In 2014 I was planning my dream vacation to celebrate my 50th birthday. I was planning to visit Europe for a month and bounce around collecting cities and countries. While in travel planning mode, something I absolutely love to do, I also came up with the idea of visiting all 50 states and all 7 continents. I had only visited 13 states and one continent up to that point, but I thought it would be a great goal to see the whole of The United States of America and the seven designated land masses of the world.
I created a map of the places I’d been and then started on my journey. When I met my late husband in 2016, we learned we had a mutual love of travel so although he had visited the 48 contiguous states plus Hawaii he would travel with me helping me collect states. We went on two medium sized road trips and one massive one before he passed. Travel has always been my happy place so I leaned into travel. I went back to solo travel but my now bestie, who was a casual friend since 2010 and I grew close and in 2021, she joined in. She made a list and when we compared, I was at 27 visited / 23 to go and she was the reverse. She eventually caught up and then blew past me. Our lasted trip, places she’s already been, had me catch up to her and we both stand at a total of 44 states visited. We both have 6 states to finish our goal – North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Alaska.
- The states I had visited so far in 2015. In order of visit – California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Illinois, Nevada, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, and Florida.
- February 2016, I added Oregon.
- November 2016, I took a road trip and added Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama.
- 2017, Kansas and Missouri.
- 2018, I took a road trip through Tennessee, Alabama, and added Georgia.
- 2019, I took a road trip spanning nine states including adding new states Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
- May 2021, I added Utah.
- June 2021, I added Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.
- August 2021, I added Oklahoma.
- October 2021, my bestie joined in my quest, and we took a road trip to Montana, Wyoming (new for her), and Idaho.
- March 2022, we visited Hawaii. New for me but not for her.
- July 2022, we took a family road trip spanning eight states – Massachusetts (not new for me), Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
- October 2022, we added Michigan.
- Our latest trip, in early September, included Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. No new states for her, I added PA, DE, and WV. West Virginia was my 44th state visited.