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With intent

Back in December of 2007 I took a trip out to California from Charleston and went to Los Angeles and drove up the coast to San Francisco.

At the time, I was very excited because it meant that I got to tick CA off of my ‘States I’ve visited’ list which I think at the time took me to 12 out of 50. Little did I know then how very soon I would be ticking of all the others.

But here’s a strange twist … on the way there, the US Airways flight from Charlotte NC changed at Phoenix, Arizona.

“Ah!” I thought, “Here’s my chance to put a tick against Arizone””, and when I changed at the airport, I deliberately went outside to look at the mountains, breathed in the air, and then took a photo of the airport building from the outside and then went back in.

This (to me) very definitely counts as me ‘doing’ that state – more than can be said when I flew to New Zealand from England back in 2002, and I had to change planes at Sydney in Australia. Does that mean I’ve been to Australia. Well technically yes, but …. not really, no, right?

“You have to have intent to be there” reasoned my latest road-trip companion Paul as we drove down old Route 66 yesterday. “Which means you haven’t really been to Arizona. Your intent was to go to California, it just so happened that you had to change planes at Phoenix – doesn’t count”.

And I have to confess, I can kind of see his logic. Which means … that when we go to Four Corners – a monument where Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and Colorado all meet up and you can stand in all 4 states at once, THEN I’ll have been to Arizona .. and THEN I will have completely been to all lower-48 states with intent. Couple in my trip to Alaska last year, and that means I’ll have done 49 out of the 50, just leaving Hawaii …

So. What places have you been to, but not really been to because there was no intent?


And here’s a quick & dirty video of me a few hours later at four corners …

11 responses to “With intent”

  1. Ben French says:

    April 2008. My wife and I (and 8 of our friends) were using the WONDERFUL Bulgaria Air to return from a great skiing holiday. We had all booked seperately in random groups and when we arrived found that 4 of us had been bumped to a flight that was just leaving as they had overbooked – they didn’t think letting us know was an issue, Bulgarian customer service is not well known for it’s high levels of service (at one point the woman behind the desk disappeared for a smoke, we thought she had gone to help solve our query!). The only solution if we wanted to get back before work the next day was an 18 hour flight delay via Prague, with no Bulgarian (or Czech!) money. So we ended up flying to Prague and spending 4 hours in Prague Airport. Yes, i’ve “done” Prague, I even sent our other friends a postcard. But it could have been a lot more thorough!

  2. I have never been to Ohio or Indiana with intent. They are just a means to get to Illinois or Minnesota. In fact, I always dread driving through either state. I’m sure there are very nice places in the states, but they’ve always been the one leg of the trip I just want to end as quickly as possible. I never feel like I’m headed home until I get to Kentucky/Tennessee.

  3. Pat (aka "cheappd") says:

    My standards are similar to yours. For a state to count, stopping at the airport is not good enough. You must leave the airport in a vehicle to count as having been there. Having said that, the only two states I might have “cheated” on were Rhode Island and Idaho. I was staying in south suburban Boston and drove the freeway until I saw the “Welcome to RI” sign, took a picture, exited the freeway and turned around. I also drove from Yellowstone to Salt Lake City through Idaho for about 10 miles, never stopping, just to say I’d been there.

  4. Paul says:

    Well, I went to America (from England) for my 18th, to meet someone I met online. So, I’ve been to Chicago O’Hare and also Nashville, TN without staying there. More recently though, I’ve been to Oz. and changed in Dubai and Singapore.

  5. Raineth says:

    When I was young, I fell asleep in the car when the rest of my family came & went to North Dakota to get fireworks, the first time I wasnted to go to Canada I had to turn around at the border & go back because I had left my I.D. at home (this was before passport days). I went the wrong direction in the dark & ended up in South Dakota; got stuck in Newark for the night when I missed my connecting flight to Paris; got to tour the Helsinki airport before my layover flight arrived; I have stood at Four Corners as well (it didn’t cost anything, then!) but I didn’t visit Utah or Colorado right-proper; I used a bathroom in Michigan, and I don’t count my overnight in New York during the 2003 blackout because that… that was just too weird.

    I have been to many places within my own state without intent; Oh, Hey, there’s Sandstone! Bye, Sandstone! Driving through cities to get somewhere else… I think that’s kinda cheating unless you stop & get out, too.

    Cool, good brain fodder…

  6. MumTina says:

    What about the nights you have spent ‘In Tent’ Do they count? Seriously I changed planes at Cincinnati on my first flight to the USA, a 5hr wait in Ohio which does not count. In September I am going to New Zealand again, stopping in Hong Kong airport for 6 hrs only (I hope) in the middle of two consecutive 12 hour flights, not looking forward to this much.

  7. geofftech says:

    Camping: it’s very in-tents.

  8. “….Couple in my trip to Alaska last year, and that means I’ll have done 49 out of the 50, just leaving Hawaii …”

    Just leaving Hawaii….Just leaving Hawaii… Hmmmmm….

  9. cdmwebs says:

    Actually, MumTina, you spent five hours in Kentucky! The Cincinnati airport is in Kentucky. It’s real name is the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. Crazy, huh?

  10. geofftech says:

    Staying in an airport doesn’t count! Marshall Rules!

    Even leaving airport which your changing at (like i did), doesn’t count. You have to have intent to go there.

    Being at four courners counts for all 4 states it does! Because you have to drive out bloody miles in the middle of nowhere to get there – that’s intent!

  11. Richard says:

    I had a flight connection in Buenos Aires (Argentina) on the way from Chile back to the UK once. Was an interesting place to be as even the airport has the kind of latin/tango feel that you expect from that part of South America.

    But the most tenuous place I haven’t been has to be Amman (Jordan). My flight from New Delhi (India) to London had to set down there as one of the passengers had had a heart attack and needed immediate medical assistance. Upon landing, the plane was greeted by military entourage and we were all escorted from the plane to a lounge at gunpoint only to re-board the plane about 2 minutes later. So I haven’t done Jordan but if it is anything like the reception we got, I’m kind of glad I haven’t!

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