16 States and Counting

I love travel, and I love seeing the differences even within the same country! As this starts my third year in states, I have been asked questions like “Do you miss home?” “Are you planning on staying in America?”….Well, I really don’t know, but the ideal job would be something that allows me to travel, as well as having time to see my family, but with the nowadays foreign policies, this wouldn’t be easy.

When I first landed in America, I was eager to visit the all 50 states, but the reality says no. Without high-speed train and other convenient local transportations, it wouldn’t be easy and cheap to make it to all 50, but at least, I made it to 16 in 2 years (not counting the summer when I were in China, and not including the states that I only went to connect flights) And seriously, I can’t even pick which is my favorite, because each state is so unique! And here there are! ( Alphabetic Order, so don’t judge me that I prioritize some states…)

  1. California: the wild and the calm. The week when I was in California, the weather was so wild that I got to see sunshine, rain storm, rainbow all in one week! Isn’t that crazy and amazing the same time?  By the way, I did get a taste from In-and-Out Burger, also tried food from Taco truck! Can I count myself as a certain percent of Californian? Heeheehee.
  2. Florida: Ok, my experience with Florida is quite interesting, because I have never “planned” to visit this state because I don’t know anyone who lives here and able to host me. But God has planned this before I could, and I will come back to Florida in June for a 9-month summer mission project. The wildest travel experience I have ever had! ( Without this awesome group, I would never make my way to Florida!)
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  3. Illinois: windy city Chicago, and I did have fun at the  Bean! Oh, that was my first experience where creepy stuff kept on showing up. Because I just happened to be there the week before Halloween. Umm, can you find where I was standing? Gonna be tricky!
  4. Indiana: Kurt Vonnegut Museum, People’s Square (if I remember correct) , NCAA DII Championship game (West Lib men’s team did make it to the champion game in 2014, and I got to watch)
  5. Kentucky:Didn’t get much travel experience in this state, other than the Creation Museum. At least I got to say “I have been to Kentucky”! (Sorry, no picture from this state:-D )
  6. Maryland: This girl had too much fun in Maryland, several hiking trips, National Aquarium, worship on the farm, always wish I could visit Maryland again sometime!(This picture is from a regular street in Fredrick, MD and I loved its uniqueness)
  7. Massachusetts: Harvard is probably a big deal for MA, and I so much love the metro system in Boston, so so convenient!! Oh hey, I just caught on time for a guided campus tour!
  8. Michigan: An unplanned trip, it was great to meet the folks from Homeless Angels! They really did a great job! (And yes, it was freezing cold at that point !)
  9. Minnesota: Probably so far the only state in America that I have visited in both summer and fall. State Fair, Live Animals during a Christmas service, Sound of Music, Summer outdoor symphony, Mr Peanut, Mississippi Headwaters, Zorbaz, Cru Winter Conferences….too many memories with the northern state!
  10. New York: For two years, I have never been to NYC, only went to Niagara Falls with International club. And it was amazing! It was so breathtaking with these fall colors!
  11. Ohio: There are Ohio State fans, and there are folks who joke about Ohio, with this being the state that just cross the river from West Virginia, and probably the only state that I have connections by the river, to the north east, to the west, and I was so fortunate to have so many memories in this state, professional baseball game, Underground Museum, Sugarcreek, Cheese Factory, …I couldn’t even name it all. (Shh, I have heard that the well-known science fiction novelist Joe is also in this state )
  12. Pennsylvania: I have visited the west (Pittsburgh), the east ( Philadelphia), the north (Edinboro), but literally skipped the middle.
  13. Tennessee: Another state that I got to see the east (Nashville), the west (Memphis), and skipped the middle. After seeing the Mississippi headwaters in MN, I was amazed by how wide the river has become when flowing from its headwaters to Memphis, TN! Beale Street, Hard Rock café, Memphis Zoo and its China garden, J Brooks coffee warehouse…
  14. Washington D.C.:Probably no one doesn’t know that this is America’s capital, but since I didn’t get a guided tour at White House or other signature buildings, the highlight of my Washington D.C. trips were those FREE national museums, FREE zoo, and I loved seeing giant panda there, it makes me miss home and feel like home the same time. Oh, and Chinatown!! Nowhere else can I get better Chinese food than at the nation’s capital!
  15. West Virginia: It’s hard to say “love” to this wild and wonderful state! I love its fall colors, but it stinks when I wanna travel to the other end of state. What makes this state more memorable is that two of my experiences at weddings all happened in this state! Almost heaven, West Virginia~~~This just happened to stuck in my mind.
  16. Wisconsin: Technically, I haven’t made a trip this state yet, but occasionally I passed by here and saw this amazing bridge from distance. (Bonus is you can name it!)

Side note: This is just a very raw conclusion of my experiences with 16 of the 50 states in United States, during the time, I was able to re-unite with old friends and meet new people, for some, I may never get to meet again, but I surely value these old and new friendships, and I’m very glad to meet you in my life. “Study abroad” experience would be so boring without you, you are not only in my stories, you helped writing my stories!


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