As this post publishes, I’ll be headed to Houston, Texas, for a work trip. My 2nd trip to this particular city in 2014, my 7th trip of the year overall, and the 199th trip in the 12 years I’ve been working this gig. Yesterday as part of my Gratitude Monday post I included a snapshot of the map I have on the wall of my office where I’ve kept tally of everywhere I’ve been. My friend Yale said he wanted to see the entire map, so I threw together a half-ass attempt to do so. You can kind of see the pins — mostly red ones, though there are yellow, green, blue, white, and even a couple black, evident if you know where to look.
Nor surprisingly the bulk of the work has been done east of the Mississippi. I’ve always kind of thought that the place I’ve gone the most is the Chicago area. However, turns out the state I’ve visited most is California, which kind of surprised me (22 trips). The Chicago area — or at least the Illinois part of it — is second with 21. However, if you include Gary, Indiana (which I think one should, since I’ve always flown into Chicago to get there and it’s no farther from Chicago proper than some of the other suburbs I’ve visited), then it does indeed push the whole Chicago zone out front with 24. Texas is next with 16, then Wisconsin with 13. It’s only fitting that it looks like trip #200 will likely be to California (the LA area), if my schedule holds.
I spend a lot of time turning my chair sideways and just staring at that map, looking at the holes where there are few if any pins, and wanting to go there. The vastness of West Texas, for example. I’d like to fly into Nashville and make a driving loop through Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The South Carolina and Georgia coasts. And don’t even get me started on Alaska.
As for my system of pins, it’s highly scientific. Red is for work trips. Yellow are places I’ve been for work as well as places Julia and I have visited. White are places that I visited while on a work trip, but separate from the work trip (like taking a vacation day while on a work trip to hit Yosemite park, or wrapping up a day early and driving up into Maine from a work trip to Philly). I’m really hoping that, if it stays busy as the weather gets nicer, I can add a few more of these.
Green pins are places Julia and I have visited, while blue are places we visited and actually spent the night. I’ve thought about stabbing the map with the places the band has played as well, except that most of the cities are already accounted for . . . and I’m out of pin colors.
I wonder if there is some kind of app that I could plug the spreadsheet where I track this stuff into and it would throw the data out onto an online version of this map? Seems feasible, doesn’t it? Someone needs to get on that. . . .