Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue

While I may not have any aspirations to ever skydive, treck through the rainforest, or spend a year of my life saving children in a third world country, I do have one life goal that will require just as much money, time, and commitment as any other bucket list item. The only difference is mine is to visit all 50 states.

I’m not sure exactly when or why I chose this goal. I have always had a passion to travel; it’s one of my favorite pastimes. I also love America. Even while I can’t wait until one day when I get the chance to visit other countries, I suppose I always thought it would be really awesome to say I had visited every square inch of the country (not exactly, but pretty close if I visit all 50 states).

My list is a little short now, but for a 19-year-old I don’t think it’s half bad. At least I’ve left Indiana a time or two. The older I get, the more opportunities to travel arise. One thing I’ve discovered is that even though all the states are contained to one country, the states still differentiate so much that there’s always something new to experience. So if these opportunities to travel are practical, I don’t see why I would ever turn one down.

The first place I have planned to travel this summer is South Dakota. I’m really excited about this trip because, as many people know, I have never traveled further west than Missouri. Although I have been directly north of Missouri in Minnesota (which was hands down one of the best places I’ve visited thus far). Regardless, from what I’ve heard and what pictures I’ve seen, the west is beautiful. Not only am I excited to actually be in South Dakota, but I’ll even admit I’m excited for the 12 hour road trip out there. I’m fan-girling just thinking about visiting Mt. Rushmore and the badlands.

I’ll also be visiting Sarasota, Florida this summer. While Florida is hands down one of my most frequented states, I have never been to Sarasota before, and I’m looking forward to going somewhere new–as well as going to the beach. Plus I absolutely love road trips because I have some weird fascination with cars, so I always look forward to the trip down. Especially driving through Tennessee.

While those are the only places I currently have on my list, I’m glad I get to add a new state to the list in 2014. And of course there’s always the possibility that there will be more states added to the list!

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