Undiscovered Country

There are millions of places on this planet where you have never been. Think about that for a second. Of all the places you have been in your life, there exist places you have never and will never experience. Don’t think too hard on that, because if you love to travel like I do, it will probably depress the hell out of you. The key here is to take advantage of the time you have to explore places you never would have  thought to explore.

Milk Street outside the Portland Regency HotelHere’s your homework: take out a pad and pencil and make two columns. In column one, beginning with your hometown and working outward, write down all the places you’ve been in your life. In the second column, list the places you wish you’d seen but never took the time to. I have a feeling that deep down, column two looks a lot better than column one. Why haven’t we seen these undiscovered places (well, undiscovered by us, at least)? Don’t you think it’s time?

Here are 3 places I wish I’d explored—and plan to explore—in the very near future.

  1. Portland, Maine – I lived there for over a year, and got to explore so many parts of this ocean front city, the largest in Maine. The culture, while a bit milquetoast, is fascinating, and there are thousands of parks, streets, buildings (abandoned and inhabited), mansions, and people with super rich histories. I only live an hour away, but now I have the entire rest of the state to explore too. Wooboy, this could take awhile.
  2. Hudson River State Hospital, Poughkeepsie, NY – I went to college across the street from this hulking monolith of a creepy ass place. It started out as a hospital that took over 25 years of construction that was never completed. For a good period of time, it was a mental facility as well, which adds to the place’s creepy points. While I was in the area, the hospital was still open, though most of the facility was unused and falling into disrepair. The Hudson River State Hospital is a favorite stop for urban explorers, but it would seem that because of the high traffic of explorers—and I assume because of a 2007 fire—police monitor the grounds on a regular basis. It’s a shame, because this place truly fascinates me.
  3. Jerome, Arizona October 2010 by Dan Cavallari

  4. Jerome, Arizona – A former mining town, Jerome’s population of 353 sit perched on the side of Cleopatra Hill in Yavapai County in Arizona. In the late 1800s, the town was home to miners working at the nearby United Verde Mine, where they pulled out copper, silver, and gold. Jerome was known to be the place for prostitution, gambling, and good times. Today, the town is a bit more mellow, but you’ll still find plenty of bikers, bars, and booze around. My favorite part of this place is to climb through the wreckage at the “ghost town” near the mine entrances. So much to explore here, so I can’t wait to go back.

What are some places you want to explore?

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