Apparently I suck at traveling

Not literally. I’ve actually gotten really good at traveling.

The part that I apparently suck at is traveling to new places. I feel like I’m always on the move, driving all over the place and constantly getting on and off planes. I have a folder of screenshots of electronic boarding passes that has nearly fifty files in it just from the past few years, and that obviously doesn’t include all the paper boarding passes I’ve used. I’ve become such an expert at traveling that I know how to streamline and optimize each step of the process, making sure I maximize my comfort and waste as little time as possible.

But then I went to actually map out my travels on a map of the United States of America, and it looks like I’ve barely been anywhere. Apparently, I just travel to the same locations over and over again. The place where I go to the most, Southern California, is actually a place where I’ve literally lived before, so on a map, it doesn’t really look like I’ve “traveled” there much at all.

Adam Parkzer's travel map – Last updated December 31, 2019

The map is pretty self-explanatory, especially considering there’s a legend, but here’s a quick overview. The house emojis represent locations where I’ve lived, and the graduation cap emoji represents where I went to university—these two locations take the place of a ton of destination pins simply because I naturally move around those areas a lot due to the fact that I live there.

The destination pins are actual instances of travel where I went to a par­tic­u­lar location away from my home. The pins can be associated with a par­tic­u­lar event or convention, which has been labeled. The pins can also just be locations where I’ve gone to just to spend time in that area, like when I go to visit friends for no par­tic­u­lar reason.

And finally, going through a state or stopping by a state still technically counts as visiting that state, so I have car and plane emojis. Car emojis mean I drove through that area; I count it as visiting because I usually take very regular rest stops and get local food. Plane emojis mean I stopped at that par­tic­u­lar location on a layover; I usually take non-stop flights, so the only state I’ve visited purely off a layover so far is Utah. I do not consider flying over a state as visiting it, so that’s not included in the map.

As I sit here waiting for the clock to strike 2020 (and falling asleep while doing so, because I usually sleep pretty early), I’m thinking that visiting more new places could be a new year’s resolution… but then I think back to the time when I was a little kid where I made a new year’s resolution to never have another new year’s resolution again, because new year’s resolutions encourage people to wait until the new year to do some­thing new and consequently be lazy towards the end of each year. I was, and still am, under the philosophy that every day is important, and if you decide that you need to do some­thing good, you should set an immediate goal and do it right away, rather than wait for the new year.

So I’ve decided that it’s my goal for the foreseeable future to try and go out and experience the country some more. I recently went to DreamHack Atlanta for no particularly important reason simply because I wanted to see what Georgia was like, and I think it will be valuable for my growth as a person to keep doing more things like that.

I doubt that I will literally book completely pointless vacations to completely random places just for the sake of visiting more states, but I’m hoping that I will get more opportunities to attend conventions and other events being hosted in states I have not yet visited.

Happy almost new year.