In early 2014 -- my roaming "test year" -- I found the small town of DeLand, Florida when I signed up for one of my first WorkAway volunteer exchanges. It was an interesting experience as my 20-hour work week focused on boat sanding and painting while living with a family of 7 (five kids!). They had recently returned from years in Costa Rica and planned to start a river tour business along the St. Johns River.
Unfortunately, I didn't keep in touch, but I did recall DeLand as a sweet little town in the lakes region, just west of Daytona. From Georgia, I wanted a fairly short drive, a solo break, and a few days to simply play. I lucked out with an affordable bed in a bikeable neighborhood offering views of a half-dozen lakes. Since I was just a few miles from the Historic District, afternoons were spent window shopping, on an art walk, book buying, and visiting the Stetson U campus in very pleasant 80-degree weather. DeLand has certainly held its small town personality, but area development has brought the auto brigade coming through all day long. Yet, for Florida, it's still pretty calm and quaint!
Next stop is South Florida -- yikes on development and traffic -- with an extended visit that will seem like a WorkAway! More to come...
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover