I was born and raised in South Florida. I've always had a passion for this great country of ours. I remember learning all of our state's names by 3rd grade, and each state's capital in 5th grade. My teacher was so impressed she called the teacher in the next classroom over to tell her about my amazing feat.
Cities I've been to in Florida: too many to mention individually! Some are: Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Orlando, Lake Buena Vista, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Naples, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Saint Augustine, Daytona, and Port St. Lucie.
After many, many years I decided to move to Georgia because it was a lot cheaper. Georgia isn't exactly the best state out there for exploring in my opinion, but it does have character. It was my move to Georgia nearly 12 years ago that spawned my traveling bug. I loved it when I crossed the state line. It was a sensation of pure liberty to do so. Georgia folks were very welcoming, and I fell in love with their charm and kindness.
Cities I visited: Atlanta and the entire NW Atlanta area, Columbus, Savannah, Helen, and much, much more!
After realizing that many state borders were less than 2 hours away from where I lived now, I started my travels by going to Chattanooga, TN - simply to shop and explore. I immediately fell in love with their aquarium and the tourist district just south of it. It was a great area and a great feeling to walk over my first river: The Tennessee River. When I got home, I read that I did so by walking the longest pedestrian bridge in America (at the time. It's now the Hudson Walkway in Poughkeepsie, NY). I wanted to do more of this sort of thing. :) Shortly after this trip, I traveled to Birmingham, AL. I was enthralled by the idea that I've been to 4 states and thought to myself "I wonder how long I can keep this up?" I came back to TN afterwards to explore Nashville. To this day, the best thing I have ever done on any of my trips was to ride the pink "Nash Trash Tours" bus. If you're ever in the city, you will not regret doing this tour! Be sure to call these girls early though. They're always booked months in advance because they're that great! :) They're very entertaining, funny and professional all at the same time.
Cities I visited: Chattanooga TN, Nashville TN, and Birmingham AL.
After a couple of road trips, I started planning my trips more carefully. I learned more about certain hotel chains, how/when to book things to save cash, and reading several websites regarding "Things to See and Do" around the towns I visited. My next trip was Asheville, NC and Greenville, SC. I was absolutely amazed by Asheville's beauty. I just couldn't believe I was roughly 3 hours away from all of this! I immediately declared Asheville as one of my favorite spots to travel.
Cities I visited: Asheville NC, and Greenville SC. Along the way I saw Nantahala and Lake Lure in North Carolina.
I then visited a friend in Colorado via plane. This is the trip where I actually thought about my 50 state goal. I kept thinking in flight that I couldn't consider myself a visitor of Arkansas or Kansas because I didn't actually set foot in them. After this trip my mission was clear: I will set foot in all 50 states! :) And I didn't allow myself to simply step on pavement, it had to be on actual soil. Colorado was beautiful. The sight of the Rocky Mountains was a great inspiration to see more of what this beautiful country of ours has to offer!
Cities I visited: Denver, Aurora, and Colorado Springs.
As you can imagine, I started getting a little impatient with my goal. It felt like I could be doing more, so I planned what I thought would be a massive trip to conquer several states. It was one of the best trips ever because I got to see 2 major cities that I never thought I'd ever see in my lifetime: St. Louis and Chicago. Needless to say, I was impressed, amazed and more excited about my journey than ever before!
Cities I visited: St. Louis MO, Chicago IL, Indianapolis IN, Cincinatti OH, and Lexington KY.
The closest place I could drive to now was New Orleans, LA. It was yet another large city, so I was really excited to see what that city would entail. Unfortunately, Hurricane Katrina didn't leave much to enjoy. I went 2 years after the storm so they were still rebuilding. I also went days after Mardi Gras, so it wasn't exactly clean either lol. It was really sad to see waterlines still on houses and businesses. I'm glad I went though, as clearly the city could use the revenue. On my way to and from Louisiana I stopped at Biloxi, MS. This city was also hit by Hurricane Katrina, but thankfully they progressed in construction along the shoreline. It wasn't 100%, but at least there was more to do. While I was in the area, I decided to visit Mobile and Montgomery, Alabama. It was fun and very educational. I boarded the USS Alabama in Mobile and spent the next few hours observing a real US Battleship!
Cities I visited: New Orleans LA, Biloxi MS, Mobile AL, Huntsville AL, and Montgomery AL.
Virginia and West Virginia were next in line. I was very impressed by the River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, WV. It's the tallest bridge in the eastern United States. Every October, they host a bungee cord festival on it. I also visited Virginia Tech and Roanoke in Virginia. There's a Natural Bridge near the same area. One home owner decided to contribute to the tourist area by creating a complete replica of Stonehenge, but entirely made of styrofoam. It was very, very well done!
Cities I visited: Natural Bridge VA, Blackberg VA, Fayetteville WV, and Roanoke VA.
As you can see by the map above, the closest unconquered state now is Arkansas. If you've ever been to this state you'll know that there's nothing to do here lol. So I spent majority of my time in Memphis TN which is simply one river crossing away. It was a wonderful feeling to see and drive over the Mississippi River again. But the best part of course was seeing Graceland and the Lorraine Hotel where Martin Luther King Jr was shot. I'm a great admirer of Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a VERY brave man who tremendously feared being killed at any given moment. He kept this information to himself majority of the time - only spilling his fears to his wife. I'm a major history buff, so after seeing where MLK was shot I paid my respects by visiting his actual resting place in Atlanta, GA. This was a really moving trip for me.
Cities I visited: West Memphis AR, Memphis TN, Tupelo MS, and Birmingham AL again.
I finally got to see our nation's capital! :) Washington DC is definitely the best place for me to visit. It was all related to history with plenty to see, and on top of that, it was all free. It just doesn't get any better than this. I saw the actual Declaration of Independence and Constitution with my own eyes, JFK's grave along with many other honored men in Arlington Cemetery - including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Pentagon, the White House, the Marines' Iwo Jima statue, Lincoln's Memorial, the Washington Mall, the Smithsonian, the Natural History Museum, the Vietnam Wall, the Washington Monument, the Ford Theater where Lincoln was shot and the actual gun that John Wilkes Booth used to shoot him, the FBI building . . do you see where I'm going with this yet? There's just so much to do in this small area. Being a strong patriotic person and having a 50 state goal like this, how can DC not be my favorite city to visit? And I didn't get to take it all in either. I hope to return someday to do exactly that. For the first time ever, I also had a travel companion: Snoopy the dog from the Peanuts comic. I try to take as many pictures of him as my embarrassment level can take lol. Today, I never travel without the little guy. His pictures simply make me smile too much!! :)
Cities I visited: Arlington VA, Washington DC, Baltimore MD, Philadelphia PA, Wilmington DE. I set foot in New Jersey's Camden area, but didn't really view the town itself.
I remember planning ever so heavily for my next trip through the Midwest. It was the biggest trip I had ever done at the time. I knew I would have to fly from here on out to the remaining states. This was by far the best trip I had ever taken until this point. I will never forget the sense of freedom I had while driving in the middle of Kansas - seeing nothing but grass as far as the eye could see. It was beautiful, relaxing and exciting all at the same time. I also got to see the new Target Field in Minneapolis the year it opened. It was a great feeling since I've never done that before. As for the history buff in me, I walked around Dealey Plaza in Dallas and went inside the Texas Book Depository. I literally got goosebumps walking through the corridor. I also stood on the very plank that Abraham Zapruder stood on when he filmed the assassination. Milwaukee was also a surprising delight. I enjoyed scooting around their downtown area and seeing the best looking museum in our nation in my opinion: the Milwaukee Art Museum. Remarkable architecture - where the wings stretch out when the museum is open, and closes like the sail of a boat when it's closed. I also got to see James Dean's grave, which moved me considerably. I'm a huge fan of his.
Cities I visited: Dallas TX, Oklahoma City OK, Wichita KS, Topeka KS, Omaha NE, Council Bluff IA, Des Moines IA, Minneapolis MN, St. Paul MN, Milwaukee WI, Chicago IL, Sawyer MI, Fairmount IN, Indianapolis IN, Cincinnati OH, and Newport KY.
From now on, I had to save tons of money to see any new states. I moved back to South Florida around this time, so every new state was even further from me. Since I still prefer to 'work my way out' from where I currently live, I went to the New England area next. What better way to tackle 7 new states in less than a week?! :) I've been an avid NY Mets fan since 1988. I saw my first Mets home game on this trip. What an amazing time! Beautiful new stadium, and just a few days earlier, Johan Santana threw the first no hitter game in Mets history! The city of New York is an adult's dream come true. There's sooo much to see and do. The most memorable part of my trip to New England however was my trip to Acadia National Park. I had no idea how beautiful our NE coast was. Up to this point, I have only seen beaches and swamps hug the Atlantic Ocean. What a difference a few rocks can make! Boston was full of history but also people, so I didn't feel very comfortable there at all. You can tell that Boston is a very "locals" city and not really orientated for visitors. It was too much of a pain to get around - making it impossible to enjoy one's time there. However, I did get to see a Red Sox game and loved Fenway Park!! So far, Fenway has been my favorite baseball experience ever. It's a shame I couldn't do much in Boston. I would have loved to dwell on the incredible history there. Perhaps some other time? Vermont was very pretty and New Hampshire was inspiring with its White Mountains. I went to Newport, RI and enjoyed a great walk along their Cliff Walk. Just north of the walk was a bunch of mansions. This place actually made my "Best Dressed City" award lol. The houses lined up on Bellevue Avenue are simply out of this world. If you're ever in the area, be sure to make an effort to see them!
Cities I visited: New York NY, Newark NJ, Albany NY, Bennington VT, Bal Harbor ME, Hart's Location NH, Boston MA, Newport RI, and Mystic CT.
Here I am in 2013 thinking I'll need about 10 more years to finish my 50 state goal. Then BAM, I had to move out of Florida and come back to Georgia during the summertime. . . . . There's just NO WAY in the world that I wasn't going to make the best out of finally being unemployed during the summer! I immediately planned for the biggest trip of my life. I literally drove from South Florida, to Atlanta, to San Francisco, to North Dakota, then back to Atlanta. It took me almost 5 weeks to do it. I have never been on the road for more than 10 days so this was really scary for me, and at several times, I hesitated to do it. I'm very happy to say that the entire trip went off without a hitch. Not a single bad thing happened to me along the way except losing my phone, but thankfully I retrieved it the next day. :)
This Mega Trip really got started in El Reno, OK. This is where the F5 tornado hit just one month prior to my visit (I was here late June of 2013). It was the first time I had ever seen wreckage of this magnitude and I'm a Hurricane Andrew survivor. I met a girl by the name of Jessica on the street with the most damage, and I gave her $20 to help get her life back on track. She hesitated at first, but I assured her that it was going to be donated online regardless and would rather she have it instead. Handing it to her would at least guarantee me that it was actually going into the hands that needed it, and not someone else's pocket. She told me how she survived in an underground shelter. When she pointed at the shelter, all that was on top of it was the foundation to a building - no walls, roof, nothing - just a flat concrete base. I told her about my big plans to the west coast and she introduced me to her family that was sitting outside of what remained of her home. Then we hugged each other goodbye and wished each other well. It was a great experience for me, and a good way to start my trip. I was reminded about the dangers that mother nature could bring.
My next stop was Taos, NM. I saw a real pueblo! Then in Winslow, AZ I saw with my own eyes a meteor crater. It's the most well preserved crater in the world! I drove to Sedona thereafter and enjoyed the red rock scenery. The next day, I went to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon is the most visually stunning thing I have ever seen in my entire life. And the only way to understand this sensation is to see it with your own eyes. It's just . . . wow!! After the canyon, I went to the Hoover Dam in Nevada. Then I spent a week in Vegas. You already know I'm a huge fan of history, but I'm also a HUGE fan of architecture, engineering and interior design as well. Vegas is eye candy for anyone who loves any of these things. In the end, I knew I would be coming back here someday because I didn't get to see every single hotel, and it was always over 110 degrees so I left. Afterwards, I drove through Death Valley. I called my sister before and after driving through it. I told her it was the ONLY part of the entire trip that I'm actually afraid of my car dying on me. Everything went accordingly though, so it was off to Mt. Whitney from here. Mt. Whitney was a huge disappointment. It's supposed to be the largest mountain in the lower 48 states. However, since you're already at an elevation of about 5000 to 6000 feet, it's not that tall at all. :(
After that I went to Yosemite National Park. Up to this point Acadia National Park was my favorite national park. No longer lol. Yosemite is simply majestic. Such height in its mountains, such beauty with its waterfalls. It was literally heaven on Earth if there ever was one. I can see now why so many poets wrote poems here. Afterwards, I headed to San Francisco. This is a great but very small town, making it hard to get around unfortunately. It was beautiful to see none the less! Nothing like walking the Golden Gate Bridge and admiring the sights and sounds while a cool breeze passes you by. I also got to see Pier 39 but unfortunately, no seals were there that day. I also saw Lombard Street, the Coit Tower, Downtown, Chinatown and my last stop was AT&T Park to catch the Giants playing my NY Mets!
Then I was off to Napa Valley. I had to buy some wine there of course. The scenery was just divine. There were flowers blooming everywhere when I visited. After seeing Santa Rosa, I got to drive on the coast of California for about 20 miles. If anyone ever tells you that this is the best drive in America, believe them! It was simply breath taking. View after view, sometimes as high up as 10 stories, of the Pacific Ocean and its rocky shores. From here I headed to Reno, NV. After seeing Las Vegas, Reno was a disappointment. This town could be so much better if they demolish a few of the older buildings and created some high end casinos like Vegas. However, I'm sure they don't get the amount of people like Vegas does. Oh well. Then I traveled through the Donner Party Memorial, the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range again, and over to Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City was another disappointment. I really don't see how this city could be labeled a "Big City" in the US. It's actually very small and doesn't have much to see or do. Then I drove almost 4 hours to Arches National Park. Now this is what I'm talking about! Absolutely gorgeous red rock carvings that somehow prevailed into an arch at several locations. There's over 1,000 arches in Arches National Park - well worth the drive into Moab. From here I went to Aspen, CO. Not much to see here either since it's summertime lol. I really don't see what the big fuss is about this town. I tried picturing it with tons of snow on the ground and . . . it made matters worse lol. Then I passed by Denver (since I've seen it before) and headed north to Devil's Tower in Wyoming. This is another out-of-the-way drive you simply must take. It's just perplexing how this strange stump is coming out of the ground when there 's nothing, and I mean nothing!, similar to its size, structure or form nearby. It's just standing tall out of nowhere - reshaping the landscape.
My last large stop was Rapid City, SD. Talk about tons to do! I saw of course Mt. Rushmore, which almost moved me to tears. I was now on this trip for roughly 4 weeks time. Having to walk under all 50 state flags in order to enter Mt. Rushmore made me feel like it was my finish line. It was quite an emotional moment that I will never forget. The mountain itself was a sight to see. Afterwards I went to Crazyhorse, which was a joke. I don't understand how it's been 80 years since these guys have been trying to carve an Indian chief into a rock, and they only have the face completed. Come on guys, this is America, get to work! lol Afterwards, I returned to Rapid City to view several presidential statues in downtown. This was quite a surprise. I didn't know about them so I had to research them quickly at the hotel. I planned out my mission; then utilizing my trusty scooter, I scooted around town to get each and every one of them on film. The end of my trip consisted of a visit to the Badlands. Unfortunately, I was kind of let down by the views. Once you've seen the Grand Canyon, nothing else compares lol.
On my way home to Atlanta, I stopped in the city of Sioux Falls IA, where I saw the monument of Sergeant Floyd - the only member of Lewis and Clark's expedition that passed away. I paid my respects and headed to Kansas City MO. It was my first time here so I made the best of it by walking around town a little just before sun fall. The next day I passed St. Louis and stayed at Metropolis, IL. I couldn't believe it. There's actually a town named after Superman's fictional city! And to my great surprise, the city was Superman themed! I absolutely loved it. I got a picture of the tall Superman statue in town, its museum nearby, and then headed home. I couldn't have asked for a more pleasant trip. It was the best trip ever!!
Cities I visited: Little Rock AR, Oklahoma City OK, El Reno OK, Taos NM, Santa Fe NM, Albuquerque NM, Winslow AZ, Flagstaff AZ, Sedona AZ, Grand Canyon AZ, Las Vegas NV, Death valley CA, Lone Pine CA, Yosemite Valley CA, San Francisco CA, Napa CA, Santa Rosa CA, Sacramento CA, Reno NV, Salt Lake City UT, Moab UT, Grand Junction CO, Aspen CO, Cheyenne WY, Devil's Tower WY, Bowman ND, Rapid City SD, Custer SD, Sioux Falls SD, Sioux City IA, Kansas City MO, and Metropolis IL.
I purposely left the Pacific NW out of my last Mega Trip. Reason being - there was no point in going to Seattle without flying to Alaska immediately after. I spent 2 weeks on the following trip, and to be honest, I thought that was too much time. I'm so glad I did though because the traffic was horrid. I flew to Seattle the first week of June 2015. I had no idea that the roads to Oregon, Idaho, and Montana would eventually turn into 1 lane, with little to no passing, with a 55 mph speed limit. Every single car ride I planned took longer than I predicted due to these obstacles. It was also the beginning of their warm temperatures up there, so there were massive amounts of construction going on - hence the closing of some roads. However, setting these negatives aside, it was a very productive trip overall.
My first destination was Portland, OR. I really don't see what the fuss is about this city lol. I found it to be very old, and quite frankly, disgusting. The gloomy weather didn't really help the visual presentation either. The people reminded me of Miami, which is not a compliment by any means. As the saying goes: "Keep Portland Weird" lol. Well, they certainly do a great job of it around here. :) My next stop was Astoria, OR by the coast. This is where the movie "The Goonies" was filmed. At the time, I was able to walk up to the Goonies house and take some pictures. The current owner just recently stopped allowing access to the house so I got very lucky! While I was up there, I heard some loud cries by the marina. I walked over, and to my surprise, there were a bunch of seals sitting on the docks! If you remember from my previous post, I didn't get to see the seals in San Francisco's famous pier, so I was thrilled to make up the lost ground. :) After this was said and done, I drove over to Cannon Beach to take a few pictures of Haystack Rock (also from The Goonies), and the beautiful Pacific coastline.
From here on, I really wanted to avoid the gloomy Pacific NW weather, so I started chasing the sun via weather reports. I headed back to Seattle since the sun was predicted to finally peak out in the afternoon. That morning, I took the subway into the city and started walking around Downtown, the Public Market, and Chinatown. I loved being in Seattle! The Space Needle was everything I imagined it to be. It's not the tallest building in Seattle, but I had to do the "tourist thing" of going up to the top. Many folks online mentioned to go up the Bank of America tower instead to save on cash, and get a higher/better view of the city. None the less, I had a great time at the needle because they have a lounge at the top where you can take in the beautiful vistas while sipping a drink. After the long walks around town, I headed to Safeco Field to watch the Mariners play the Yankees. Thankfully, the sun came out a few minutes before the game started so they opened the roof. What a great experience! I took some quick downtown photos with the sun out and my goodness, what a difference a little natural light can make. I proceeded in following wherever the sun would take me. :)
Now I was on my way to Idaho and Montana. I didn't get to see much in Idaho, only Coeur d'Alene. Once I crossed the Montana border though . . . WOW!!! I'm definitely coming back to Montana someday. If you love mountains, I suggest doing the same. Every turn on that road was a great view of rocky mountains. I had to follow the Clark Fork River and St. Regis river to see some of the tallest mountains in Montana (by St. Ignatius). For the first time, from up close, I was taking pictures of mountains with snow at the top of them. This was another reason why I didn't do this area in my last trip. By the end of July, there isn't much snow anywhere.
After Montana, I headed back to Washington state because for the first time in a week, Mount Rainier was finally going to be cloud free! So I headed up the mountain the very next day and tried to hike the Skyline Trail. I was only able to go to the NW edge of that trail to see the glacier and mountain top. The rest of the trail was still under several feet of snow. I didn't have an ice pick, or any other source of major gear to keep going. However, I got a great view of Mount Rainier. It still gives me goose bumps to this day - when I first laid eyes on Mount Rainier driving into the park. This mountain is HUGE! It looked a lot larger than Mount Whitney in California, probably because it's more exposed. This was the best part of my trip!
After Mount Rainier, I drove to the southern end of Oregon to see Crater Lake, and Bend, OR. I wish I had more time to enjoy these 2 locations. There's so much to do in Bend in terms of hiking. I tried going between Broken Top Mountain and the South Sister Mountain, but you need a permit to hike that trail. I went as far as the infestation of mosquitoes would only me lol. Then I went to Crater Lake which was absolutely gorgeous! I still to this day can't figure out how the water in the lake is bluer than the sky!?! There was tons of snow around Crater Lake too which made the trip more fun and beautiful to look at. Did I mention that I was really glad that I went this time of year? hehe After Crater Lake, I made my way back to Seattle so I could fly over to Alaska.
Alaska is definitely the most beautiful state in our country. If you're a mountain lover like I am, this is as good as it gets. The first day I was there it was really gloomy. Trust me, nothing will upset you more than trying to figure out how tall a mountain is when it's covered by low lying clouds. UGH!! None the less, I could tell that this place was amazing. Once I settled into the hotel, I started to chase the sun again. I found it in Seward, AK. Now we're talking! Seward is along the southern coast of Alaska, so the wind kept most clouds away. I stuck around until the afternoon to make sure the sun burned all the clouds away. Once that happened, I got some amazing pictures.
The next day I had to fly back home. On my way to the airport I encountered a female moose! I was on a mission to find at least 1 moose during my trip. I was searching high and low for 2 weeks time! Who knew it would find me instead by walking up to my car at a red light. I totally freaked out. I couldn't get my camera out of my bag quick enough to get a close up picture. I ended up getting a picture of it around the corner. At least I got my moose fill. :)
Once I got home, I was really, really tired. I never had to take a trip that consisted of 4 airplane rides - 3 of them being in the last 4 days. It's official folks, I'm getting old lol. I plan to take my time when I go to Hawaii in 2016. This is why I'm still planning a 4 day visit, during an 8 day trip. Usually I plan 1 day to see everything in an area. I also want to see Los Angeles and San Diego while I'm on the lower end of the west coast. I've never been to either city. I'm looking forward to my next adventure already! :) Only 1 more state to go!
Cities I visited: Seattle WA, Portland OR, Bend OR, Crater Lake OR, Anchorage AK, Seward AK, Coeur d'Alene ID, St. Ignatius MT, Yakima WA, Eugene OR, Mount Rainier WA, Mount Hood OR, Astoria OR, Cannon Beach OR.
I wasn't expecting to go to my last state (Hawaii) for at least a few more years due to how expensive it was. I know we should all relish our goals to the point where you savor every second of the process - the planning is sometimes just as exciting as the actual attendance itself. But for some reason, I just wanted to have this goal behind me. :( I recently graduated from college and thought it would be great to put all of my major finances behind me. That way, I can start concentrating on fixing everything else in my life since I put pretty much everything on hold in order to accomplish this feat and kick start my career. So I immediately contributed to my debt by placing this very expensive trip on my credit card . That way I can go sooner rather than later. So this was it!! I was off to set foot in all 50 as I had planned to do almost 11 years ago! :)
My first obstacle came when I had to book the cheapest flight there. This took 2 stops and practically 14 hours of flying. Considering I've never been on a plane for more than 5 hours I was really worried about this. But as usual, I had nothing to fear since I worked out excessively before the trip so I was feeling very strong, healthy and strangely energetic! Once I arrived in Honolulu (on Oahu island) I went straight to Walmart to pick up supplies and then to my hotel to rest form the trip. I didn't step on actual soil until the next day when I drove over to North Shore (Haleiwa, HI). I decided to step on to my final state's soil the same way that Neil Armstrong did when he first stepped on the moon: backwards, from above, one foot at a time. So I climbed up a sea wall and stepped on sand on the other side of it to claim my 50th state! :) Oahu was very pretty and I enjoyed bike riding through Waikiki a lot! But I had no idea that clouds permanently harbored around majority of the island in May. Seems like the only spot that had good weather was Waikiki and Honolulu. I'm assuming that's why they settled the city mostly here? Oh well.
After viewing Oahu for several days, I flew over to the Hawaiian Island of Maui. This island was more remote and less city like. It actually was more beautiful than Oahu, but not by much since it still had the same components: a whole lotta beaches and hills. I only spent a day here since it took me a few hours to drive around the entire island. I headed back to Oahu to go to California the very next day.
After my visit to Hawaii, I flew to Los Angeles since I've never been there and there's soooo much to do! I walked the Hollywood Walk of Fame a little, saw the Hollywood sign, and walked around the Chinese Theater area a bit. However, that's all the time I had since I was flying home that same afternoon. :( I also saw the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and a little bit of Downtown LA, but again, that's it.
Once I got home, I pondered about my accomplishment. I repeatedly compared my last state of Hawaii to my first state of Florida. It's almost fitting that my journey ended on practically the same note as it started, by sandy shores. Feels like I did a complete full circle of the United States of America. There are no words that can express the things I have seen, experienced, or learned. So many sceneries - some man made, some not. It took major dedication, sacrifice, and courage on my part to achieve this goal. I conquered all of them by myself 100%. It is with great joy that I can say that I created memories on several corners of the Earth. And yet this whole adventure still feels . . . raw.
I started reading world history a few years ago, so I'm well aware that our world will keep changing, even when we're no longer around to see it. That's what makes traveling such an amazing experience for me. I'm witnessing what our world and society looks like at that particular moment in history. It's a giant reality check, and will certainly make you feel alive. I think I read somewhere once: "We don't travel to forget about life. We travel to reflect on life." I couldn't agree more. :)
Cities I've visited: Honolulu HI, Waikiki Beach HI, Haleiwa HI, Kahului HI, Los Angeles CA.