Sunday, September 23, 2018

"Travel Makes One Modest, You See What A Tiny Place You Occupy In The World"

The famous French novelist Gustave Flaubert once said, "travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world."  I believe those words to be self-evident and entirely true.

I've been a very lucky person with the privilege to travel all over the United States, Canada and even overseas.

When I was young my family instilled in me a desire to see the United States and to travel as much of it as I possibly can.  And, I live by that personal motto still today.

Before I had a memory to remember such things my family took me to Disneyland in a stroller.  I've seen the pictures, which have helped me create the memories I don't remember from the actual visit.

Back to today, the year 2018 has been a year blessed with the ability to travel far and wide in the central U.S.A. visiting friends in many places.  I was able to travel back to Iowa, Missouri and Illinois where I grew up and spent my college years.  I visited old friends I hadn't seen in a long time.

And, since we were nearby we took a short drive over to the state of Indiana to see my good friend Brenna Donnelly-Ford.  It was a wonderful visit.

There is a great website that enables you to make your own maps to show where you have been.

[Here is the web link to make your own map: ].

Here is the map of states I've been to (shaded in deep red) so far in 2018:

But again, it was my family that really impressed upon me the desire to see the nation and even the world.  Through their help as well as my own desires once I got into university and even more still after I was out on my own; I've explored the United States as much as I can.  

I'm very lucky that I've been to 42 states.  I plan someday to visit all 56 states and territories.

Here is a map of all the states I've visited (shaded in deep red) in my 44 years:

In addition to the United States my family took me to Canada when I was young.  The first province I visited was Ontario across the river from International Falls, MN.  

Since then I've been able to travel to the west coast of Canada including BC when I took the "Railroading in the Rockies" train tour from Vancouver, BC to Banff and Jasper National Parks.  It was beautiful!  

I've also been to the gorgeous capitol of Canada, Parliament Hill in Ottawa, ON.  I've even tried my education of the French language in Quebec.

Here's the map of all the provinces I've visited ( ) in Canada:

Back in 2012 I had the privilege to overcome two fears I had for many years.  The first fear was flying over water.  For some reason it scared me severely.  The other fear I had was being on a plan for more than three hours, thinking that I would be bored and get claustrophobic.  

So, I got my passport and made a reservation to fly to the United Kingdom.  Once I got in the air, I quickly got over my fear of flying over water, since we were over the Atlantic Ocean for about 8 hours.  And, I got past my fear of being on a plane for a long period of time.  The time actually went by very quickly.  

I flew on British Airways from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Heathrow International Airport in London, UK.  The staff kept us fed, gave us all we could drink and a computer at my seat made the time go by so quickly.  And, I only took a brief nap the entire flight, I was too excited!  

Then came one of the most exciting moments of my life, the pilot told us to look out the window to see the first land of Europe.  We were flying over Ireland near Cork.  It was the first land I've ever seen outside of North America.  It was a magical moment for me.

That brings me to what nations I've visited over the years.  I've been to three and you can see them on this international map:

Feel free to share your map made from the website or just post at the bottom of this blog story or on Facebook how many states and nations you've been too.  As the years go by I hope to add a lot more.

Share your thoughts with me, I'd love to hear them.  And, have fun with the map link!

Bryan W. Rupp