Seeing 50 States

When I was younger, my family had a weird ritual whenever we crossed into a new state. Approximately 15 seconds before crossing over the sign, we would start saying (extremely slowly) “Welcome…to….” We would hold our breath until then, and then finally say [INDIANA, KENTUCKY, etc.].

I still do this when I’m driving alone. I also do this possibly louder than my family of five put together.

I’ve always been obsessed with seeing new states. I love road trips. Growing up, my family drove to Florida every year to visit my grandma and grandpa. I actually enjoyed 1,300 miles in a mini-van with my two sisters, mom, dad, and golden retriever. One trip, however, I did not enjoy was when I was about 8 years old. Our transmission blew out with 700 miles to go. It was December 23rd, and repair shops decided to celebrate Christmas a few days early. Everything was closed. Our car wouldn’t go any faster than 30 miles per hour. We had to drive on one-lane, country roads.

I learned what “giving someone the finger” meant on that trip.

My love of road trips has brought me to a new resolution. I want to visit all 50 states. This is not a feat that I will accomplish anytime soon (unless I meet a kind stranger who would like nothing more than to fund this feat).

However, I need your help. This resolution needs rules. What counts as “seeing” a state? I have “touched” several states (like eating at a McDonald’s in Arkansas) but does eating a meal make the cut? Does it have to be my final destination? Does getting lost (and hopefully found) there count?



One thought on “Seeing 50 States

  1. My mom does something similar! She always says “We’re in [Illinois], we’re in [Illinois], We’re in [Wisconsin]!”

    As for “touching” a state, I vote that that eating in a restaurant doesn’t count. I think in order to say that you officially visited a state, you have to do something touristy there. Like visit their biggest claim to fame (e.g. Las Vegas or Mount Rushmore).

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