Ok, so I am way behind in writing about my current travels but given my recent posts are about very diverse geographical locations you might have guessed I have been on the move quite a bit of late! In September 2012 I decided to leave Seattle, Washington and return to Australia for a while (via some travels in Nevada and California). The northern Winter was looming and I wanted to enjoy an Aussie summer and Christmas with family and friends!
When I got back home it was great to see everyone again, especially my little Nieces and Nephews. I did some travel back there including a side trip to New Zealand and even ended up working for a few months back in my old home town of Horsham in Country, Victoria. Then a new freelance job opportunity came up in the USA that would allow me to work and travel at the same time. So off I set again in April 2013 to Los Angeles and new adventures!
After spending some time in LA, Chino and San Diego in California, I initially had planned to settle in San Diego for a while but fate had different plans…… one stolen credit card later and an invite to join friends in New Jersey to see a Twisted Sister concert sparked a cross-country journey to Philly then onto Freehold, New Jersey. Whilst on a long flight across the country “surviving” on airline peanuts and pretzels, another plan was hatched!
Up until arriving in New Jersey, I had been to 27 US states plus Washington DC between 1998 and 2013, so I was more than half way. I decided what the hell, let’s go for all 50! 4 months later I have clocked up 12 more states I had not previously been to before, but during the journey I have actually travelled so far through 23 states plus DC and I am still going strong (despite leaving some tricky gaps on the map to cover). Each state I visit I like to spend time in them and not rush through, it’s not a race, just a personal goal I want to achieve (so far I have been to 50 countries, so why not 50 US states too?).
It has been a journey of planes, trains and automobiles. Good weather, foul weather (thanks tropical storm Andrea) and stinking hot weather. Staying in backpacker hostels, friends places, motels and hotels (well on a lounge chair in one at least) along the way!
So far (1998-2013) I have been to: Alabama, Arizona, California*, Colorado, Delaware**, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois*, Indiana*, Iowa**, Kentucky*, Louisiana*, Maryland**, Massachusetts*, Minnesota**, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska**, Nevada, New Jersey**, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina**, North Dakota**, Ohio*, Oregon, Pennsylvania*, Rhode Island**, South Dakota**, Tennessee, Texas*, Utah, Virginia*, Washington, West Virginia**, Wisconsin** and Wyoming* plus Washington DC*!
Any states marked with a * I have travelled through on my latest journey. Any with a double star are new states visited.
Most of my journey has been impromptu such as a road trip from Philly to Chicago with my Aussie mate Brad and I want to try and keep it that way (there is no timeline and no definite plan). Randomly I switched my rough intended plan to go north from Texas back into the Midwest and now sit in Boston via New Orleans instead! If all goes well I will be up to at least 43 states by next month (new states surround me and will soon include Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont)! From there I have to plug the gaps (big gaps in between!). In the lower 48 I have a bit of a challenge ahead of me; in the south I only have South Carolina to go, in the Midwest there is Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan and Oklahoma. Then the logistically tricky ones in Alaska and Hawaii, which will require a bit more effort and will have a higher cost to get to them! Alas Alaska will have to wait as it will soon be subject to heavy snowfalls and the key place I want to go to is Denali NP which basically shuts down mid-September. No matter what happens it is going to be fun!
During my travels I have met people from all walks of life, all standards of hygiene and all levels of sanity! I have experienced some of the most beautiful scenery, monuments and historic places America has to offer from the Appalachian trail to The Badlands; Mt. Vernon to Gettysburg, The Wright Brothers Monument to Mt. Rushmore and so much more!
I have wandered the streets of wealthy neighbourhoods and what could only be described as scumbag row and everything else in between! I have reacquainted with old friends and made lot of new ones on the way. Plus along with Twisted Sister I have managed to see some great bands and musicians in concert including Lizzy Borden at the Whisky A Go Go in LA, Aussie Paul Kelly in San Diego, Billy Idol in Bethlehem (Pennsylvania), Black Sabbath in Austin and Courtney Love in Houston. The whole experience has been great fun and I look forward to what comes next (don’t worry I will keep you posted)!