We - that is myself Anne and my husband Peter - have a plan in life: visit every lower state of the USA, visit as many national parks as possible en while we are doing it, visit also national monuments.
The count so far is 28. We guess, 3 trips to go before starting over again.
We mostly try to visit people, sleep with people, not hotels. We couchsurf (or find people with (website hidden)).
It are the encounters with 'locals', the remaining in normal homes, their stories, the food, the cooking...
which make the difference.
Our itinerary is made around where (website hidden) people live. That's how we ended up in Moscow (Idaho), Philipsburg (Montana), Sierra Vista (Arizona), Big Water (Utah), Greenbank (Washington), ...
We are not (website hidden) because that's cheap. We tend to cook for our hosts or take them to a restaurant. Courchsurfing is not about freeloading, by all means.
We are low mantenance and clean up after ourself, just like my mother tought me.
My moto: if it does not go the way you are supposed to do, find a way it does go.