Part travel blog, part journal, part cookbook, MyBatteredSuitcase.com is about experiencing locales like you live there.
Michela Baxter came up with the idea for the website after talking to a friend who was moving to another state. The friend began listing all the things she wanted to do before she left Columbus and it reminded Baxter of how she felt every time she moved.
“I had a summer where I wasn’t doing much traveling and decided to start doing all of the stuff on my Columbus to-do list– in 30 days,” she said. “Turns out my list is much longer than 30 things, so I’m gonna keep chugging through it.”
With her site, Baxter takes readers along for the ride. A week ago today, she completed a 30 Day City Challenge. Her mission: to do 30 things she’d never done in Columbus during the four years she’s lived here.
She attended the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Picnic With The Pops. She went on a hike at Glacier Ridge Metro Park. She ate Adriatico’s pizza.
“The challenge really helped me break out of my comfort zone and experience the city with fresh eyes and an open mind,” she said. “I wanted to learn more about Columbus –and make it interesting for those following me– so it forced me to try things I might not normally try.”
For those considering a similar challenge, Baxter suggests savoring every moment.
“Observe the details, people watch,” she said. “Take your camera along and snap pictures of things you find to be beautiful and interesting. You’ll see, hear, taste, and feel so much more than if you just did something to check the box. That’s true for Columbus or anywhere else for that matter.”
Next on Baxter’s agenda is raising enough money to gift 10 Columbus girls a passport and send them on their first trip abroad.
In fact, the project is in the running for a Pepsi Refresh grant. You can vote for it at RefreshEverything.com/passportpartyohio until Aug. 31.