It’s a big world, after all

Arthur@AmeriNZ said: Okay, I haven’t participated in awhile, so: If you could pick one thing to do that you haven’t yet done in your life, what would it be and why? It could be a single event (bungy jumping in Skippers Canyon), or it could be a project or process. I’m interested in what you haven’t done that you’d like to do/wish you could do.

Travel.

Next question.

OK, maybe I should expand on this.

Here’s a map I made in 2008, right after I visited Illinois, and your former city of Chicago, for the first time. It showed that I had visited 30 of the 50 states. Now, four year later, I have visited 30 of the 50 states. My desire is to visit all 50, and I’ve made zero progress.

Related: my wife made my daughter a promise that she would visit all 50 states by the time she’s 18; she’s almost nine and she’s only been to 11, all between Vermont and North Carolina.

Now that the house is paid off, we need to save money to go west and see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Park. My wife has seen Mount Rushmore, but she’d go to South Dakota and see it again with The Daughter and me.

Also related: as I explained to Scott: “I want to go to every Major League Baseball park in the same year.” I might end up breaking it up in chunks, but my thought then was to fly to Seattle (check off Washington), take the train south (stop somewhere in Oregon – check) to the 5 California teams, then to Arizona (check), Colorado, Texas, Florida, Georgia, followed by the Midwest, starting with Missouri (check), through Iowa (check), catching Minnesota (my father-in-law’s favorite team – check) and ending in the east.

I noted that I got to go to eight states directly as a result of work. But I also missed out on the farthest state away for the same reason.

Back when Carol, then my girlfriend, was working in the insurance industry, she studied to get a series of designations. She completed her coursework and was rewarded with a trip for two to Hawaii! Who wouldn’t want to go to paradise with his Significant Other?

Unfortunately, that trip coincided with a trip to New Orleans of the Association of Small Business Development Centers. As the person who was the liaison to the other SBDC programs in the country for our library, I should have been going on that trip. But my new boss said no, that she and her chosen favorite – she was very much like that – would be going, and that we could not afford to have more than two of the six or seven librarians out of the office at the same time for three or four days.

Carol wanted me to ask if she’d let me go to Hawaii with her. My thought process was if my boss said no to New Orleans because that would leave us short staffed, then she’d say no to Hawaii for the same reason, and that I’d lose ANY chance of going to New Orleans as well. Despite my attempts to explain, I don’t think Carol truly understood my office dynamics at the time.

As it turned out, Carol went to Hawaii with my parents, and I ended up going to New Orleans, not because of the reasons I suggested, but because the two women who were going would be hauling a lot of heavy equipment with them, and they needed someone to help schlep it.

Another place I regretted not going to was Puerto Rico. My sister, her husband at the time, and her daughter lived there for six or seven years. I should have invited myself down.

Beyond the US, I’ve been two Canadian provinces, albeit the most populated ones, Mexico, and Barbados. That’s it! I’d love to go to Paris, Rome, London, and Tokyo. Now that it’s not at war, I’d be interested in visiting Liberia, which was populated by ex-slaves from the US.

Conversely, in the past decade, my friend Karen has been to India, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Turkey, and is currently in Burma.

Arthur, you said on a recent podcast, and I’m paraphrasing here: “In 1994, if you told me I’d be moving halfway around the world a couple years later, I would have told you that you were crazy.” Yet you packed up and moved to New Zealand, eventually getting married and doing that dual citizenship thing. I still find that remarkable.

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