I'm busy working on preparations for two big summer trips. One will take us to states we've visited before, while the second will be new-to-us states #41 and #42. I'm really excited.
Right now, our States Visited map (which I keep updated on my main travel page) looks like this, with ten states on the to-do list:
If we meet our goal of taking Trevor to all 50 states before he's 18, and I have every intention to do so, that map will be completely blue in two years. Until recently, I'd given no thought as to what I want to display in that space once the map is all filled in. One idea I had was changing the map to show how much time we've spent in each state. Obviously, the time we've spent in each state varies significantly and it would be interesting to see at a glance if we'd cumulatively spent less than 24 hours in a state (Delaware), 3-5 days (Kentucky), a week or two (Hawaii), or lived there (California). It might inspire me to book trips to places that didn't get much attention, or encourage me to spend even more time at places we've enjoyed for longer amounts of time.
However, I'm not sure what to count. Right now, the map shows the states we've visited as a family. If I make a map showing how much time we've spent in each state, what counts? Only trips with all three of us together? That seems very limiting, particularly as Steve and I traveled before Trevor was born, and I assume Trevor will eventually stop traveling everywhere with us when he's off to college and beyond. And what about travel that I do, like conferences and such, where Steve and Trevor don't go? Does that count? And what's the starting point? I couldn't possibly go back and reconstruct all the travels I did from birth to 30, when I met Steve and started documenting the travel we've done together.
Do I just take down the completed map and not replace it with anything?
All of this raises questions about my plans as a travel blogger two years from now. I fully intend to keep traveling throughout the US, as often as possible. Steve would like to visit more National Parks and I want to continue exploring museums, historical sites, and the best of what our not-yet-visited cities have to offer.
In the near future, I plan to put more work into the travel component of this blog to match the efforts I put into the crafting portion. To that end, I have started looking at attending travel blogger conferences. TravelCon starts tomorrow in Memphis and it looks incredible! Previous commitments prevent me from attending in person, but I got a Virtual Ticket and will have access to all of the keynotes, talks, and panels. Being there in person would probably be a lot more valuable, but attending virtually this year will help me decide if it makes sense to prioritize attending in-person next year.