you know, i’m lucky. in many, many different ways. but, today i am thinking about the joys and adventures i have experienced because i have had the privilege of traveling. and, on top of the travel journeys i have been on, i have also had the challenge and excitement of living abroad for three years – that is enough time to really assimilate into a culture.
so, yes, i am a lucky, lucky girl. and i’m gonna take a few moments today to be thankful for all of these opportunities.
i think that i got all contemplative about this when i saw a little map making its way around facebook this week. it’s a map of the states, but everyone’s looks different. my curiosity got the best of me and i clicked on the link to find that it is actually a map generator… it gives you a color-coded map of the states you have visited, and how often you have been to them.
so, being the wanderlusterful, traveler that i am, i knew that i needed to make mine. it’s pretty easy, just click the states, according to the little chart given and then, voila! a map for you to see how much of the u.s. territory you have covered.
i’ve covered quite a lot. and seeing it in my map made it all the more real to me, hence my appreciation and gratitude for the opportunities for travel that i have had.
let me explain to you my color coding (because i kinda made up my own based on the suggestions on the generator’s website:
green – these are states i find myself in quite often and have spent quite a bit of time in on a fairly regular basis throughout my life = slept there for multiple days and have visited multiple times. i know these places pretty well. they all feel a bit like home.
my fave green state: i gotta say north carolina, since that’s where i was born & raised. and i moved back here after living in sweden. it truly is an amazingly beautiful state: beaches, rolling hills, mountains, cities, small towns. it’s got a little of everything.
purple/blue – these are states i have slept in for multiple nights and driven through, seeing many sites. most of the states i have visited twice, some, only once. i’d say that i “get” what this state is all about (if you are going to make generalizations). i’ve got a personal relationship with these places.
my top purple/blue state: this one is hard to choose. but, i’m going to go with new mexico or wyoming. both wide open states, but completely different. i feel like i can breathe in these breathtaking places.
orange – these are states i have driven through, so i have seen a lot, but not spent much time there at all. i don’t feel like i know them on any personal level. so, i must go back!
my orange pick: idaho. hands freaking down. i did camp there one night, and it was the best camping i have ever experienced. i have GOT to see more of that amazing nature.
white – these are the states i have never visited. there seems to be a pattern, huh? i suppose i need to make my way to the great lakes at some point. oh, and hawaii!
my white wish: well, i mean, hawaii is a shoo in. but, behind that, i wanna go to minnesota – there’s way too much swedish history & connections there, so i feel like it’s my duty to visit.
i’ve covered so many states because i have done a cross country road trip two times, which in itself is unbelievable… but i could do it over and over again. there is so much to see & experience & feel. this country is amazing. and breathtaking. from the people to the scenery, it is truly incredible. and i am so very grateful that i have seen so much of it.
so, in honor of the grew roadtrippin’ classic, on the road, by jack kerouac, here are some pretty amazing quotes from the book. something to wet your whistle and to get you itchin’ to jump into a car and head off to parts known or unknown, close by or far away. it doesn’t really matter, it’s just about seeing, experiencing, and feeling life on the road coursing through your veins.
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life”
“But why think about that when all the golden lands ahead of you and all kinds of unforseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you’re alive to see?”
“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
“The best teacher is experience and not through someone’s distorted point of view.”
“I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future.”
“As we crossed the Colorado-Utah border I saw God in the sky in the form of huge gold sunburning clouds above the desert that seemed to point a finger at me and say, “Pass here and go on, you’re on the road to heaven.”
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”