Austin is an unpretentious, up-and-coming town that is always a joy to visit.

March 12th, 2014, 1pm

They say that more people move to Austin every month than will move to San Francisco during the whole of this year. The result is a rapidly growing - and, yes, gentrifying - city that is constantly redefining itself.

Taco trucks sit alongside high-end restaurants, sometimes literally. Music is everywhere, but it’s becoming to hear jazz alongside the country, rock and punk that have made the scene here famous. Everywhere, there are people lining the streets, eating and drinking European cafe-style (albeit with a tequila and lime flavor).

Typical wisdom says, yes, Austin is nice, but it’s surrounded by Texas. That’s certainly true. For a die-hard liberal like me, that’s an intimidating proposition, but from a certain angle, Texas becomes a lot more philosophically appealing: a state where people intensely value their individualism and just want to be left alone. No, that doesn’t justify the politics, the violence, the education or the poverty, but that brush doesn’t cover all Texans. For many, a better, fairer version of their State is just within reach.

Much of this is irrelevant when you’re traveling. Me? I love my Californian base, but I’ll take some margaritas, wide open spaces and out-there punk rock any time I can get it.

Michael, Vivien, Taylor, Maria and 2 others said thanks.

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Ben Werdmüller

Treating life as an adventure since 1979.

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