I am saying it here and now, speaking my goals into existence, vision boarding it, and making it happen. I am going to visit 30 states before I turn 30. 

Why 30 States Before 30?

Honestly, why not?? I haven’t traveled much, and why not make it more of a challenge? I want to see all 50 states, but between COVID and having to actually pay student loans, I feel like all fifty in six years is a little bit much. 

Also, since the start of the lockdown in NJ back in March, I have really been missing the ability to travel. I didn’t travel a ton before quarantine, but there was always the ability and opportunity to do so. Once that ability was taken away though, I appreciated it so much more. When it’s save to travel again, I want to take advantage of the opportunity, and see more of the US!

What Counts as a Visit?

There’s always some debate on what actually counts as visiting a state. Some say, just stepping outside and breathing the air. I’ve driven to Florida twice, and technically stopped in every state along the way. But I don’t think a gas station in the middle of South Carolina with a good bathroom and cheap Chipwiches reeeeaaalllllyy counts as seeing South Carolina.

Others say at least one full hour in a state during the day, be outdoors at least part of the time, set foot on the actual ground, and go beyond the state’s border, not counting airports. I like to use that set of rules as a guide, get into a state and really do my best to see it for the time that I’ll be there

States I’ve Seen

So far I have been to 8 states, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, and Kentucky. And, if it counts as a state, Washington DC. For the sake of this, I’m going to count it! So I’m eight in, with 22 to go! 

Future Travel Plans

For the time being, I’m not in a huge rush to get out and travel to new states. I’d rather play it safe at home with COVID going on. That being said, my plan of attack is to start local. I’m from New Jersey, so my next states to visit will include Delaware, Connecticut, and other New England states. I’m really looking forward to Maine, especially after Katie Sturino spent the last few months there!

Traveling in COVID-19

While I’m eager to get started on reaching 30 states before 30, I do not intend to travel to new states while COVID-19 is still rampant in the US. New Jersey has a travel advisory list with 33 states, and US deaths are still the highest in the world. For my safety and the safety of those around me, I will not be traveling any more this year.

I did recently travel to Pennsylvania, but stayed in a family home, cooked at home, stayed as socially distant from others as I could, and wore my mask any time I was out of the house. It was super stressful, and until the COVID-19 cases get closer to zero across the US, I don’t see myself doing any more leisure traveling any time soon. 

If you are traveling in COVID, please be aware of local cases, get tested before you leave and when you get back home. Wear your masks, social distance, and be safe!

Is anyone else going to take on the 30 states before 30 challenge? How many states have you been to?

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