Seeing the U.S.A

Last week I added the following quote by Anthony Bourdain to the top of my Travels page,

Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you.

As soon as I read this quote, I fell in love with it. I’ve felt for some time that traveling (even just to check out a new hiking trail) has a profound affect on me. Any amount of time in a new environment will change you, even if just a little bit.

Recently, I saw a post on Facebook estimating that the majority of people who live in the US have probably only visited about 10 out of the 50 states. Whether or not this statistic is real, I’m not 100% sure. I decided to go through the run down of states to see how many I’ve visited. As of right now: 19. Personally, I want that number to be 50. Yep, I’m declaring a life goal right here, right now…I want to visit all 50 states. I also want to visit all of the National Parks (so far I’ve seen 6 of the 58). As much as I want to travel internationally, I want to travel throughout the US even more. The landscape is so diverse from state to state. Many of the places I’ve already visited, I would love to return to because there are so many more things I want to see and do. Here are the states I’ve visited thus far in my 28 years on this planet (I’ve also included links to blog posts about those areas):

  1. Vermont
  2. New York
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Maryland
  6. Kentucky
  7. Ohio
  8. Indiana
  9. Illinois
  10. Michigan
  11. Wisconsin
  12. Minnesota
  13. North Dakota
  14. South Dakota
  15. Montana
  16. Wyoming
  17. Idaho
  18. Washington
  19. Oregon

In June, I’ll be adding California as state number 20. Each state visited has a special memory attached to it. In some states, I have spent some quality time. In others, I was only there for a short while. What I have found is that no matter how long you spend a place, you return home just a little different – reflecting your time spent somewhere else.

Waiting for Old Faithful to erupt at Yellowstone National Park, May 2010

Julie & Me at Mount Rushmore, May 2011

Badlands National Park, May 2011

If you check out my Travels page, you can see in more detail the places I’ve visited in each state.

How many states have you visited? Do you have a favorite?


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