In looking at all sorts of news and information about the state of New York, of course with the intention of bringing anything of interest to you here on on this very website, I've realized that I've been to more states in this fine country than I had realized.

Over the past few years, I have made a concerted effort to travel more and see more of the country--and the world--and kind of push myself out of my comfort zone a little bit. Thus far I've visited (and for these purposes, I'm considering "visited" to mean more than just stopping over on a flight or something, obviously; there needs to be actual time spent seeing a city or town within the state):

  1. Pennsylvania
  2. New Jersey
  3. Connecticut
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Maine
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Florida
  8. Virginia
  9. Maryland
  10. Washington
  11. Oregon
  12. California
  13. Tennessee
  14. Washington, D.C. (FINE it's not a state but I'm counting it anyway because I want to seem as worldly and traveled as possible)
  15. New York (obviously)

So, just over 25% of the states in the country. Not terrible, but I would like to see more and get a feel for what other parts of the country have to offer.

Here are a few of my picks for where I want to go next:

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Chicago, Illinois

I feel like not seeing Chicago is like not seeing New York or Los Angeles. It's so significant and so influential upon the culture of everything that surrounds it that it's really a definitive United States city. I've also got to see the place that brought us the 1990s Bulls, Italian beef sandwiches, and Kanye West.

(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Austin/Houston/Dallas/San Antonio, Texas

Okay, look, I know that there is far more cultural significance to Texas than JJ Watt of the Houston Texans, but when I searched "Texas" in the Getty Images picture library we use for the website, the first thing that came up was the gurney they use when they execute people via lethal injection--I think the defensive captain of a football team is a more flattering representative of the state than, you know, killing people.

What intrigues me about Texas is that it is so significantly a culture unto itself; there's a pride in Texas that exists and seems to have always existed on a plane of its own. Sure, everyone there seems pretty proud to be American, but they're equally proud to be Texan, and there seems to be so wide a variety of cultures and subcultures there that I have to check it out. Houston seems so different from El Paso, which seems so different from Austin. Plus, I really liked Friday Night Lights.

(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

New Orleans, Louisiana

This one I will be taking care of soon, as I'll be visiting New Orleans this coming Fall, but it's one that I've been hoping to get to for a long time. Gumbo. Jambalaya. Jazz music. Booze. Everything about New Orleans seems amazing, and it seems like one of those places (like Nashville, Tennessee), where it's just impossible not to get caught up in the spirit of the city and have an amazing time. I'll do the hard work of going there to party in October and report back to you with my findings. Because I'm that dedicated to you.

Anyway, there you have it. How about you? Where have you been? Where do you want to go?