I was born in Chicago, IL but have lived in Colorado for most of my life with brief stints in Columbus, OH and Auckland, New Zealand. As a future airline pilot, I have always loved travel and transportation. So far, the peak of my travels was the 5 month trip I did to Scandinavia, New York, SE Asia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. As of 8 May 2021, I have been to all 50 states + 35 countries! I am beginning to chronicle my adventures through an up and coming blog called Blue Skies and Tailwinds. I invite you to check it out!
My criteria matches the Club’s: Step foot on outside solid ground in each state. 50 out of 50 became a goal in early 2016. I was 19 at the time spending most of the year in Columbus for school (summers in Colorado), and had visited 25 states + Washington D.C. Here’s how I got the remaining 25 in a timespan of just over five years:
February, 2016 – Day trip from Columbus to Cincinnati and Kentucky.
March, 2016 – Spring Break drive to Myrtle Beach, SC included stops in West Virginia and North Carolina.
July, 2016 – Back in Colorado for the summer, my parents and I went on a road trip. We stopped in the corner of Montana and spent two nights in South Dakota.
August, 2016 – When driving my car back to Columbus for my second year of university, I passed through Kansas and Michigan for the first time.
December, 2016 – A family trip to Costa Rica wouldn’t be complete without an overnight in Texas on the way down. With 2016 drawing to a close, I was sitting at 33 out of 50.
March, 2017 – This year for Spring Break, I planned an 8-hour layover in Georgia on the way home to CO. Saw the city of Atlanta! Two days later, it was time for a mother-son trip to Oregon.
April, 2017 – Quick trip to Baltimore to visit my Aunt and Uncle. We took the train to Philadelphia for a day, and didn’t forget to stop in Delaware on the way!
August, 2017 – The most new states I’ve gotten within one month at five. Flying back to Colorado from a Killers concert at Chicago’s Lollapalooza, I lucked out and found a great deal with United miles that included a 3-hour layover in North Dakota. Perfect amount of time to grab lunch in Fargo. Just a week later it was time to drive back to Ohio for school; my mother and I took a southerly route which ticked off Oklahoma (for both of us!), Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
November, 2017 – Again, some luck helped me get a yearly-record ninth new state just in time for a European Thanksgiving! I found a dirt cheap plane ticket on Delta (under $400 roundtrip cheap) to visit a friend studying abroad in Europe. A schedule change to my Atlanta connection meant I got to adjust the outbound legs for free. I arranged a night in Atlanta with a family friend, and was able to reserve my first ever rental car to drive from Hartsfield Airport to Alabama and back! As 2017 closed out, I was at 42 out of 50. Getting close!
June, 2018 – Upon returning from a semester in New Zealand, I spent a few nights in NorCal with my Aunt. We did an overnight to Reno and Lake Tahoe, celebrating a successful semester by knocking off Nevada. Side note: I briefly visited Guam Territory on my way to New Zealand so that can join the list with D.C.
July, 2018 – I had to fly to Columbus to move some belongings into storage for a couple weeks between leases. Instead of going straight home, I headed down to New Orleans, Louisiana to burn off some steam thanks to a good deal with Southwest Airlines points.
November, 2018 – Another trip, another great deal with Southwest points! To an old favorite: Boston! I met up with a friend there and a second friend flew in. We rented a car to cover all the northeast states: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire, all in a single day! 48 down, only 2 to go.
March, 2019 – Guess what? More Southwest points. To end my final Spring Break (which I primarily spent at home in Colorado), I headed up to the beautiful city of Boise, Idaho for a couple nights. That’s 49.
May, 2021 – I decided to pull the strings on my one missing state, Alaska, at long last. I flew up as a passenger on one of my favorite types of aircraft, the old-school and nostalgic Boeing 757-200. When I stepped outside that airport, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders! And to keep the mapping theme going, there’s not much more satisfying than a fully filled-in map of All 50!
Some fun stats:
- I have spent the night in 35 states.
- I have visited 30 states at least twice.
- The five states in which I have spent the most time are Colorado, Ohio, Illinois, Hawaii, and Arizona.
- Most new states I have visited in one year…9 in 2017: Georgia, Oregon, Delaware, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama.
- Most new states I have visited in one month…5 in August, 2017: North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee.
- Most new states I have visited in one day…4 on November 10, 2018: Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire.
- Between 2016-21, including repeats, I have been to 46 states. The odd ones out are Florida (last visit 2009), Maine (2010), Wisconsin (2010), not a state but Washington D.C. (2012), and Iowa (2015).
- My mom has been to 44 states + D.C., but all 50 isn’t a goal for her. She is missing Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, New Hampshire, and North Dakota.
- My dad has been to 42 states + D.C., but also doesn’t really care about all 50. He would need Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Oklahoma.
- My favorite states to VISIT are California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington. I enjoy living in Colorado, but could see myself moving if it were somewhere else out west that I liked.
- My favorite cities to VISIT are Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. However, note that I would not live in San Fran in a million years; also, Chicago and Boston would too cold to live in during the winter.
- My least favorite state to VISIT is Florida. I personally have found it overcrowded and overrated. (No offense to any Floridians in the club though! To each their own.) Fittingly, I have been to every other state at least once more recently than the last time I visited Florida.
My long-term goal is to be at 50 states + 50 countries by age 50. With only 15 countries left to reach that goal, it should be manageable!
Number of States Visited
My Favorite Place On My Journey
Hawaii. I have been to Kaua'i, Maui, and O'ahu multiple times + the Big Island and Lana'i once each. You can't go wrong there.
How I saw each state and joined the All Fifty Club
What's next for me on my journey
rest & celebrate
Travel back to favorite places
Travel more internationally
Explore more of the U.S.A.