Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Not so travellin’ man

The thing I always liked best about the blogosphere is the interaction—discussion, debate, or merely expanding discussion across blogs (I like when this happens in podcasts, too, but it seems more common among blogs). I think it’s interesting when bloggers comment on each other’s posts, in a kind of a grander discussion, far bigger than mere commenting can allow.

So, in that spirit, this post is about my own status, compared to something Roger Green mentioned in one of his recent posts. I mention him and his blog a lot, and not just because I like and respect him, but, in the context of this blog, because he’s the kind of blogger I like the most: Eclectic. He writes about many different topics, and, since I do, I have a sort of a natural connection. And, I steal frequently from his blog, of course. Actually, we frequently link back and forth, which is kind of my point.

Anyway, Roger recently posted one of his “Ask Roger Anything” posts (which I've copied). A few days ago, he posted the answer to my question, and it got me to thinking about my own travels.

The map above shows the states I’ve spent significant time in (in blue). My criteria for “spending significant time in” was that I had to spend the night there or, at least, make a significant visit, usually for tourism. I landed in both Massachusetts and West Virginia, but flew out again shortly afterward, so I don’t count them. I’ve also driven through at least parts of Wyoming, Nebraska (possibly Kansas), Arkansas and Maryland, and taken a train through Delaware and New Jersey. But the only states that matter for my count are the ones I spent significant time in, and there were 19 of those, plus the District of Columbia.

When I was in university, I calculated that I’d been in about half of Illinois’ 102 counties, but my criteria was much looser: Some of them I’d only driven through, but not actually stopped in. If I had to guess, I’d say that I spent time in about the same percentage of Illinois counties as US states. Interestingly (for me), the reason the tally was as high as it was is because of politics. That will be a topic of its own sometime this year.

My average is worse internationally. Aside from the USA, I’ve been to Canada (two provinces), Australia (two states), New Zealand (duh!), United Kingdom (specifically, England, Wales and Scotland), Republic of Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. I’ve also landed and “de-planed” in Iceland, but I don’t count that. So, out of 196 countries in the world, I’ve only been to ten (counting both countries of which I’m a citizen).

Roughly 36% of Americans have passports, which is dramatically better than it used to be. However, 75% of New Zealanders have passports—more than twice as many. “World’s Greatest Travellers” and all that.

This year, if things go well, I may add one or two more US states to my tally, but there are no plans that would allow me to add more countries to my list this year. But neither list is finished—yet.

I coloured the map above. The original blank map is by Lokal_Profil [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.


Roger Owen Green said...

I DO love that map. I don't have any places in the US where I've only been to the airport (Chicago's O'Hare used to be that)

Jason in DC said...

You left out Arkansas. Yes we drove though it on our trip but we also spent some time in it as well. So I think you can add that to your map.

Roger Owen Green said...

I assume you're hoping to add Nevada. Where else?

Arthur Schenck said...

Jason: I debated with myself about Arkansas—and I'm pretty sure I've never said that before…

Anyway, the one thing that made me think about including it was the photo we took of your brother and sister-in-law standing at the "Welcome to Arkansas" sign and your brother saying, "This is so stupid—we don't even live in Arkansas!" Maybe I'll add it in the next revision.

Roger: I love most maps, truth be known. You're right, I'm hoping to add Nevada next trip, and we also thought we might have a stopover in Hawaii going to the US or, more likely, on the way home. At this point, though, anything's possible.