This post is sponsored by Uncommon Goods.
It's wedding anniversary month over here and I've been feeling really nostalgic lately (more so than usual, hah) thinking about all the years and memories that Brandon and I have shared together. It's our seventh wedding anniversary this year, but we've been together since December 1999 (shout out to the 90's!), so we're actually working on year sixteen as a pair. That's a whole lot of life together.
I was recently contacted by Uncommon Goods to take a look at their Gifts for Men ideas(check them out here), and I was delighted to find their scratch off national and world maps.
I knew it would be a fun way to celebrate our anniversary and all the places we have visited together. You see, many, many years ago (were we still in high school?) Brandon and I created a "together bucket list" that included places all over the world we wanted to visit and also included "visit all 50 states."
Well, after sixteen years together: six of which were long distance, seven of which were married, three kids, two rented apartments together, two owned homes together, two dogs, a cat, and a handful of fish (hold the partridge in a pear tree please), we've been slowly (ever so slowly) working our way on exploring the world together.
We started with our national map and felt compelled to set rules for how we would go about scratching the states off because we're big time nerds and serious about intention. I mean, it seems sort of like cheating to scratch off all of Texas when we've really only been to Austin. But Brandon reasoned that if we were only going to scratch the states off by how many cities we've visited, could we even scratch off our home state of Pennsylvania?! So our rules for scratching in USA were as followed:
- We had to have visited together (sorry Arizona, California, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Tennessee! Not yet!)
- We had to have at least slept over one night for the visit to count (drive-bys and airport lay-overs don't count)
- Even if it was in only one city in the whole state, it counts as a state visit! We want to get to all fifty after all :)
After laying out the ground scratch rules, we set to uncovering the states below the top scratch layer all the while chatting and reminiscing about the places that we've traveled together.
|Chicago, IL 2008|
|Oahu, HI 2009|
|Punxsutawney, PA 2007|
We pressed on to the world map (direct link here), and we were still talking about each of the places we've traveled together. It was the same rules as for the national map:
- We had to have visited together (sorry Canada, Honduras, Costa Rica, Nicaragua! Not yet!)
- We had to have at least slept over one night for the visit to count (drive-bys and airport lay-overs don't count. Sorry, South Korea!)
- Even if it was in only one city in the whole country, it counts as a country visit!
Since we also have the national map, we decided that for the integrity of the world map, USA would count even though we are still majorly working on visiting states. It's also a good visual for our kids who are trying to figure out how we fit in the world as Americans. So all of our USA was scratched off on our world map, but what I liked about the Uncommon Goods world scratch off map was that the state lines were visible, and if you only choose the world map alone, you would still be able to track your USA state visits within the whole world map view!
The memories went on as we scratched off the different countries we've visited together.
|Ayutthaya, Thailand 2011|
|Negril, Jamaica 2008|
Documenting our travels together has been on our married to do list for the past seven years! I am so glad that I took a look at the Uncommon Goods Gifts for Men page (check it out here yourself) to finally check this one off of our list, and just in time for our anniversary. As we worked on our map, I kept thinking of so many of you readers that I know travel as much or more than us. I'd love to see and be inspired by your maps!
Besides the scratch off maps, Uncommon Goods truly has unique and inspiring gifts that I've been writing down to remember for upcoming birthdays and the holiday season. and they are not only a great place to look for gifts, but also they're a company that you can feel good about supporting. A privately-owned retailer based out of Brooklyn, NY that feature hand-crafted products that are created with the environment, people, and animals in mind. Most of their products are created here in the USA and about a third incorporate recycled or upcycled materials. They are also a B Corp business meaning that they meet the rigorous standards meant to solve social and environmental issues including wage levels, giving back to the community, and environmental impacts. You can check out their Gift Ideas for Men page here and their Gifts Ideas for Women page here and their Personalized Gifts page here.
As for us and our travels plans for the near future? We are keeping it stateside in the next few years because of financial limitations and also #bigfamilylittlekidsprobs But we're thinking of doing another family road trip adventure soon and going Northeast (I wasn't kidding Maine Lobster) to spread our state wings a little more. I also have a inexplicable jonesing for New York/Adirondack exploring. We've also set a goal to visit DisneyWorld in the next two years (!) and Alaska in 2019 (!!!)
Here's to continuing to explore and discover with my favorite guy in the whole world.
Where you go I will follow.
Where you are, I am home.