north carolina travel + wander usa

making it. state by state.

15 Nov 2013

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.

travel map

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.” 

peace.

No Comments

  • Reply Ginger 16 Nov 2013 at 06:39

    Wow, Liz! You sure have traveled a lot! That is impressive and I am happy for you. I have counted the states I’ve been to and came up with 11, mostly on the upper east coast. I hope to someday expand my horizons! If your in PA near Philly anytime soon, let me know! We could fika 🙂

    • Reply liz 19 Nov 2013 at 08:30

      I would love to fika with you! I will most definitely contact you the next time I may be in the area. 🙂 xx

  • Reply Holly 16 Nov 2013 at 10:21

    Awesome! I love a good map! I have a world scratch map on the wall in our spare room- have you seen them? I think youd like them!

  • Reply Nicole 16 Nov 2013 at 13:48

    that’s quite inspirational!! I wish I’d been to the places you’ve been and seen the things you have. Perhaps one day I will travel. Thank you for this post 🙂

    • Reply liz 19 Nov 2013 at 08:31

      Oh, thank you for reading. xx
      I am a lucky girl, I know. I hope you can travel wherever you want one day!

  • Reply PaigeBrown 16 Nov 2013 at 21:30

    So cool! I’m going to have to make one of these maps! LOVE LOVE LOVE the travel quotes! xoxo

    • Reply liz 19 Nov 2013 at 08:32

      Thanks girl! I took a page from your travel book! 🙂 xx

  • Reply Laura4NYC 17 Nov 2013 at 19:22

    Wow, you have been to almost every US state! I haven’t but I saw Hawaii for two weeks as a teenager. It’s a nice place for a vacation but also pretty overpriced – of course, it’s an isolated island. hehe
    Anyhow, I really have to follow your steps and see more of the lovely US. One day, perhaps, one day!

    • Reply liz 19 Nov 2013 at 08:32

      Yes! Perhaps one day! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you, I know how much you would love it. 🙂

  • Reply gallivance.net 18 Nov 2013 at 10:12

    Liz, this is so cool. Like you, I find myself most often in the green states and love them dearly. For the past couple of summers we’ve been camping in your white states and they’re wonderful! You’ll love them when you get there. 🙂 ~Terri

    • Reply liz 19 Nov 2013 at 08:35

      Oh, now I can’t wait to visit those white states!

  • Reply carissalick 18 Nov 2013 at 12:02

    That’s really cool. You’ve been to a ton of states! I went and made my map, and it’s pretty different from yours. 🙂 For one thing, most of your white states are green on mine, and most of your green states are white for me… But you should definitely visit Minnesota sometime! And while you’re at it, come out to eastern SD and stay with us. We’ve got a ton of extra space for guests!

    • Reply liz 19 Nov 2013 at 08:36

      That’d be great! I’d love to show Lina SD! I think it’s a pretty amazing state. 🙂

  • Reply Barb 19 Nov 2013 at 07:29

    Looking forward to your visit to the white states as well! You and your writing are starting to build a desire in me to visit NC. I have been further south and north along the coast but have never been there.

    • Reply liz 19 Nov 2013 at 08:36

      So, we should do a little swap and visit each other, Barb!

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