I have been on a quest to build memories in all 50 states, and decided a few months ago to use some time this summer to finally visit five states that had eluded me for some time. When I knew that my parents would be in Chennai over the summer, I thought about their sweet SUV that would be lonely in Illinois. So, I flew to Chicago on Friday, August 4th, and started driving back to California the next day. In the last 10 days, I have visited Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Washington ... and my trip isn't even over! When I started the trip I was at 43 states and when I crossed into Couer d'Alene, Idaho from Montana, I fist bumped the heavens for making it to all 48 continental states. While Hawaii and Alaska are still on the horizon, I feel like I know so much more about America and my fellow Americans from the process. I was apprehensive about driving through some rural parts of the U.S. - knowing that many folks aren't down with the brown - but that fear was a bit misplaced because in a truly ironic way, a lot of folks thought I was either Latino or Native American :)

Shyam Sriram
Oak Park, Illinois
Photo Location
The Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota
Santa Barbara, California

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