Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mazda USA in collaboration with DriveShop. Thoughts and opinions are 100% our own.
If you’ve followed our blog for awhile, you know that our journey in parenthood hasn’t been the easiest. My bout with postpartum depression and anxiety lead us to make the decision to not have any more babies. That decision was so difficult for us and we both would have ideally wanted another child. We knew though that ultimately for our relationship and our kid’s lives that it was the best decision. And that’s what parenting is all about right? Making hard decisions to end up with the best decision for our personally family. After making that hard decision, we decided on something that would also be difficult, but also lead to a ton of memories and so much fun.
Our Quest to 50
Last year after our decision, we decided that we would make a goal to visit all 50 states with our girls by the time they are 18. We were going to stop making excuses and fit it into our budget to visit at least one new state every single year (hopefully more). Andrew has traveled more than I, but we both agreed that we don’t travel as much as we should. We want our girls, especially as homeschoolers, to get out and explore their world and not be stuck in a handful of states.
After our initial conversation, we didn’t talk much about it. Then, we received an invitation to Disney this year. We started up our conversation again and decided that we really needed to make it happen. One state was being crossed off our list for the year with our Florida trip, but we also realized that in order to make it to all 50 before the youngest turns 18, we need to do more than one a year.
Honestly, we’re still working on what will count as an official visit. We initially said that it would be an overnight stay, but we’ve been to a few states with the girls already (Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New York for example) where we’ve spent a day, but not necessarily an entire night. I would count this as visiting the states, but if we make an overnight stay the requirement, then those wouldn’t count.
So, here’s what we’ve decided for now:
- Airport layovers can’t count
- Have to spend at least 2 hours in the state during daylight hours
- Complete one activity in the state that we can’t find somewhere else
- For example – we can’t eat at a National chain restaurant and it count. But a zoo or aquarium that is only located in that state would count
- Have to physically get out of the car
- Have to take a photo at a landmark that identifies the state in some way
- We don’t have to all take the same trip for it to count
From this point on, we also want to grab a postcard and create something with them, but we haven’t done that up to now.
Where are we currently?
Technically, according to our requirements, we’re at five. We’ve never gotten postcards at any of the states we’ve visited, and a few we’ve been to we haven’t taken a photo or done an activity, so this is a pretty fresh start.
Before we made these requirements, the baby has been in 7 states and the big girl in 9. However, we’re excited to start fresh with these requirements and see where our trips will take us.
Safety and Comfort Matters
We know for a lot of our trips, we’ll be driving and we know that comfort counts. We recently had the opportunity to check out the 2017 Mazda CX-9 and we loved it. It starts at $31,520 and the fully loaded model was $45,655. It’s visually gorgeous inside and out.
The Mazda CX-9 is a is a mid-size crossover SUV that has an option third row allowing seating for up seven. Our travel possibilities are endless with the CX-9’s all-weather capability including i-ACTIV all-wheel drive. Traveling with littles can be scary, but I loved that the CX-9 has six airbags to protect those in all three rows, as well as blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. I also was thoroughly in love with a new feature I haven’t seen before. The speed limit and your speed are displayed directly on the windshield. No more looking down or wondering what the speed limit is currently. Learn more about the Mazda CX-9.
We can’t wait to see where our travels take us next and hope you’ll travel along.