My 2017 Travel Goals: 55 for 55

Account Executive
Published 11/29/16
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When I pinned a 2017 calendar on the wall today, the fifth day of the year jumped right off the page. If my birth certificate is accurate, I’ll turn 55 that day. I know what you’re thinking – 55 is just a number and age is simply a state of mind — but no, this palindromic gem is much more than that.

55 means I can move into one of those senior retirement communities. I won’t, but I could, and that’s nice to know.

‘55 was the only year the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series. They’re not my team, but I was born in Brooklyn, and that’s good enough reason to hold a cold pint and salute Dem Bums.

’55 was the year Gates and Jobs were born . . . and it would be a lot harder to write this story if I didn’t have a Mac or a PC. I’ll cheers them, too!

55 was the National Speed Limit the day I got my drivers license. I’ll have to “be that guy” for at least a mile and go 55 in the fast line. Okay, a half-mile.

I probably should stop jibber-jabbering about 55 nonsense and get on with writing this travel blog . . . but I’m kind of obsessed with it all. So how about I tell you my 55 travel goals for 2017? 

Here goes:

I’m going to find 11 truly unique alternatives to hotels: a tree house, a riverboat, a teepee, a lighthouse, a caboose . . . As I think about it, the research itself will be a lot of fun. 

I’m going to find 11 new ways to get from A to B. Definitely some new Amtrak routes, maybe a Greyhound trip, a flight with a bush pilot, a ride with dog-sled team . . . this will be a challenge — a head-scratching but mouth-watering challenge with true rewards.

I’m going to visit 11 new event centers: ballparks, concert halls, theatres. There’s nothing better than enjoying live sports and arts while on the road. My head is spinning with possibilities right now: The 2017 World Baseball Classic, Santa Fe Outdoor Opera, Burning Man, Bonnaroo . . . no shortage of possibilities here.

Naturally, finding never-been-to places has to be part of this. I’m going to commit to 20 of them! At least one will be a new country to satisfy a personal quest made 20 years ago of “two feet in at least one new nation every year.” Visiting a new National Park is a must (Isle Royale NP in Lake Superior has been calling for years). The U.S. has 55 states and territories . . . I’ve only been to 53. Hello, American Samoa!

What’s that, 53? Okay, for the last two, I will find two couples, or two families, who would like to go somewhere, anywhere, but just can’t afford to go. I will give them the gift of travel: gas, food, lodging and a bunch of adventure coupons. Maybe I meet them serendipitously, maybe I hear about them on the road somewhere. Eyes open, ears open, and I’m open for suggestions.

Alright, I’m done . . . thanks for indulging me. Fire away with the old man jokes.