37 down, 13 to go. Or, more fun with the quest to visit all 50 states...
Hello, loyal readers! I haven't been posting as much lately for several reasons:
Other than the two day trips about which I've written (Raleigh in January, Lake Placid in March), I haven't been doing a whole lot of traveling thus far in 2023. There are some plans in the works - including breaking one of my longest travel droughts to a favorite destination - but I'm keeping them under wraps for the time being!
I've had another writing opportunity come up that I am very excited to share - in due time. Stay tuned...
General family busyness - when people ask what I did on a given weekend, the answer is often "not much". However, that two-word copout belies the reality that most weekends are filled with chores, yardwork, spending time with Alyse and Julia, and trying to relax/recharge after busy weeks.
So, to give you something to look at, I return to a topic that is something of a personal obsession I suppose: my lifelong quest to visit all 50 US States. As of early 2023 my count stands at 37, or roughly 1 per year.
To answer a question that nobody asked, here's a chart of all 37, breaking them down into 5 categories:
States I've lived in (4)
States I've visited at least 5 times (5)
States I've spent at least 5 days in, or visited multiple times (7)
States in which I've spent at least one full day, or overnighted (10)
States I just passed through (10)
As you can see, of the 37 you could say I've only spent a reasonable amount of time in 16 of them. I would presume most people who've visited 40 or 50 would have a similar story. How many individuals have spent, say, at least a week in 40 different states? Certainly no one without oodles of time or money.
In any case, my ambitious (perhaps too ambitious given the realities of budgets and family life) goal is to hit the remaining 13 in the next decade. Obviously, knocking off several in one trip will be paramount to making this happen.
So, without further adieu...
For those who scoff at this whole silly idea, you may be saying "what's the point?"
To that end, I admit that the quest for 50 is superficial and ultimately unnecessary. This is made all the more real when one realizes that even if I get to 50, there will surely be at least 15-20 of them that I've spent but a few hours in.
However, what's the harm in trying? As you have hopefully noticed by now, I cherish any travel opportunity, including day trips 2 hours from home. I also hope you've found that my explorations are anything but superficial, as I try to get to the essence of a place, even if I only have a short time there. To take it a step further, there are places that I've been to a dozen times over decades and still don't know 100% through and through. Therefore, wouldn't all travel be, by definition, somewhat superficial?
To be honest, I would like to spend more time in many destinations. However, lamenting that only gets in the way of cherishing the moments I do have. It's all such a great, indescribable adventure anyway. I try to make the most of an hour or a week, wherever I go and whatever I do. It's my philosophy of travel, and of life as well.
Wait, what? A whole blog post without any photos? What a raw deal!
So as to cook the deal, please enjoy a handful of photos from a late April day in New York City. Despite it being a wonderful day with family, I didn't think it merited a full blog post - especially since one of my most recent ones was about... New York City.
We spent several hours in and around Central Park, soaking in glorious spring weather at the Zoo and perambulating this oblong emerald treasure in the very heart of America's largest city...