the money for such a long period of time might be the hardest thing to do. Hotels etc are not cheap.

    I know it was a long time ago, but two friends & I spent a month with a hire car staying in youth hostels in the UK in 1978. I’ve still got my hostel membership & photos of some of the places we stayed in, including a Youth Hostel that was a castle next to Loch Ness in Scotland. Many older people also use Youth Hostels.

    I don’t know about the US or Canada.

    If you’re going to stay in any place for a fair while, you may be able to ‘house sit’ for people going on holiday. I imagine in your line of work, you would be able to gather some excellent references to support your requests. I worked with 2 separate ladies who used to ‘house sit’ with their spouses. They would pay no rent, just the utility bills and some small chores while the owner was away. I’m sure you would make a suitable ‘house sitter’ for a month. Saves paying hotel bills.

    Airfares are not exactly cheap either, so once you arrive in, say, the UK, stick to bus/train travel – it’s much cheaper (if sometimes a bit longer and harder on the backside sitting for hours). But then you might meet interesting people in the mode of transport, not just in coffee shops.

    • Vicki, right on, the hostels I. Europe are awesome….I love the public transportation in Europe so much, I spent a few weeks there years ago and loved every minute of it :-)

      And well I guess I’m “moving” in a certain sense lol

  55. Pittsburgh-need I say more?!?!

  56. Kenneth what a great idea! When you go to Toronto be sure to have a cup at Balzac’s in the old distillery. And if you end up in Montreal at all, go see their cathedrale based on Paris’ Notre Dame!

  57. This i s brilliant! I am so excited to follow you along on this journey, I love the pictures you always include with your posts and can’t wait to see the sights you share!

  58. That is an absolutely LOVELY idea! I won’t bore you with requesting you to visit our little town, but I wish you every blessing on this upcoming year’s endeavors!!! You will take many of us along with you on your travels.

  59. I did a cross-country bicycle ride in 2012 from Washington DC to Los Angeles and coffee shops provided much needed caffeine and internet. Santa Fe, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Portland (OR), and Phoenix stand out in my mind as wonderful cities that you might enjoy. My favorite city ever is Charleston, South Carolina though… definitely worth a stop.

    I’ve never commented before but I do follow your blog daily and have enjoyed it thoroughly. As an atheist I appreciate the love and respect you convey in all your writings. Thank you for all you’ve done and happy new year!

    • Wow dude what a trip that must hav been….I really got into bicycling a few years ago but the most ive ever ridden in one day was 40 or so miles…I’m sure that is small fries compared to u…

      Thanks a on for your kind words :-)

  60. I love this idea! If your Philly cup isn’t spoken for, I’m in! If you don’t mind venturing into the suburbs I know lots of charcter-y places :-) And if you’re planning on European coffee, the best cup I ever had was in the hills of Florence.

  61. I’m screwed unless you can plan to stop in Spokane. That’s about the best I can do.

  62. Charlotte, NC/Monroe, NC … You can stay with us for free. We’re not even serial killers or anything! Experience the culture of cows and tractors! :D

  63. Do you think you may stop around Oklahoma? :) I’d love to meet you!

  64. I have a couple of suggestions for you, none in US or UK though. But please check out:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2335624/Pucker-The-Australian-coffee-shop-lets-customers-pay-KISSES.html

    http://www.odditycentral.com/videos/disaster-cafe-where-every-meal-comes-with-a-7-8-earthquake.html

    I’ve not been to any of the two, but would like to visit both. If you plan to visit India anytime, I can suggest more places :)

  65. Wow great idea! If you make it to Scotland UK I’d love to host you at a variety of coffee places in Glasgow or Edinburgh, and I can certainly make it through to Dunfermline (lovely city, I recommend coffee at the Peacock Cafe in its main park). IF I am still living in my current flat I can also offer you a couch to sleep on for a night or two in Glasgow but that will depend on my roommates etc. As for getting around the UK, it’s actually usually cheaper to fly, especially between the main cities such as London and Glasgow, unless you book your train in advance. Travel between Scottish cities is relatively cheap and is best by bus or train. Try Skyscanner.net and TheTrainLine.com for best deals. You can fly to Dublin easily from London, Glasgow or Edinburgh.

  66. Hi, I see this brilliant idea is going down like a storm. A recommendation for London – an independent with history, http://www.monmouthcoffee.co.uk/shops/covent-garden. First went there as a student in 1980 and it’s still going. Address says Covent Garden, but it’s not the main touristy bit, but just up from Seven Dials. Hope you have a fantastic year looking forward to reading all about it. Agnes

  67. If it’s not too creepy for me to ask, let me know when you come to Chicagoland. I don’t live in the city, so I can’t offer you any unique coffee houses. I’ve already explained that I go to a simple Starbucks because it’s so close to where I live. I might have to do some more searching to find a place more “cultured.” That said, if you want to chill at 5 am with a cup of coffee and talk about writing, I’ll be there (except maybe not at 5am because I don’t know if the trains go into the city that early ^_^)

    I do know of another “café” you would love. The church I’ve been trying out over the past few months has a café. I’ve never stopped to talk to anyone (I could devote a whole post to why that is) but it looks like a fun atmosphere. People are always mingling and the tables are full after a service.

    As far as cheap lodging, my only contribution there is to look into couch surfing. I’ve never done it (and my boyfriend would probably have a heart attack if I couched surfed alone), but I hear it’s nearly free.

  68. What a great idea! My suggestion is Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There’s the coolest coffee shop in a small area of Milwaukee (Bayview). It’s “Colectivo Coffee.” You’d love the building itself, let alone the coffee. Here is a link: http://colectivocoffee.com/cafes/bay-view-cafe-bakery/

    And since I’m a church member here, my suggestion for church would be: http://www.oakcreekag.org/

    As far as cheap hotels, I only know to look on Expedia. Looking forward to “joining” you on this journey.

  69. How exciting! For San Diego, I recommend a place called The Living Room (I think they have 3 locations). I look forward to your posts. Happy New Year!

  70. Places of worship to visit:

    Wayfarers Chapel in Racho Palos Verdes, California. Google it for more info. Well worth experiencing the chapel itself, and it offers a gentle, open-minded Christian perspective.

  71. If you come to the United Kingdom, then you should definitely go to Canterbury, its pretty much a hub of culture. Its full of everything: bars, cafes, shops; it has a cathedral which houses the archbishop, 3 universities, an art museum, lots of statues and other works of art and stuff, it’s quality!

  72. I’m from NJ, but reside in Stockholm, Sweden. In Sweden, they actually have a word for coffee and cake meetings, called “fika”. So if you make your way to Stockholm, I’ll happily show you the ropes of fika and introduce you to the coffee culture phenomena that rules the lives of the Swedes. They also really, really like alcohol.

  73. Happy New Year Kenneth! I don’t know if Athens, Greece is in your travel plans. Usually the state department issues negative travel instructions for Greece although it is one of the most peaceful places on earth. But in case you do decide to come, there are so many places to visit that I don’t know if you will have time to sit in a coffee shop. You will have to take it on the go! Anyway, if you don’t have the family with you and I can still afford to pay the rent, I can offer you my comfortable couch to sleep while you visit! So save more for lots of coffees! (They are darn expensive too)

    • Vassilis, if I can figure out how to put Greece on the agenda I’m gonna do it…..right now I’m looking at 20 states in the U.S …a number of cities in Canada and Cemtral America…..and 4 or 5 countries in the UK….if I could find a super cheap flight from the UK to Greece then I would love to sleep on your sofa one night :-)

    • Easyjet and the likes companies, offer very cheap flights to Greece, provided you book well in advance. It demands careful planning though and takes much of the spontaneity out of it… But you are welcome!

  74. For accommodations: sign up for Couch Surfing. I have been TOO shy to use it myself, but you can stay FOR FREE with people. You just want to try to get “vouched for” (I have an account of you would like me to vouch for you, but you’re supposed to have actually have met the person. There are CS events where you can meet people, or if you stay with a CS’er they vouch for you. It’s another way to get to know people too btw). If Couch Surfing isn’t an option, you can also try out AirBNB. People rent out rooms (or couches) for less than the cost of a hotel.

    There are sites for catching a ride with people, and sites for renting a car from a person too (rather than renting from a rental company). Sorry I don’t have all those link names right now.

  75. San Antonio, TX. Come on by, we’ve got room. I’d be happy to take you to Mass, and for a cup of coffee at Mildfire Coffee Roasters.

    • Texas is on the maybe list….I keep getting emails and comments about texas and I might just have to put it on the for sure list….I will keep ya posted :-)

    • I couldn’t agree more… glad to see Austin on your list! Can’t wait for you to set a date so I can mark my calendar! I agree with the other folks about couch-surfing. Give it a try!

  76. Greetings Kenneth–do this tour and you would gather the material of a lifetime–all the best–JIm

  77. What a great idea! I’m new to your blog but oh please, please come to D.C! I see someone else has suggested it and the amazing Busboys & Poets for coffee. I second that but would add the Modern Times Coffeehouse inside Politics & Prose bookstore. You could also join my Emergent Christianity church group for one of our Common Meals to discuss helping the poor, or anything else you’d like. We’d put you up too!
    Btw, thanks for liking my post at stopalongtheway.net/2013/12/31/wrap-it-up-2.

    • I’d love to visit your emergent group :-) do u meet on the weekends at all? All of my trips to the east coast will be weekend trips this spring…..

    • We only meet on weekends. We could schedule a Common Meal on a Sat. night around your visit.

    • Great…my final schedule will be posted in the next week so I will be able to give u firm dates…..I’ve had such a huge response from the D.C. area that I might have to add a second weekend in d.c. To the agenda as I don’t think it would be possible for me to meet with 200 readers in one weekend :-)

      Btw) I didn’t realize the emergent community was still going on in d.c., I’ve read tony jones,and the other emergent authors for years but for some reason had the impression that it had faded in your neck of the woods

    • No, it’s still going pretty strong. All the emergent heavy weights have passed through in the last year or so, Brian McLcLaren, Phylis Tickle, Diana Butler Bass and most recently, Nadia Bolz-Webber (quasi-emergent?).

      I’ll check your schedule next week. No pressure about our group. I’m just glad so many folks here want to come out & show you some love! I can always catch you at which ever coffeehouse.

  78. Come to Santa Barbara! We have some baristas who would love to meet you!

  79. The local coffee is really cheap in Singapore, and the people-watching is excellent. (Unfortunately budget accommodation can be a bit of a hunt and the airfares from your end of the world… well, it’s a long way… but whilst we’re talking crazy…)

  80. Come to Brussels, you would find a very diverse source here. Or, for your religious maze: Jerusalem! :)

  81. Yes, you are coming to Philadelphia!! :) This is fabulous, fabulous! Do you still need suggestions for where to drink and where to stay? I’ll do some digging and get back to you. (I don’t have a house of worship – I’m on the search for one myself). Wishing you a joyous and interesting 2014 tour!! You are definitely spreading much needed spirit around the world!!

  82. This is going to such fun! I’m glad you are doing this and I look forward to the reads. OK – Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS have incredible coffee! Check The Roasterie (get a free tour of their roasting); Parisi Coffee in Overland Park, KS; Oddly Correct Coffee, KCMO; Broadway Coffee, KCMO…….. never a Starbucks for me again!

  83. Hi Kenneth,
    I think you should come visit Austin, Texas. There are a lot of cool coffee houses here to visit in. Of course, I’m partial to my Four Points Starbucks on 2222/620 which is where I have spent a lot of my retreating time (and done business, found friends, and just hung out). If you decide to come here, I’ll help you find a place to stay for free. Surely we can work something out amongst our community. Also, you should visit Austin Christian Fellowship. I’d be glad to take you there.

    • I love Starbucks….especially their Veronna blend……I’ve been surprised how many people have contacted me about Texas….originally it wasn’t going to be on the schedule, but I’m now reconsidering…..my final list of official dates and locations will be posted in the coming week :-)

  84. Come to Austin, Texas. We have a number of great coffee shops to show you, but my favorite is my sweet little Four Points Starbucks (620/2222). It’s a great place to visit, see some artwork, pet a dog, hang out with friends, do business or meet someone new. If you come here, I will find a way to get you a free place to stay. Also, you would love Austin Christian Fellowship. I’ll be glad to take you if you drop in.

  85. How about Daytona Beach, FL? It is a beautiful place. We have a lot of homeless people there. I would suggest “Jacob’s Well” for a great coffee house, with good homemade food. Check it out! https://www.facebook.com/JakobsWell‎

  86. Somewhere in Australia? We are really friendly and talkative here- you wouldn’t be short a coffe shop conversation. I love my own company and my idea of a blissful weekend is to have no conversations with anyone unless they are directly blood related to me, but I usually make a New Best Friend everytime I go out for coffee ( which is pretty frequently, actually). My particular neck of the Aussie woods is a little speck of a state down the bottom, but we have plenty of general Aussie options if you get here :)
    Good luck and god speed- it sounds like a wonderful plan.

  87. Personally I would like to walk the way of Saint James in Spain. I understand now you would be walking on allot of pavement often with some traffic but if I had the time I would give it a try. If you don’t have the time you could use a bike but I don’t know.

  88. Partly because I admire what you’re planning on doing, but also because I met my wife at a coffee shop, and I just like to make lists, here’s some suggestions for the Boston area. Some listed are not entirely focused on “coffee”, but are just good places to get a coffee or a pastry and meet people.

    I’d suggest checking out Cambridge for coffee shops, it’s right next door to Boston, it’s where all the colleges are, and where the coffee shops seem to be:
    Burdick’s – Harvard Square – Cambridge
    Algiers Coffee Shop – Harvard Square – Cambridge
    Crema Cafe – Harvard Square – Cambridge
    1369 Coffee House – Central Square – Cambridge
    Diesel Cafe – Davis Square – Somerville – (next to Cambridge)
    Linda’s Donuts – Belmont – very close to Harvard Square

    Just to the north of Boston is Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a great spot for coffee and a beautiful historic small city,
    Books and Bar
    Cafe Mocha – which is also known as Kaffee Vonsolin
    Cafe Kilim
    Port City Roasters
    Breaking New Grounds

    Nashua, New Hampshire
    Riverwalk Roasters
    Bonhoeffer’s Cafe

    Brattleboro, Vermont
    Mocha Joe’s
    Amy’s Bakery and Cafe
    The Chelsea Royal Diner

    Bennington, Vermont
    The Blue Benn Diner

    Good Luck!

    • This is a great list of coffee shops in the Cambridge area! I was going to recommend Crema, Algiers, and 1369 (either the Central Square or Inman Square location), as I have overheard / participated in lots of good conversations in those shops. For Boston proper, here are a few ideas: The Thinking Cup (there are old newspapers in the tables, and the hazelnut latte is pricey but totally worth it), Equal Exchange Cafe (focuses on fair trade and anti-human trafficking), Cafe Vittoria or another North End coffee shop (with any luck, you’ll get a good spectrum from tourists to people whose families have lived in the North End for generations). Also, the Paris Creperie in Brookline (Coolidge Corner) is another great option.

      For churches, you can find everything from 200-year-old churches like Park Street Church and Old South Church, to churches that meet in hotels like Reunion and movie theaters like Mosaic Boston. I also highly recommend checking out this church that meets in a really cool bar called Church: http://fenwaychurch.org/#/fenway-site.

    • Cambridge may indeed be a distinct possibility when im in Boston…i’ll look into the places you listed :-)

    • I forgot the North End! Cafe Dello Sport and Mike’s Pastry are two more in the North End. And check out Polcari’s Coffee there too, its a specialty coffee store, not a cafe, but it does offer about a hundred varieties of whole bean coffees.

  89. Glad to see that Minneapolis St Paul will be on your agenda… one of the most artist/faith friendly places in the US. Second best theater community (only to NYC) per capita, lots of musicians, writers, poets, etc. Let us know when you’re in town and we’ll come to have coffee with you.

  90. What a response!! I live in Jacksonville, FL and we have some great coffee shops, but the 2 things I would suggest is visiting The Loft, which is a 2 story coffee shop/book store at my home church, Celebration Church. I could go on forever about it, but you can check it out at http://www.celebration.org . Also, I would recommend visiting St Augustine, Fl, which is the oldest city in America. It was settled over 450 years ago. There are so many quaint shops and places to visit, and I know you would fine some great coffee shops as well.

    Just another thought, maybe in some of the larger cities, you could get the local news to do a feature on you. Lord knows we need some good news and all the morning shows successes have caused larger stations in larger cities (like Jacksonville) to do a local morning show, sometimes all the stations. I know we have 2 or 3 in Jacksonville alone. It could be a way of promoting your tour as well as provide a platform or launch to a book and a return trip to some of the same cities, including a book signing, etc… Just some thoughts.

    If you end up heading to northern Fl, look me up. I will pay for your coffee!!

    Be blessed!!

  91. OK, noticed a couple of tentative suggestions from Australia, so if and when you decide to do the Aussie trip, might I suggest a short flight over the ditch to NZ?

  92. This sounds amazing! I think you should make your way down South to Houston! :) Definitely could offer you a cup. I wish you luck and I can’t wait to read all about this…it’s a fantastic idea!

    • beingcreativebc,

      yea, originally texas was not on my list…but the response from readers and bloggers in texas has been generally overwhelming so its looking like I’m going to add a stop to texas onto the agenda….dates and locations will be posted in the near future :-)

    • :) Hooray for Texas! I will be waiting to see where you stop in at. I wish you all the luck in the world with this and I think it will be a great success for you. :)

    • Agreed! Definitely come to Houston and I’ll buy you a few cups! The Starbucks on 10001 Westheimer has a really interesting crowd. Plenty of chess players, a decent number of armchair philosophers and a more open feel that encourages random conversations :).

    • I often get a cup from there myself so I think this would be a perfect place. :)

  93. Kenneth,
    Ashland, Oregon is where I live… and it is a great town with amazing people. There are a number of nice coffee shops to visit here as well. A few to consider, (http://boulevard-coffee.com/) and Noble Coffee Roasting (http://www.noblecoffeeroasting.com/shop/home.php).
    I’d be happy to treat you to a cup if you make it to this little town (which is a nice stop on the i-5 corridor) and kind of midway between San Francisco and Portland (and may be able to help find lodging as well)
    Looking forward to hearing about your travels! Bon Voyage!

  94. Cool! Hopefully see you in London :)

  95. What a great way to start the New Year. :) I am jealous, I wish I can do this. :) I would suggest Greece, definitely for good coffee houses. I am sure the Uk has some great spots as well. How about Seattle? I can find out some good spots for you in San Diego, as my sister use to live there. :)

  96. Come to Germany! I wrote a short post a while back about the coffee culture here where I live (Mainz/Wiesbaden area). Mainz, my current hometown, is the home of Gutenberg (yes, the founder of the printing press) & is across the river from Wiesbaden, notable for the insane amount of wealth there. Frankfurt is the closest major airport, about 30 minutes away and flights from London can be as low as 65 euro, one way on a major airline like Lufthansa or Swissair. Sure Ryanair is dirt cheap, but the airport is an hour away and transportation from there to the city can be a major pain (like nonexistent after certain hours of the night). If you decide to visit, let us know!

    • We will see…most of my northern America trip is planned out and I will be posting the schedule soon, up next is for me to finalize my European stops and I’m gonna see what I can fit in :-)

  97. I don’t know if anyone has already recommended any places in Philadelphia yet, but if you ever make it to there all the happening places are all located in the South Street Headhouse District. There are a bunch of coffee & Tea shops, in addition to a whole lot more. Check it out http://southstreet.com/

  98. If you make it to Oklahoma, let me know! I’m from Moore and could show you where the tornado came through or you could go to the OKC bombing memorial.

  99. If you are going to London, you might want to go further North and take a look at Manchester. I’m in Salford, next to it. We have Starbucks, a proper Art Cafe called Nexus amongst others. We have quite a few places for the homeless. There have been a few initiatives here recently. I was knitting scarves with a guy called Jim Giles and lots of women of a certain age, and we made over 300 in total, (see Jim’s Scarves on Blogger (Artspace/aburrows).

    We talk a little bit funny up here, though!

  100. We have a great coffee shop, the Local Blend, in St. Joseph, MN, about 80 miles up I-94 from Minneapolis. Even better, this town is home to the two largest Benedictine Monasteries in the US (once the world), a women’s and men’s community, and Saint John’s Abbey has some really interesting architecture. So if you’re going between Minneapolis and Fargo, stop in! Also, have you thought about doing a kickstarter campaign to help fund some of these trips? People could donate the price of a good cup of coffee– even if they can’t meet you in person, they can buy you a cup and help finance the trip!

    • When I’m n Minneapolis I will see I can make it there :-)

      I’m hesitant about the ‘funding’ thing….I’ve never been one to ask people for money, it’s not that I would refuse money lol.but asking for it is a whole different ball game……..

  101. OK there are a ton of suggestions. I didn’t read them all so my suggestions are likely repeats. Forgive me. This is truly an original idea. I cannot wait to read these posts. I’m a southern girl so that’s what I suggest. Memphis, TN; NOLA; Florida Panhandle (beautiful beaches); and Atlanta, GA. If you want a great coffee shop come to Jonesboro, AR (my town). It’s 60 miles northwest of Memphis. We’ve got a great locally owned and operated coffee hose on the campus of Arkansas State University called The Edge. Coffees on me if you make and you have to be OK with me writing a blog post of my own about your visit. OH! This is so cool!

    • Ive had a couple hundred comments and emails from south but yours is the first from arkansas…and it might be worth me adding it to my tour because of all the states I’ve been to, I’ve never visited Arkansas :-)

    • Also, how far a drive is it from Atlanta? Because I’m going to be in Atlanta for sure and perhaps I might make the drive over to Arkansas as well :-)

  102. Great idea Kenneth! I would love to do something similar with book stores.

  103. Te Aro and Balzac’s in Toronto.

  104. considering Newton, Kansas is in the middle of the US, it seems it would be a stop over place. : )

    let me know if it looks that way.

  105. I visited both urban and rural Costa Rica in 2008. The experience was momentous.

    If you can, try visiting the rural villages, interacting with the locals, and blogging about it. The experience will change your life.

    • “I visited both urban and rural Costa Rica in 2008. The experience was momentous”

      I totally concur!! I’m in costa rica as I write this and I’m enjoying every moment of it :-)

  106. When you are in London, make sure you visit the Thai temple in Wimbledon. It will only be a short trip on the underground + a walk to get there. It’s not far from the tennis courts too.

  107. What a fabulous plan for 2014 – good luck and happy sipping! Not that this is on any route of yours just yet but… we are currently visiting the old city of Tallinn, Estonia and have been blown away by both the uniqueness of the cafés and the quality of the coffee, absolutely amazing – makes for a brilliant combination (and a great stay!)!

  108. Here is a place you might have thought about as it is in the wilds of Donegal, northwest of Ireland. There is a small coffee place called TLC (The Little Coffeehouse in Bunbeg. And you will listen to people speaking old Irish language, Gaeilge.

  109. What a fabulous idea! I glanced through some of the comments and see NOLA is already been mentioned but I would highly recommend it…lived there half my life and if it is culture you want…:)

    Now I also see Tampa, FL on the recommendations and being that I currently live in St. Petersburg (which is next door) I have to give a nod for that too :) If you do make it to St. Pete you must check out Haslam’s bookstore. There website is virtually none existent… http://www.haslams.com/

    but it is a must. New and old…and huge…and maybe haunted? LOL

  110. Kenneth, it sounds like a great plan! Reminds me of the Canadian travel series, Departures. If Budapest gets on your list, visit one of the ruin pubs in Kazinczy street, they are awesome! In case Hungary is something you consider let me know. Have a safe journey!

  111. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, so dont spend much time in coffee shops and if i do , it’s usually the franchise types situated inside a mall, i.e. Mugg & Bean. But i know the coast of Cape Town (South Africa) is littered with little coffee shops, places like Seapoint main road, have a coffee and look out at the ocean. Even going like Long Street in the CBD (center of Cape Town City), there you’ll find plenty, lol usually where the young and trendy hang out. As for accomodation and money.. I think anything will be affordable for you here. the South African Rand is 8 to 10 rand to one dollar. so an hotel for R1700 a night, would cost you roughly 170 dollars.. but that’s still the high end of accomodation im talking about. you can find places for a thrid of that price. Also if you travel further North into cape town, y ou hit the winelands in Stellenbosch and the actually city there has plenty of those intimate type coffee shops.. Just a though.. you’d love it here. most people dont want to leave

  112. If you end up making your way through Ohio, my absolute favorite coffee shop to hang out at is called Java Central (http://java-central.com/). It’s in Westerville, Ohio, just about 15 minutes north of Columbus, so there are endless fun things to do and lots of places to stay.

    The church I attend is called Rock City Church (http://rockcitychurch.tv/). It’s actually held in a movie theatre near downtown Columbus–it’s the best church I’ve ever been to.

    Good luck on your tour!

  113. Would love to see you here in columbia sc….but if you can’t.. Then come somewhere like charolette! I am so excited you are doing this! Cheers! Enjoy every moment!

  114. He Mr. Monk – for hotels – don;t forget to check Group on and Living Social – they sometimes have great deals – also, good ol’ priceline is not what it used to be for air and other things – but for last minute hotels we find it amazing – my son just had a b-ball game in the DC area – and we got a suite for fifty bucks – so keep that in mind when you peruse options – and may the Lord be with you and keep you safe and protected – in Jesus name Amen -

  115. Ithaca, NY
    home of Ithaca Coffee, Gimme Coffee, & one other whose name is escaping me…..

  116. Although I live in the Atlanta area, I’m from Seattle. That would be one of the best places for coffee! The downtown area and around Pike Place would be okay, but there are other areas like the Fremont area, or Capital Hill area that are full of the “flavor” of Seattle. The people around that area love using Yelp for reviews. You should be able to find a place or two that is a favorite of the locals.

  117. Kenneth, from the looks of your prelim list, you need some Southern exposure. ;) Definitely hit New Orleans, but if you find your way anywhere near North Louisiana, stop by Shreveport and I will absolutely make time to find you and chat a bit over a cuppa joe. Best wishes for your tour! I think it’s a great idea!!

    • Lori,

      I keep getting so many requests for New Orleans. that it looks like I’m going to add it to the list…the official schedule should be posted in a mere few days :-)

  118. I hope that Austin, Texas makes the cut. It is an awesome city with a plethora of cool coffee houses and things to see. What a way to spend 20-14 — living a dream! Have a great time and lots of coffee. Blessings to you, Lydia

  119. I see Boston is on your list…as it should be. A really great city, but I advise you come between May and October – very beautiful months here. I moved up here from D.C. in 1966. Now I live in Marlborough – about 20 miles or so outside of Boston. There is a new, independently owned coffee shop here – Coffee Loft. Let me know if you are interested in coming to it.
    Best of luck with your adventure!
    Jan

  120. I’m looking at your blogs now. :-)

  121. Sounds like a plan to me! Can’t wait to read about your adventures. Lincoln, NE. Not because it is big or flashy. I’m not even there. But I know it. I have been there. I have loved ones there. There are some awesome little hangouts, food, coffee, beer, movies in the park. If it weren’t so darned cold, I’d live there myself. Not big or flashy, but a college town which shows by night. There is much to see by way of eclectic entrepreneurship. I hope you consider. it and whatever you do-have fun!
    Too bad you aren’t doing Costa Rica for one of your out of country spots. They have wonderful coffee!!

  122. I am sure someone has already said this but come to Portland, Oregon. Capital of coffee. I would take you around to coffee and if you were interested take you to a Quaker Meeting. I just found your blog but I’ve loving what I have been reading. :)

  123. Wow! This sounds like you’re going to have an incredible year, good luck!

    As for the UK, don’t be afraid to come up north! Generally speaking visitors stick to the big southern cities but the country doesn’t stop at the midlands. :) Most northern cities have a really friendly atmosphere.

  124. I saw that someone had mentioned St. Marks in Denver…Thats definitely a great spot to check out. But also make sure to hit up Aviano while you’re in Denver. I’ve only been a few times, but the employees seem to be genuine coffee nerds (and I mean that in the best way possible!)

  125. when you come to Chicago there is a nice little coffee shop in Lombard called the Corner House Cafe, and in Naperville, where I live, there is The Wicked Good Cafe. I’d love to come meet you where ever you end up. I also go to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Naperville http://www.dupageuuchurch.com/‎- an excellent place to visit. Happy Travels!

  126. I don’t know if you’re planning on coming as far as India, but if you do then make a stop at Delhi. I’ll play guide.

    But if you’re picking one place per country, try visiting Coorg in Karnataka. It has beautiful plantations and very unique coffee flavors.

  127. When you’re in the UK try and visit a Sunday Assembly – it’s a non religious ‘church’. Might make something different for you. Thanks for the like btw.

  128. My wife and I just spent 6 months living in the Seattle area to be close to two of our adult daughters while we were having a house built in the Phoenix area (we sold our family home in San Diego last June)….I would suggest a trip to Seattle for your travels this year. Coffee shops galore, but more importantly a church I think you should check out. The City Church which has it’s main campus in Kirkland (satellite campuses across the Seattle region and a new one they are planting in Beverly HIlls). Judah Smith (google him to get a perspective of him) is the head pastor and is a very charismatic leader. I grew up in the Presbyterian church, am ordained as a lay pastor and come from a line of protestant pastors on both sides of my family. I find the message that Judah delivers refreshing and positive. It is definitely worth a look if Seattle fits into your travels.

  129. Seattle is known for its coffee! A must stop. I’ve just discovered AirBnB.com for cheap accommodations around the world. And you can attend Church with me any Sunday! Gail
    BTW, thanks for the visit.

  130. I’m so excited for you! I love coffee too. I hope you can visit my city if you are close by. I live in Wilmington, NC, which is on the coast about 2 hours in-land from Raleigh, NC. http://www.wilmingtondowntown.com/visit
    I’ll even buy you lunch and a cup of coffee. :-) Enjoy your tour no matter where you venture to.

    • I think you must go somewhere in Louisiana for a very unique taste. With Beignets, of course.
      I’m in Kansas. Maybe not the best coffee, but very interesting people to watch. This sounds like great fun!

  131. Enjoy your quest! I shall stick to my good old French café! They cannot be beat! I’ve had coffee from Vietnam to Holland, Canada, Mexico a few other countries and in numerous states. It doesn’t get any better than this, for me. :)

  132. come to madison, wi & have some JUST COFFEE…i will ditch my kids & meet you for a cup (i need to get out of the house!)

    • Im planning on being in milwuakee for a coffee house weekend this spring, is madison far?

    • madison is about an hour west of milwaukee. it’s a college town/liberal town/pretty progressive. just coffee is a local company that delivers their coffee by bike & actually flies down to south america to meet & negotiate with the coffee bean growers. it’s really good coffee in every sense. and madison is a beautiful town. let me know if you make it here.

    • I’m just about finished with my March schedule…and Wisconsin is gonna be in April so I will keep ya updated :-) thanks for the info! Its so close to Milwaukee I’m sure I am going to stop by

  133. Sounds like a fabulous idea! Best of luck!

  134. Bend Oregon! Lone Pine Coffee, Thump (a Stumptown coffee shop), Backporch and Sparrow Bakery (they sell the other three coffees and amazing baked goods.

  135. Try the original Las Vegas – in NEW MEXICO not Nevada. Hispanic culture going back 400 years with an overlay of Victorian era Anglo society and Traveler’s Cafe as a social center with great coffee. Prices are very reasonable, and the welcome will be warm!

  136. San Diego is not at all representative of California. Come up north to the Sacramento area and meet the real Californians! We live in the parsonage of a church (more or less nondenominational Protestant) and you are always welcome! As for coffee, let’s sit in Duke’s Diner for a few hours. We’ll have breakfast and chat with the locals!

  137. Thanks for liking a post:)I bet some of those places are really nice looking. My hubby likes coffee I an espresso person.:)

  138. I did not get a chance to read all of your replies.. but did see Dublin on this list :) I hope to be around when you get a chance to come here :) I am a coffee lover too.. I am sure there are lots of coffee shops around (I have been here only for past 4 months) to visit here as well.

  139. How about Ogden or Salt Lake City in Utah? Believe it or not, there are some great coffee shop and tea shops. I always enjoy a cup of coffee over some great conversations.

  140. ever thought of visiting Savannah GA?

  141. Let me get this straight – you’re touring coffee shops, and you’re NOT planning on hitting Seattle?? C’mon, man!

  142. Love it! And. For the record – I LOVE the smell of coffee and detest the taste. Best wishes in accomplishing your goals. Fascinating. Perspective is somewhat of a “lost art” in my opinion so I commend you for taking on the challenge. :)

  143. I just discovered your blog but what a great idea!! When will you be in Chicago?? Honestly, I’m not much for gourmet coffee (I just make a pot each morning in my $10 coffeemaker) but there is a fancy coffee shop in Evanston, IL (just north of the city) called The Other Brother that I know has a good reputation. Cheers!

  144. As a coffee lover, I find this fabulous fun – so glad to find your blog to track the tour. Peeps don’t visit unless it is election time, but we are blessed with a fab coffee house that roasts fair trade/small farm beans – if ever in IA, visit Zanzibar in Des Moines. cheers ~ a

  145. Thank you for liking my posts .Oh any chance when you visit places to show us coffees you are drinking? Just wondering.

    • Good question….in Costa Rica last week everything I drank was locally grown and roasted, but sadly, very few coffee roasters in costa rica make ‘good’ coffee, thankfully the view and ambience is so awesome it makes up for the sub par blends…in fact the better costa rican grown beans are usually those that are exported to other countries and roasted elsewhere…….

      When my u.s. tour begins first weekend of march I’ll be meeting with coffee shop owners and managers (as well as readers and bloggers) so I will be able to get the nitty gritty details on their blends so I’m sure I will give info on the coffee I drink as well :-)

    • Sounds like fun:)LA and San fransico (Sorry can’t spell it right now:( Might have some cool shops if you drive by some parts of the desert :)

  146. Kenneth which La Colombe in Philly are you visiting? The one in Rittenhouse or the one in Dilworth Plaza? Thanks!!!

  147. What a great post. I was adding a few things to my bucket list the other day and I have a few year long things I want to do on there, such as read a book a week for a year, visit a country a month for a year. SO whilst I’m afraid I’m not a coffee lover and no help with suggesting places to visit. I wanted to leave a comment to let you know your post inspires me.

  148. This is so great! I wish I could go travelling for so long. I envy you but I will follow you on your blog. You will be even more inspired for great posts…if this is even possible ;-) good luck and have fun!

  149. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I was intrigued by your handle and stopped by yours. How fascinating your Coffee tour is! What a great concept. Love the idea that someone is doing that. Enjoy the adventures to come. Chicago and Madison should be great!

  150. Outstanding. I’m always inspired by the adventurous spirit!

  151. The perfect idea! What better excuse to seek out the best coffee around the world. I wrote a blog on coffee in NYC, it’s not a comprehensive list but it might be a good start? See http://inexplicablewanderlust.com/2013/03/21/a-coffee-lovers-guide-to-new-york-city/. Check out the instagrams of @aguynamedpatrick and @emmajanekepley for other good coffee spots in NYC. In Boston you want to try the Thinking Cup and Crema if you head over to Cambridge. In Chicago, the best coffee is at Intelligentsia. And there is heaps of good coffee in Toronto, you want to try Bull Dog Coffee and Dark Horse Espresso Bar. Good luck! I look forward to reading about your coffee exploits!

  152. What an awesome idea. I’m excited to see where you go and what your impressions are. This has given me a new impetus to also be more “aware” when I’m out and about. My suggestion: get away from some of the bigger cities if you can and visit smaller suburbs – the vibe is totally different and you’ll meet completely interesting people you wouldn’t closer to the cities. Plus – it’ll be cheaper. :) Good luck!

  153. So glad you liked one of my blog posts today so I could have the opportunity to find your blog! I’ve enjoyed reading it!!!! I’m in Cincinnati if you wanna have coffee. :-)

  154. You are invited to Iowa City, IA. Home of U of IA and great coffee shops. The Java House is a mainstay.

  155. New Orleans is nice this time of year…And we’ve got coffee shops, houses of worship, and cheap accommodations. :D

  156. Thanks for liking a post Looks like your have a nice Journey .Might have to add part 123 trips with everyone asking to stop by;( Good Luck.

  157. I know I don’t comment often, but I thought I’d put in a plug for Edinburgh, Scotland! If you come in late Nov-Dec, there’s a European Christmas Market in Princes St Gardens, for one thing. As for coffee shops, tourists inevitably visit The Elephant House, ‘Birthplace of Harry Potter’. I, personally, go across the road to Cafe Lucano — better prices, for one thing. As for churches, St Giles’ Cathedral would be a must. I worship at St Columba’s Free Church, myself. For high Episcopal, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral is recommended — large, Victorian Gothic space filled with heavenly music. I’ve never been in the Central Mosque, but I’ve heard good things about Edinburgh’s synagogue.

  158. If you come to Chicago, coffee’s on me…even though I am in the ‘burbs, I’d still like to break bread and/or coffee beans with you :-)

  159. Asheville NC is on the way to Atlanta…..well from some places…..love to meet for coffee if you are passing through.

  160. How far have you planned to go? :) I didn’t find Finland on your list even though finnish people are among the biggest coffee consumers in the world. It would be awesome to meet you in Helsinki in one of our local coffee shops called Roberts Coffee. The best time to come would be summer. I will help you if you decide to come. Just let me know. :)

  161. Hi, could you visit a few really good tea shops just for me.
    Thanks for visiting my blog.

  162. Has anyone suggested NOLA? Best coffee ever!

  163. Houndstooth Coffee in Austin, Texas

  164. Cool you’ll be coming to London. Have a few tips on both coffee shops and places of worship. Depends what sort of shack you’re after!

  165. If you wanna come to Nicaragua, i can hook you up with a couple coffee shops/owner , church with us, and probably a place to crash.

  166. Coffee houses (aka bars) are a big part of the Camino de Santiago, which my wife and I walked last spring. The Camino/coffee culture of Spain would give you a wealth of material and extreme fun. We blogged about it (carryoncouple.com). Watch Martin Sheen’s movie The Way for inspiration.
    Best wishes,
    Reg

  167. Your writing is astounding and refreshingly honest. Thank you!! And I adore your courageous endeavour to visit with readers at coffee shops. Super cool. I’ll have to keep an eye on your Tour Page for the dates to be determined for Toronto and Portland OR, as those are the closest chances I’ll get to meet up with you. Again thanks for your writing and your 2014 coffee adventures. I know we’ve just barely ‘met’ through our blogs, but I gotta say, Kenneth – you Rock! (forty-somethings can still use this term right?).
    Cheers, Gina

  168. I like this, I like this a lot. I also think you’d like the cafes and culture in Bristol, UK. Think about it!

  169. What a great idea! Did I already miss you in Minneapolis?

  170. I see Madison (which is great) but not Milwaukee (which is also great!). If it hasn’t been said already, Colectivo (formerly Alterra) in Milwaukee is a great chain. So is Stone Creek, though, and it’s less hipster-centric. If you come to Waukesha, go to Cafe de Arts, http://cafedearts.com/, and this single mom will try her best to meet you there. So fun! What an adventure this year will be.

    • Jessica, ha ha I love your ‘love’ for Milwaukee. I’m gonna try and make it back to Milwaukee specifically in the summer, but right now I was able to set the date and locations for Madison at least :-) I hope it works out to meet you!

    • Well also if you do make it to Milwaukee, you can try my church too–Milwaukee Quaker Meeting. There is even a Colectivo a couple blocks away. What a great idea this was! It must be a blast.

  171. Hey man, let me know when you’re hitting Austin. I know all the hot coffee spots and would be happy to host you and cart you around.

  172. hey culture monk, thanks for liking my post. i love coming across great blogs. i think your idea to drink in the culture is off the charts. sad to see the lineup of cities do not include lexington, ky (hint hint wink wink, please come see us). would be happy to meet up for coffee, though i should hit the local coffee houses more so i can give you recommends. you’d dig A Cup of Commonwealth, i haven’t been but they have a ‘pay it forward’ system where you can buy a beverage for others – stick it to the board labeled whatever (someone having a bad day, a single mom, anyone named John, etc..) and people who match that come in and redeem it for a free drink. nice downtown community focused business from what i hear. nice church in lexington that is an awesome culture experience is quest community church (questcommunity.com if you want a pre-visit online). a free cup is yours if you make it :) i’m sure to hit follow on your blog. i wish i had the creative and adventurous risk-taking caution-to-the-wind ability as you do. can’t wait to read your stories. kudos! enjoy life and be safe ;)

  173. I like this! Good plan! Looking forward to it!

  174. What a great idea!! Maybe after London you could make a short trip to Holland? A coffee house in lets say Amsterdam is not at all like the coffee houses you visit in the States ;-)

  175. That is such a good idea, I hope you’ll be blogging about your cafe meet-ups!

  176. You really should consider western Canada, we may have a tendency to state the obvious, but at least we’re really polite about it…. If you make it to Edmonton I would buy you a latte…

  177. HEH! I don’t see Vancouver, Canada here. I have an idea. I’ll mark it in your calendar for you ok. It’s going to be one of the weekends between June 20th and July 12th. Take your pick. So which is it going to be?
    hehehe :-)

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