Born and raised in Washington state, I spent the vast majority of my youth on an island in Puget Sound. I attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, and then stayed there after landing my first full-time journalism job at The Bellingham Herald. A little more than seven years later, personal connections that I had developed in Bellingham led to work at USA TODAY in Arlington, Virginia. I have lived in Virginia or Maryland ever since.
My family traveled frequently. Both parents were teachers, meaning summers were always available for some form of trip. My father was born in Revelstoke, British Columbia, and he still had relatives living in the province, so B.C. was a frequent destination. (Side note: In addition to all 50 states, I have visited six Canadian provinces.)
Once I was on my own, I expanded my horizons a bit. My first solo venture was taking an overnight Amtrak trip from Seattle to Salt Lake City and then renting a car to see Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks. I continued to wander the West for the next few years, even after relocating to the East Coast.
However, living in Virginia and then Maryland opened up all sorts of further travel opportunities and certainly made my eventual completion of the goal much easier to realize.
Number of States Visited
My Favorite Place On My Journey
How I saw each state and joined the All Fifty Club
What's next for me on my journey
Travel more internationally