As part of my life list I would like to visit all 50 states + DC.
I run into a little bit of a problem when I start to define what “visiting” actually means. Does changing planes in an airport count? What about driving over the state line, taking a photo and turning around? For the purposes of my life list I want to actually experience each state, at least a little bit. So, my rules are: at least 5 (awake) hours in the state, driving through counts especially if I spent the night, changing planes at an airport is not enough.
There are a few states on this list (South Dakota, Ohio, Indiana) that I would like to return to in order to say I have really visited them.
- Colorado – I was born in Colorado and lived there until I was 18 – then again in my early 20s. I go back to visit friends and family a few times a year.
- Nebraska – My grandparents (my mother’s parents) lived in Nebraska. I probably first visited it soon after birth.
- Kansas – Also very soon after birth, it is a close state. I went to dozens of swim meets here. My father’s extended family lives in Kansas City, so we would drive the width of the state to see them.
- Minnesota – Apparently, my parents drove us here when I was a toddler, I don’t remember that. Since then, I went to a wedding here with my mom when I was in grade school and have driven through the southern part a few times.
- South Dakota – Also on the road trip when I was two, we have photographic evidence of me in a backpack on my dad’s back in front of Mt. Rushmore. Since then I bought fireworks here right on the border. I need to go back and see more to make it really “count.”
- Illinois – I won a trip to Chicago through 4-H when I was a junior in high school. I have driven through a couple of times since then.
- California – My first time on a plane! My family went to visit my mom’s best friend in the Bay Area. Later, I went to grad school at the University of California, Irvine. And then moved to LA where I live now
- Arkansas – Road trip with my parents when I was 15, we went to visit my dad’s aunt and uncle who live there.
- Oklahoma – See above, on that road trip we drove across Oklahoma. I have driven across it several times since then.
- Arizona – I first traveled here with a 4-H group in high school. Now my parents live part-time at the Grand Canyon, I have stayed with them and hiked the canyon. I visited my brother here when he was stationed at Fort Huachuca.
- District of Columbia – I won a trip to DC through 4-H the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. My family came along and we made a longer trip of it.
- Virginia – See above, we toured Mt. Vernon. Since then I have been through on a road trip.
- Maryland – See above, the 4-H center is actually in Chevy Chase, MD.
- Wisconsin – The summer before I started college I went to Wisconsin for a week with a 4-H group. A good friend from college is from here, so I have visited her and traveled to her wedding in Door County.
- Missouri – I went to college in Missouri, Stephens College in Columbia.
- Iowa – The summer before my last year of college I did summer stock theater in Okoboji, IA.
- Wyoming – My friend had his first job at a TV station in Cheyenne. I visited him and we celebrated New Years 1998 there.
- Florida – Spring break 1998, we drove from Missouri. Later, I visited friends who were working at EPCOT.
- Georgia – See the above road trip, we drove through Georgia coming and going.
- Kentucky – See the above road trip. Since then, I have driven it’s width a few times.
- Tennessee – See the above road trip. Since then, I have visited Nashville.
- South Carolina – See the above road trip.
- Louisiana – After college, I worked as the lighting designer/TD for a modern ballet company. We toured in several states including LA. Also, a friend from college lives in New Orleans, I have visited her and ran a half-marathon in NOLA in 2010.
- Pennsylvania – See above ballet tour. At the end of the tour I drove the truck back from the Poconos to Denver. Since then, I visited a friend going to College in Pittsburgh.
- Ohio – See above, I drove a truck through – I don’t feel like I have really visited.
- Indiana – See above, I drove a truck through – I don’t feel like I have really visited.
- Texas – I have a friend who lives in Houston, I have visited her several times. In 2000 I drove from Colorado to Houston and back.
- New York – I visited NYC for a few days (I was alone and it was not so fun, I need to go back).
- Connecticut – On the same trip I took a train into CT.
- North Carolina – I visited my brother and his wife when they lived in Fayetteville, NC
- New Mexico – I have driven through/stayed the night on trips from California to Colorado several times, the southern route takes you through New Mexico.
- Utah – I have driven through/stayed the night on trips from California to Colorado several times, the northern route takes you through Utah.
- Nevada – I have driven through on trips from California to Colorado several times, the northern route takes you through Nevada. I also worked on a game show in Las Vegas, I lived for two months on the strip – not recommended.
- West Virginia – I drove through and stayed the night on a trip with my parents a few years ago.
- Hawaii – I went here for a friend’s wedding in 2010, and took a surfing lesson.
Yes, I traveled with 4-H a lot as a teenager.
No, I don’t expect this to be interesting to anyone but me.
Graphic by Adam Goldsmith