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?