January 21, 2014
When I was a kid, I always wanted to travel. It all started at age 9 with a flight on Eastern Airlines (yes, I’m that old) for a week of fun at Disney World in Orlando. Right then and there I got the bug.
At some point in my life, I decided to make it a goal to visit to all 50 states before I croak. Kind of a bucket list thing, I guess.
By the time I graduated college I had racked up 17. Nothing exotic…all the expected places: Minnesota, the Dakotas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska. A family trip tacked on Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Essentially a what’s-what list of the nation’s boring square states.
When I started my first post-college job, suddenly the nation became my oyster. I was popping off states left and right. My clients sent me to California and Texas and New York and Virginia. Then the Carolinas, Ohio and even Alaska…twice! My friends moved, so I visited them in Oregon, Arizona and Maryland. Before I knew it, I checked 41 of these United States off my list. Momentum was on my side!
But then, just as quickly as it started, it all stopped. And I mean it STOPPED. Dead cold.
All my destinations seemed to be to the same familiar places. Florida. North Carolina. New York. Georgia. All wonderful places (except Florida), but none got me closer to my goal. I’ve been sitting here with nine states to go for years, and it’s left me feeling almost desperate.
Add to my never-seen list New Hampshire, Maine, Hawaii and New Mexico. The goal is so near, yet so far away.
Now, if you’ve been counting, you may have noticed I’ve only listed eight missing states.
That’s because I’m excited to announce my long dry spell is finally about to break. Tomorrow I will hop on a plane bound for Louisiana. Or as I will now lovingly refer to it, “#42.”
To be honest, this is one work trip I have been looking forward to for years. And no, it’s not because I’m planning to suck down Hurricanes on Bourbon Street, gorge myself with jambalya or freak myself out on midnight voodoo graveyard tours. There will be no craziness.
Instead, I’m going to work with Sprite to support the brand’s involvement with NBA All-Star. I’m going to rejoice in 60-degree weather for the first time in months. And I’m going to simply enjoy crossing Louisiana off my mental checklist. It is the little things, after all.
Where will I go next? We’ll see. But if it’s the last thing I do, I will hit all 50.
February 27, 2014