I've been looking at maps for over 30 years every chance I get. My latest journey, Piecing Together America brought me all over the map like many of my projects, including a highly anticipated visit to my last major city in America, Virginia Beach. Gosh! I felt a huge sigh of relief checking off that final major city. I remember driving straight to the Atlantic Ocean to find this beautiful ocean front walking path and taking a picture of the locally cherished King Neptune statue. There was a good 10-year gap between that and the 2nd to last major city to visit, Pittsburgh. I realized hitting different points on the map takes patience, considering the United States is massive and many of the destinations require intention. Now, looking at the map as familiar sites, fond memories, and long-term relationships created, has been more than expected. I didn't imagine I would visit Kansas more than once or twice, now I might as well own a home there after my 30th visit. I didn't think I would be curious and courageous enough to descend four miles into a coal mine in West Virginia. Never would have thought news coverage would chronicle my experiences from every part of the country. One thing for certain is my enduring passion for America and unwavering curiosity, sparked by a wandering mind as a child that just started as a hobby. The vision became clearer as current events and circumstances unfolded in the nation and in my personal life. I've always created a mission when traveling the U.S., bringing me to the most rural areas imaginable like the prairies of South Dakota or to everyone's bucket list destinations, like the New Jersey shore. Funny thing is that I can't remember the last time I went somewhere as a vacation.
Recognized as the Most Traveled Person in America, having visited the fifty states 20+ times and thousands of cities, I have to admit there are four areas in the country that the soles of my shoes haven't pounded the pavement. The most traveled title makes more sense if I explored every inch of the country. If you look at a map, you wouldn't be surprised by the list, considering these areas are far removed from interstates and major cities. I'll list them below, included how close I've been, my preconceived ideas, and plans to visit.
Honestly, there is no set timeline to accomplishing this list. It could be a year or ten years. I do know, it takes patience and commitment. Pretty cool how these four represent the North, South, East, and West--culturally and geographically.