10 Things I Learned From Visiting 50 States

10) How to pump my own gas – I’m from New Jersey, what do you want from me?

9) It’s not the “middle of nowhere,” it’s the “middle of somewhere” – unless you’re in New Mexico or Southeastern California…that’s definitely the middle of nowhere.

8) Chicago is the coldest place on earth – Oh because it’s the windy city, right?  Nope.  It’s just stupid cold for no reason even without the wind.

7) Last minute travel is not more expensive – Assuming your destination is flexible, last minute travel is typically much cheaper.

6) One way rental cars can be cheaper – During the winter months most people take one way car rentals south, and the summer months they go north.  When too much inventory ends up in one location they will cut prices for one way car rentals up to 50% off their regular daily rates.

5) Hippies and hitchhikers are alive and well – With a migrating population of 3 per mile for 50 contiguous miles north of Eureka, CA I couldn’t quite understand where they were all headed.  It wasn’t until later that night I realized they were walking in the direction of Weed, CA.

4) Photography is more than just taking pictures – I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s something I fell in love with the past 1.5 years due to all my travel.  Photography is more than stamping a memory in time, it allows you to be in the moment and pay attention to the little stuff.  With every road trip I began to notice I would become much more attuned to the direction of the wind, warmth of the sun, sound of the leaves blowing, behaviors of the wildlife and how clouds can affect the lighting on a landscape.

3) Skiers and snowboarders riding fresh powder are the second happiest people on earth (see #1 for the happiest people on earth) – Don’t believe me?  Ok, then you tell me the last time you heard 100+ adults yell “Yippee!” and “WooHoo!” in a single day.

2) Open roads give you perspective – It’s easy to forget how big this world really is.  You can drive for 12 straight hours and barely cover the width of a pinhead on a world map.  When you realize this, it becomes easy to see that most “problems” in life are petty.

1) Gratitude is the key to happiness – Having the right perspective gives you the ability to express gratitude.  The people who are thankful for what they have, no matter how much or how little it may seem, will always be the happiest people on earth.

Like what you read?

Sign up below for our weekly recap newsletter.