One State at a Time…

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On the border of Nevada and Arizona in October ’15.

I do not know when exactly I came up with the idea, but I decided that in my lifetime, I was going to visit all 50 states. At the time of this decision, I was probably 12 or 13 years old. I did not know what I wanted to do with my life or what I wanted out of it at the time, but I did know that I had a passion for traveling and seeing the world. America is such a vast country in size with a large variety of terrains, climates and environments and I knew that I wanted to see it all.

The summer after high school graduation I got it into my head that I was going to construct a giant map to track out my 50-state travel progress. I found the perfect map on Amazon. It was big enough to be detailed and even showed my hometown of Fishers (most maps forego Fishers and just list Indianapolis and other surrounding cities). However, because of my deteriorating map skills, I really had no idea how large the map I had just bought was. My original plan was to attach it to a bulletin board. I thought the cork would be perfect to place pins into all of the cities I had visited. So, to my surprise, when the map arrived in the mail, there was no way it was going to fit onto a traditional sized bulletin board.

Luckily, I have a creative father. We quickly came up with a plan to purchase cork squares and place them together with the map over top. It was perfect!

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One of my all-time favorite photos that I’ve taken, out on a back road in South Dakota during the summer 2014.

Once I started college, I came up with a new travel goal in order to accomplish my dreams of visiting all 50 states. I decided that each year I would visit a new state. The problem was, I had those states I tended to visit frequently. If I was going to accomplish my 50-state dream, I was going to need to start visiting new places more often. I feel like I have actually traveled quite a bit since I have been at Ball State. The new places I have traveled are…

  • Summer of ’13: West Virginia
  • Summer of ’14: South Dakota
  • Fall of ’15: Nevada/Arizona (barely went into Arizona though, so it is a MUST to go back)
  • Upcoming: Colorado, Summer of ’16

Traveling is my passion and I hope to one day be able to travel outside of the U.S. However, for now, I will focus on my all-American dream of visiting all 50 states. I am 19 down with 31 to go.I have my eyes set on this goal and I am hoping to one day be able to say I have visited all 50 states of the U.S. Whatever life throws at me, I cannot wait to see where it takes me (literally)!

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