The 50 State Sign Challenge |Inspiration Indulgence

Happy Monday, all!

I’ve been SOOOO excited to share with you this post for SOOOO long!! It has been a masterpiece in the works for forevs, and I’m excited to share with you a HUGE part of my blog- and my LIFE.

So, to start off, many of you know that my boyfriend and I love to travel together. It’s our thing. We have never been out of the country together (yet), but we have been all over the U.S. There is just something special about traveling across the country with your significant other. Maybe it’s the new experiences shared and the bonds created by spending long hours together, but traveling has brought us closer. When Trevor and I first started traveling together in the beginning of our relationship, we made a pact together to see all 50 states before we have kids. Sounds cool, right?

That’s when things got complicated. As if seeing all 50 states before we reproduce isn’t hard enough, Trevor came up with an idea to complicate the journey even more. He proposed that we not only see all 50 states, but get a picture by each state entrance sign.

This is actually easier said than done. Anyone can see all 50 states, but it takes a trooper to get a picture by each state entrance sign. Why? Because getting pictures by those state signs IS HARD!!!!!! Finding each sign accessible despite traffic and location takes a lot of meticulous planning. The state entrance signs are usually located in area where we risk our lives and nearly die need to be located in a safe area where we can hop out of our vehicle and get the picture. For example, some of the signs are cast above a highway which makes it impossible to get that particular sign, causing us to research a different route to get the sign.

Luckily, Trevor is great at planning. He will and has spent countless hours on Google maps researching where the most accessible signs are located for picture-taking. He was a geography major so I’m blessed in that department…. Lord knows I wouldn’t be able to plan for something this; I’m the most direction-challenged person you will ever meet.

The nice thing about this challenge is that many of the signs we group together to knock off the list at once. For example, this past summer we took a huge road trip out West and were able to get 11 signs alone. A few months later, we took a weekend road trip get the border states around Wisconsin. Bam. Knocking states off left and right!

It took awhile for me to get over my fear of looking stupid in public. Sometimes we would have to take pictures by signs in very awkward areas….such as along a busy highway where we are SOOOOOOO OBVS TOURISTS and getting honked at. Embarassing. Or that time when we had to get our OWN state, Wisconsin. Even more awkward.  I used to feel embarrassed about parking on the edge of the highway to quick run out of the truck to get the sign, but now I could care less. I’m over caring what other people think about me!

Together Trevor and I have been to over 30 states, but we didn’t start taking pictures of state entrance signs until about a year into our relationship. Right now, we have 19 state entrance sign pictures.

Check out the signs we have thus far:

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You may notice that Trevor is pictured in four of these state entrance sign pictures instead of me. Why? I used to have pictures of myself in front of all 19 signs…….buuuuut at some point I ended up dropping my phone in the middle of the ocean during a whale watching excursion 2 miles off the coast of San Diego and lost ALL of my pictures that I didn’t save. I CAN’T EVEN MAKE THIS UP!!!!! Luckily, I only lost 4 pictures. We eventually are going to have to backtrack a bit and “re-do” the pictures that I lost. These states that I lost are close to Wisconsin so it shouldn’t be a huge inconvenience.

This has been an amazing, life-changing journey that I am so blessed to be a part of. I have to hand it to my wonderful soulmate for sharing the same wonderful sense of adventure with me, and for all of his hard work planning and budgeting to make this happen for us. He truly is the mastermind behind our travel excursions.

I don’t want to jinx us, but we both have been researching and we believe we may be the only people EVER documented working towards getting a picture by each of the 50 state entrance signs!!! (Rich people who have the means to travel in the blink of an eye: If you are reading this and beat us to it, I’ll have a bone to pick with you!!) :)

This is only Part 1 in this series, as we are still journeying to get all state signs.  Stay tuned and keep checking back for when we continue to get more signs along in our journey!

How many states have you been to so far? I would love for you to leave me a comment below!


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  • That’s so fun! Good job getting all of those!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks! We are having a blast doing it:)

  • What a great idea! I want to see all the states after my husband retires. He would love doing this.

    • Chelsea

      You should! I wish I could take the credit for the sign idea- that was all Trevor!

  • Aishwarya

    That’s just a fantastic idea for travel lovers. Love it! :)

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much! :)

  • What a cool travel project! I think the only sign I’ve ever posed in front of is the Las Vegas sign and that was at a bachelorette party. I’ll let you use your imagination on that one. Haha!

    • Chelsea

      Bahahha! I can only imagine. Las Vegas is on my bucket list as well!

  • My husband and I did this when we drove from Oregon to New Hampshire several summers ago. We didn’t get all 50 states, but it’s fun to have pictures of the states we drove through :)

    • Chelsea

      That’s so awesome! Even so, it’s great to get any states you can! We didn’t start doing this until a year or so after we starting traveling together. It stinks because we’ve been to California and a few other places and don’t have the sign pic :( May take awhile until we are back there again.

  • This is a fun challenge! I should go back through all of my photos and gather together all of the state signs I’ve taken pics of!

    • Chelsea

      You should! I would love to see :)

  • Ok, so this is the coolest item on a bucket list I have ever seen! I didn’t see the Missouri sign, so if you are ever near STL and near a Missouri sign, contact me and I’ll buy you dinner!

    • Chelsea

      I will take you up on that offer!! 😉

  • Guess I didn’t look close enough. I see your Missouri sign now!

    • Chelsea

      STILL taking you up on that offer 😉

  • blissfulgal

    This is so cool! What a great excuse to visit all the states! (:

    • Chelsea

      Right!! lol. Now there is NO turning back!!

  • jenn hecker

    I really want to do this with my boys. Since we homeschool I would love to spend a year roaming around the country but we have to wait till it is financially viable. Looks like so much fun.

    • Chelsea

      It’s a blast. I really hope you get the chance to do it someday. :)

  • Shelley Kunkle

    Such a super fun and awesome idea!! Definitely something I would love to do with my family!!

    • Chelsea

      Yay! Glad I inspired you!

  • Jenny

    You haven’t made it to any of my favorite states yet. This is such a fun idea!

    • Chelsea

      What are your favorite states? We need to hit up the east coast yet!

      • Jenny

        I love the mountains in Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee and the Ohio River in Kentucky and Ohio.

  • This is a such a great idea! I think that I will have to start doing this too. I love all the photos that you shared from your challenge!

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much! It’s hard to believe we only have 19. Seems like we should have so much more!

  • Wow! I had no idea all of the state signs were so unique. I definitely want to try this!

    • Chelsea

      Neither did I!! I hope you get the chance too :) Thanks for reading!

  • Awesome idea! As much as my family travels you think we would have thought of this.

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much:) And it’s never too late!!

  • Christine Hawkins

    How awesome! For all the road trips I plan to take (and all that I have taken) I really need to start to do this. Maybe I will start on my future trips! What a great idea! Thanks Chels!!

    • Chelsea

      You seriously should, Christine! It’s never too late! As I mentioned, we didn’t think about doing this until a year into traveling! We have been to over 30 states, but only have 19 signs.

  • Wow! So cool! This is so amazing! I’d love to go on a road trip and try this <3<3<3

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much, and thank you for commenting and reading :)

  • Looks like you guys are having so much fun! I have been to all fifty states (army brat!) but don’t have any pictures :( This would be great to do when we have kids though!! P.S. my hubby’s name is Trevor to so reading your post is totally trippy!

    • Chelsea

      Ahh I am sooo jealous!! That’s awesome! Aren’t Trevor’s great :)

  • Valerie Vanderheiden-Rath

    That is so cool! I would love to do this someday.

    • Chelsea

      Thanks for reading, Valerie!

  • This is so fun!!! I am not a travel lover but I do love to live vicariously through others travel and photos!!
    Looks amazing!
    I do really want to make a bucket list :)

    • Chelsea

      You should! What would be your first item on your list?

  • Autumn Rose Reo

    That looks like so much fun! I would love to travel all 50 states!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks! It’s been quite the journey.

  • dilip

    A lovely post and its true road trips are fun and educative too :)

    • Chelsea

      They ARE educational!! That’s why I love traveling…I am always learning new things and I’m never bored!

  • This is so cute! What a great challenge!

    • Chelsea

      Thanks so much!

  • That’s a pretty cool challenge! I love having little ‘photo series’ of my own, and I bet you’ll have fun accomplishing this one. I’ve lived outside the USA for about 1/4 of my life so I don’t think I’ll be making it to all 50 states anytime soon, haha! My grandma has been to all 50, though–her final one to visit was Alaska, so she went on an Alaskan cruise for her 40th anniversary to achieve that one.

    • Chelsea

      That’s so awesome! Thanks so much for sharing this with me! I love your grandma’s adventurous spirit :) Where else have you lived?

  • Visiting all 50 states is on my bucket list too. I never thought about taking pictures with all the state signs though. I will have to start doing that!

    • Chelsea

      Best of luck!!! How many states have you been to so far?

  • Nina Robinson

    What a fun Life List! That sucks about dropping your phone in the ocean, but that’s a good excuse for more travel 😉

    • Chelsea

      Yeah…..I still can’t believe that happened. All because I went to get a hot dog and was too uncoordinated to hold a hot dog and my phone without tripping at the same time lol.

  • Lori G. Hill-Smith

    Your pictures are great!! I started to do this once, but when when entered Illinois, we were on the freeway, running late and the bottom of the sign was off a bridge in the water. So I got discouraged and gave up. :0( It’s such a fun idea, maybe I will try again.

    • Chelsea

      You should try again! Don’t quit!

  • What a fun idea! My brother has the same idea and only has about 10 states left to visit. I never thought about taking pictures by the state signs though – what a fun keepsake!

    • Chelsea

      Yeah we are enjoying it. Someday we would like to fit all the pictures in a map and hang it on the wall somewhere :)

  • chall1018

    What a great challenge!! I can never get anyone excited about stopping for a picture on a road trip!

    • Chelsea

      You and I would make great travel partners lol

  • What a fun idea! We did pictures like this at National Park entrances, and I thought that was hard! I love this though (probably because I LOVE road trips!), and may need to try to figure out ways to see those more accessible signs! (Or really, have my husband figure it out!) :)

    • Chelsea

      LOL…yeah I have Trevor do all the planning! We do National Parks and monuments as well!

  • Abby

    This is on my bucket list! I only have 5-7 more to go, but I definitely don’t have photos by signs in each. Maybe I’ll make a new goal to visit all the states again with my husband and kids- and take pictures this time. Have fun on your journey!

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much! What other states do you have left?

      • Abby

        I think…Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Delaware, and Rhode Island.

      • Chelsea

        Woo hoo! I live in Wisconsin :)

  • I want to do this!! This is so awesome. I’m going to make this a priority now every time I enter a new state.

    • Chelsea

      You should! it’s a blast 😀

  • I’ve visited or drove through 25 states. I wish I would have thought to take pictures of all the welcome signs.

    • It’s never too late :) we missed a few and are working to go back and get the signs!!

  • My family and I try to take pictures with each state sign. Sometimes they are not easily accessible – like when I went to Wisconsin recently and I kept looking for the welcome center (usually a better place to get state sign pics than the busy highway) and there never was one! Where did you get the WI sign?

    • We were on the border of Wisconsin/Michigan by Marinette, Wisconsin. Bummer!!

  • One of my friends made this awesomeness on Photoshop and I LOVE it.

  • Vanessa

    This is also a Challenge of mine. So far I have 25 State sign pictures, but have been to a lot more states. I just didn’t drive through them. And I know how exhausting the research can be… This website helped me a lot, I hope it helps you too:
    Good luck!

  • Jodi Mathews

    My husband and I have been doing this since we got married and with a cross country move coming up I’m so excited to keep this going!
    I’m just worried about Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. All of the times I have driven through them they have been the above the road signs. Where did you get yours?

    • That’s awesome Jodi! I’ll have to ask my fiancé and get back to you on that…it was so long ago I can’t remember!!! I know for a fact there are a few places that you can get them where they aren’t overarching highways!!

  • Tiffany Johnston
    • Oh my gosh Tiffany!! This makes me so happy! Thank you for sharing these with me! I can’t wait to show this to my fiancé; it’s so awesome to see that others are doing the same challenge!!