I’ve set a goal for myself: get to all fifty states by the time I turn 30. Think I can do it?
In 2013, I reached my 34th-39th states when I road tripped through Idaho and Montana; retreated in Kentucky and then moved to Missouri; and protested the School of the Americas in Georgia and happened to meander over into Alabama. Having been to 39 states by the end of 2013, I set this goal for myself to get to the final 11 states before I turn thirty. My hope was to make it to at least two new states in 2014, and now, after today, that goal has been accomplished.
Living in the Midwest can be a bit dull at times. So, just for the heck of it, I mapped out exactly how long it would take to road trip from St. Louis down to the border of Arkansas. With highway speed limits of 70mph, the trip was going to take just over three hours. Then, looking closely at the map, I realized Tennessee (another state I’d never been to) was just a thirty minute ride away from the border of Arkansas. I saw the plan in my head, I filled up the gas tank, I convinced my roommate to give up her Saturday and drive with me, and…the rest is history.
We drove the three hours south to the Mississippi river and crossed into Tennessee, had lunch at the nearest town, and then turned around and drove back through Missouri to Arkansas where we did the same thing, stopped at the closest town to the border and meandered around, taking in “the south.”
In total, we were traveling for nine and a half hours, spending just over an hour in each of our destination states. What I loved about our trip was that we were able to come up with a crazy idea like driving for hours just for the fun of it, and then actually go through with it. How fortunate we are to live in a country that doesn’t stop us at borders to question us.
And so, there you have it. Arkansas and Tennessee are now crossed off of my list. Of course, I would love to take the time to actually SEE these beautiful states sometime. But for now, I’m content with the whirlwind trip I did today.
41 DOWN & 9 TO GO!