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With the (recent) turn of the year, thoughts are turned to travel completed during the past year. As many of you know, one of my travel bucket list goals is trying to visit all 3,143 counties in the United States. As part of that goal, I belong to a group called the Extra Miler Club, whose motto is
The shortest distance between 2 points is no fun
It’s that sort of thinking that leads to the following route between Las Vegas and Phoenix
which is the route my son and I took on our 2015 trip to Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and points in between
Reviewing 2022 travel
At the end of each year, I like to review 2 questions to talk about my county-related travel. Here are a few links to previous years’ trip reports though obviously I have not been super consistent 🙂
- A travel goal I’ve done every year for the past 21 years (2018)
- A travel goal I’ve done every year for the past 19 years (2016)
- A travel goal I’ve done every year for the past 18 years (2015)
Number of states and counties visited
Looking back through my travel I realized I visited a new county in only 5 different states. I did visit a total of 15 states (CA / CO / FL / ID / IN / KY / LA / MD / MT / NJ / NY / OH / OR / TX / WA), though some of those were “only” airport stops 🙂
Here is a recap of some of our family’s trips
- April – we took an Easter weekend trip to an Airbnb about an hour away. This is the same Airbnb we went to a few years ago and had a great time once again.
- April – my daughter and I went to New York City for a long weekend trip. We took a side by side picture in Times Square at the same spot where I took my older daughter a few years ago. They are almost exactly the same age. (SEE ALSO: A 10 year old’s Top 10 things to do in New York City)
- May – Columbus, Ohio for a work conference
- June – my son went with his Boy Scout troop to Philmont New Mexico (unfortunately they wouldn’t let me use miles and points to fly him out there :-D)
- July – I had a work conference in San Francisco so I took the opportunity to stop “on the way” to Boise Idaho where I spent 4 days driving around for counties. Also had an ice cream baked potato. Also visited the Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon site and maybe my most unexpected hotel upgrade ever.
- August – went with my son out to Utah to drop him off at college. “Hiking the Y” (on my travel bucket list) was no joke!
- September – Orlando for FinCon. We turned this into a mini-vacation as we took our 2 youngest kids who enjoyed the waterpark at the hotel
- November – New Orleans for CardCon
- November – Houston to visit family
Here is my updated counties visited map (2022 counties in the darkest shade of blue)
It was 59 new counties in all – only my 12th best year and way behind the 240 new counties I visited in 2007, 210 counties in 2015 and 182 in 2016. I didn’t leave the country in 2022 but I’ve already got plans for 2023!
Here is my airline flight map for 2022, courtesy of Open Flights – only 20 segments and 15,149 miles
(SEE ALSO: What’s the best site to track your flights?)
Consecutive years with a county
Someone also posted that …”I have collected at least one new county every year since 1985 (that’s 31 years in a row). I’m the tortoise, not the hare. How many of you have a longer streak?”
I looked through my notes and found that ever since 1996, when I spent the entire year in the Dominican Republic as a Mormon missionary, I have gotten at least one new county every year! From 1997 to 2022 is 26 consecutive years! Some of those were close – 1999’s only new county was a trip to Phoenix, Arizona (Maricopa County!) to visit my sister. 2006’s visit to every county in Ohio in only 24 hours was the start of this travel goal!
I know that this type of “boring” domestic travel isn’t what you’ll read about on many travel blogs where it seems like all we talk about are first class flights and 5 star hotels, but this is still travel, and I’m sure that many of you travel like this too!
Looking forward to 2023
So far in 2023, we have a few trips already booked
- Heading to Boston for the MIT Mystery Hunt
- Finally getting my 50th state of Hawaii after our March 2020 trip was canceled due to COVID. See also Booking the Turkish Airlines 7,500 Mile Sweet Spot: How I Did It
- Heading to Japan (by way of Egypt, UAE and Korea) with my son – Booking a (nearly) round the world Aeroplan award for 2023
And a few other ones in the planning stages. I’m hoping that 2023 will be an amazing travel year for our family
So what about you? How many new countries, states or counties did you visit in 2022, or what other travel goals did you meet in 2022? What do your plans look like for 2023?
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