Forty-eight States in Thirty Years

My sister-in-law once said the first thing she noticed and liked about my brother was he was quirky.  Well, she certainly picked the right family to marry into because we have our share of quirks, myself included.  One of my many quirks is setting seemingly obscure goals.  One such example was my goal to visit all the Lower 48 US States before my 30th birthday.  I turn thirty on Saturday, January 23rd (I will happily accept birthday wishes!) and am pleased to report I reached that goal.  Actually, I achieved it way back in July 2009 when I visited Oklahoma, the last hold out.

Now, why would I set such a goal?  Because I love travel and because I love to mark maps, checking off the places I have been.  My love of travel comes from my mother.  In 1974, she worked on an archeological dig and traveled around Israel for two and half months and then spent another month backpacking through Europe with a friend.  I grew up with the stories of her adventures and misadventures to the point they’ve become part of the family folklore.

I enjoy traveling overseas and have visited over a dozen countries.  However, I still have a love for US travel.  As a kid, my parents loaded my brother and me into the minivan for family vacations.  On these trips, I sat up front with my dad while my brother and mom sat in the back because 1) I get motion sick (Dramamine is heaven’s nectar in my book) and 2) if my brother and I sat beside each other for any amount of time, it led to pinches, smacks, yells, and tears.  As a family, we went everywhere from Arkansas to California to Maine.  Before the age of eighteen I’d been to at least thirty-five states, which made reaching my goal a whole lot easier.

Nevertheless, there’s still seems to be a general confusion as to why I would go to South Dakota or Delaware or Alabama for no apparent reason, and I find myself having the same conversation over and over again because of it.

This is how the conversation usually goes:

Acquaintance: Where are you going now?

Me: Mississippi.

Acquaintance: Do you have family there?

Me: Nope.

Acquaintance: Do you know anyone there?

Me: Nope.

Acquaintance: Why are you going?

Me: I haven’t been there before.

Acquaintance walks away shaking head.

Not everyone is a traveler, and for a non-traveler, it’s hard to understand to travel for the sake of travel, to go for the sake of going.  In almost thirty years, I’ve accepted non-travelers will always think I’m a little quirky.  I don’t mind; it’s an adjective I’ve grown into.

I’m off to plot my next adventure.  Alaska and Hawaii are high on the to do list.  Also I hear the entire continent of Africa calling my name.


Maid of Murder news…

Maid of Murder will be released five months from today.  If you would like to receive a postcard announcing the release email your snail mail address to to be added to my mailing list. Your address will not be shared.

2 thoughts on “Forty-eight States in Thirty Years

  1. Oh, Amanda! I’m so jealous! I’m a traveler, but I don’t get that many opportunities to travel. I also want to visit all the states, and now that I live in Illinois, I’ll have easier access to more of them. My love of travel usually manifests itself in visiting places that are nearby just to be somewhere I haven’t been before. Ben and I are planning a visit to Milwaukee in the next few months because there’s a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit he wants to see, so at least I’ll be able to check off Wisconsin soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s