Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A World Traveler I Am Not

Fun little game that I found online; worth playing around with, if you have a moment.


visited 31 states (62%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Now regarding my own country, I suppose I'm fairly well traveled. There are some major blank areas--the far northeast, the upper midwest, the deep southeast--but, allowing for the way you get to color in a whole state on the basis of visiting only one part of it (New York City and Long Island gets me all of the Hudson Valley! The Dallas-Austin-San Antonio corridor gets me all of Texas west of the Pecos!), I think my pattern of exploration across the United States holds up. Only a couple of areas of real embarrassment: by refusing to count a state that I have only driven through (or landed at an airport to transfer planes in), as opposed to having actually visited for some specific purpose, I am reminded to my chagrin that I never once visited the Atlantic coast during all those years we lived in DC (the Eastern Shore of Maryland, sure, but for the rest, Delaware and New Jersey were just places to drive through), and I am further embarrassed that we have traveled to and visited places all around Kentucky, but never actually gone there. We'll have to rectify that, someday.


visited 18 states (8%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Now as for the whole planet, I'm a piker; no more so than your average middle-class American, I suppose--indeed, on the basis of the folks I know here in Kansas, actually must less so--but looking at it starkly like this really hammers home just how much there is to see, how little of it I'll likely ever experience personally, and how so many of the places I have been occurred because of luck or opportunities outside of my control. Mexico is there because of a trip to Tijuana my family made during a visit to San Diego 25 years ago; Israel, Egypt, and Italy are there because of a BYU-sponsored church trip I went on after my senior year in high school; some of the Caribbean nations are there solely because of a grand cruise that my parents once took all their married children on; Germany is there because of my graduate school work and the generosity of DAAD; South Korea is there because that's where I served a mission for my church. That just leaves Canada, which we have actually visited by choice a few times. As for the rest of the world? Well, I guess that's where Michael Palin comes in...

5 comments:

MH said...

You've never been to Nebraska and you live in a neighboring state?

Russell Arben Fox said...

I left Nebraska off because all I remembered was driving through or across it, not actually going anywhere in the state. It's for that reason that New Jersey, Delaware, and Kentucky aren't included. But my wife has reminded me that, out of the (if I've counted correctly) five times that I've traveled all the way across Nebraska, from one end to the other, I have, in fact, stopped and actually visited part of the state before; my family, when I was young, once went to a historical site near Council Bluffs. (That's the same trip which took us to Mt. Rushmore, so I should have marked South Dakota too.) I just completely forgot about the trips we took when I was a kid, I guess.

This would be easier if all you did was count every state you've been to, however minimally. My father-in-law is quite proud of the fact that he's been to 48 of the 50 states...when "been to" includes once crossing over the state lines, even if just a step. (That's how he got Louisiana; drove across the bridge from Vicksburg, then came right back.) I wanted to be a little more rigorous.

Michigan Madsens said...

But we did spend nearly a whole day in Kentucky last Memorial Day at the reunion eating lunch; going to the aquarium; ice cream at the ice cream shop. We saw more of Kentucky than we did of Cincinnati. I think you should count that.--MOM

Russell Arben Fox said...

Melissa made the same argument, Mom. Of course, even in the gift shops all around the aquarium, everything identified with Cincinnati, OH, not Kentucky. Still, you guys are probably right.

Melissa said...

Still, if you don't count Kentucky, maybe someday that'll be enough of a motivation to go to Lexington (or is it Louisville?) and see the derby...