I love lists, travel lists particularly. The fact that I just crossed Idaho off my US states visited list is exciting for me. But there are bigger and better lists out there, including one at www.MostTraveledPeople.com that covers states, provinces and countries to the tune of 872 possible places to cross off the list. Sure, the list is arbitrary in many ways. Why is Sudan split into three regions while Malta doesn’t have three entries for each of its islands, for example? But any list is going to have such issues. As best as I can tell the list at MTP is the most detailed of its type on the internet. The level to which it identifies states, provinces, districts, prefectures and regions is on the edge of alarming – and annoying – in its specificity.
On a recent flight from Phoenix to Chicago I happened to sit next to a guy who is nearing 600 of the destinations on the list. He’s in the top 10 overall on the site and has some great stories. He countered my tale of a day–trip to Hamburg with a similar story except that his involved driving to a resort 20km north of town, over-nighting and then taking a helicopter from the nearby heliport to Helgoland just off the coast (there is a ferry for folks on a budget) just to pick up another check-mark on the map. All in all some great conversation to pass the time on the flight.
It did bring up the discussion of what it means to actually have traveled somewhere. Does sitting in the airport count? What if you go outside the airport and come right back in? Or do you have to do something more? I’m of the camp that says you have to actually do something, not just be passing through, but that is certainly up for debate. And with some places having only once weekly service from a cargo ship that also rents out berths for folks traveling through, being able to call a place done without having to stay too long probably makes some sense. Still, I don’t consider myself having visited Colorado nor Utah yet as my only time on the ground was passing through airports in those states on connections.
I’ve played with the maps on PassportStamp.com and TravBuddy.com I’ve filled out profiles on FlightMemory.com (I haven’t updated that one for a while) and OpenFlights.org. Each has its pros and cons. And now I’ve got a different version of a world map to fill in. I figure I should have something near 100 of the destinations covered based on states and provinces visited (I’ve listed 85 so far and have a bunch more to enter once I figure out exactly where I was). And I’d have one more if I can convince them to separate out Gozo from the main island of Malta.
P.S. – The title of the post sounds better if spoken in the style of an XX commercial; the stories from that night are probably better in that context, too.
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I knocked off my 45th US state this week when I spent two days in Minneapolis (does working count as doing something?).
The state that I spent the least amount of time in: West Virginia about one minute. That was when I was driving up the east coast from Florida to DC and noticed that I-81 would take me within about 20 miles of the border to W. Virginia. Does a happy dance when I crossed the state border count as doing something?
I really should try to finish the US states this year. The Dakotas, Oklahoma, a few states in New England… The badlands, tree coloring in the fall, and … Well, what’s there to do in Oklahoma? Maybe the tall grass prairie…
Sudan is just a wee bit bigger than Malta 😉
You need a lot of time if you want to do something meaningful at every place on the list. For example when I went to Niue it had just 1 flight a week. Of course I flew right back because I can’t afford to spend a week at every remote destination.
Other places are worse with just 1 or 2 ships a year. When Paul Smith (the twitchhiker) tried to get to Campbell Island he’d missed the only boat going there for a year by just a couple of weeks.
There’s a great Grauniad article regarding Charles Veley, who I believe is No. 2 on the list:
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