[polls] How far have you travelled from your birthplace?

Per the posts here and here, I present a poll on how far you’ve gone from where you were born. Note multiple answers can be selected … I’m curious what the curve will look like. Feel free to comment on your childhood or adult travels and relocations, as well.

How far have you travelled (or lived) from the place where you were born?

View Results

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32 thoughts on “[polls] How far have you travelled from your birthplace?

  1. Patrick says:

    Oops. It is multiple choice. My bad.

  2. Terra says:

    I was born in Hawaii, which is technically not a continent, is it? I counted it as part of North America, though, and said yes because I’ve been to Europe and Central America, too.

  3. Amanda says:

    I don’t think I’ve done as much traveling as you, but I did live abroad for 4 years in the UK, and that experience has forever changed me. I was born in Maryland and later moved to Georgia when I was twelve years old. At the time I thought it was the end of the world. We were a liberal, creative family living in the South.

    My teen years were miserable. I just did not fit in and for a long time I thought something was wrong with me. In my late twenties I married, for a second time, to a Brit and he whisked me away to London. There my entire perspective on who I was and my place in the world was transformed.

    I met people who were socially, politically, and creatively like me. I realized after all those years that there was nothing wrong me, I had just been living in the wrong place. LOL

    I have since returned to Georgia, and while I still don’t fit in, it doesn’t bother me in the least.

  4. I’ve been as far as you can get, short of spaceflight! I was born in New Zealand and now live in the UK, points which are more or less exactly opposite on the globe.

    It may be because of the isolation of New Zealand (it’s a four-hour flight just to Australia, the nearest neighbour), but travel is pretty common.

    Having said that, I once knew someone who had reached the age of 30 and hadn’t been outside the CITY in which he was born. Now that is just a little bit weird!

  5. See, I was born in a USAF hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany. Then my dad got transferred back to the States a month later, and I’ve lived here ever since. Kinda skews the results, but still . . .

  6. Kerry says:

    I have only moved (as in lived elsewhere) beyond the state where I was born, but it is in the same midwest region.

    I have traveled to 39 of the 50 states and to the UK, so I also chose the ‘beyond the same continent’.

  7. Phiala says:

    What are people who’ve never travelled supposed to check off? Your poll is biased towards leaving home.
    You might also get better results if you ask people to check the largest distance that’s correct, rather than as multiple-choice. Looking at the results, I think respondents have done either.

    It would be interesting to see a poll on “lived” as well as “travelled”. I’ve travelled to other continents, but not for extended periods.

    1. Jay says:

      Clearly I should not design polls at 5 am. “I have never left the place I was born” should have been option zero. And otherwise, I’d intended people to check their way up to wherever they stopped.

      I may take another shot at this later for “lived”.

      1. beth meacham says:

        Ah, I misunderstood. I did not check up to the farthest (I have traveled beyond the Hemisphere where I was born), but only checked that.

        Should I try to take it again?

  8. Laurie Mann says:

    Born in Burlington VT in 1957.

    Not sure when my first out-of-state or out-of-country visit was. Canada was practically next door. I’d been in all the New England states except for Rhode Island by the time I was 8, and New York and Quebec.

    My father, whose family was on the poor side, might not have gotten out of the Vermont/New York area until he was 22 and sent to North Carolina for basic training. My mother’s family had money during the Depression and drove from Vermont to Florida (on Route 1) several times during her childhood.

    My first big trip was a cross-country trip at 11 (1968) via train from Worcester to Chicago – Phoenix then by bus across the desert to Ahaheim, then bus up the coast to San Francisco, then to Reno, then by train from SF to Vancouver than across southern Canada to Montreal.

    First plane trip and trip abroad was to Germany/Austria/Italy at 17.

    So the furthest I’ve been from my birthplace so far is Venice, Italy. Jim and I have made 4 trips to the UK/Ireland since 2000, but haven’t gone any further east than that together.

    I love to travel. We have high hopes of going to Australia (for the first time) next summer.

  9. kaz says:

    2 things How did you do the polling thing with the results in percents? Was that live as to the vote?
    Most people 56% don’t know what the difference Hemisphere is below the equator! No way is it more than 25%

  10. Amy Sisson says:

    I was born in Cleveland. In high school I went to (then West) Germany for a year as an exchange student. In college, I wanted to go abroad again and I only knew English and German, so I picked Australia because it was really far and I’d never been there and hey! it’s Australia! I spent a semester at the Univ of Sydney. And because there was an airline strike on the entire five months I was there, I even took a bus from Sydney to Perth, and back again.

    I’ve also since traveled to Europe again several times, and to Japan once.

  11. Kai Jones says:

    It’s check boxes, not radial dials, and check boxes mean “check as many as apply to you.” I think that part of the poll design was orthodox.

  12. Phiala says:

    As far as I’m concerned, nothing should be designed at 5am. There just hasn’t been sufficient time for coffee yet.

    Kai, yes there’s a difference between check boxes and radio buttons, but I’m not sure most people actually register that. If lots of people did it wrong, then it was badly designed. Can’t assume they’ve all had sufficient caffeine either. 🙂

  13. Greg says:

    I was born in northern california… I was “raised” by my grandparents and they were the kind to want to travel during vacation, because of them I was lucky enough as a child to travel up and down the west coast of the US and into Canada (BC). Twice we went to Arizona, several times into Nevada, through Utah Idaho and Montana once each. We spent several days in Wyoming at Yellowstone (Ah if only it had been Chasm City I could have said off the plant damn).
    I did little travel after their deaths up until 2002 when I got the opportunity to go to Canada, Holland, Ireland and Scotland… I never expected to really feel at home anywhere other then the SF Bay Area but I really love the feeling of getting away for a while, my grandparents really rubbed off on me when I was not looking…
    Thanks for the chance to think about the past –

  14. Summer says:

    My results may be slightly skewed by the fact that I was born and raised in New York state within about 60 miles of the US-Canada border, and my family regularly traveled to southern Ontario to visit cultural attractions and to shop. As a result, I had crossed an international border dozens of times by the age of ten, while remaining within a reasonably short drive from home. On the other hand, I also visited cousins over a thousand miles away in Florida at the age of five or six, and relatives in the Los Angeles area when I was fourteen. (I also visited other relatives on the Jersey shore within that same time frame, thus affording me the opportunity to swim in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans within the space of a single school year.) Nevertheless, I lived the first 23 years of my life – minus four days – within five miles of the hospital in which I was born.

    That trip to LA, however, represents the farthest I have been from my birthplace thus far, and Canada is still the only foreign country I have visited. I rather stupidly turned down an opportunity to spend a year as an exchange student in France, due to discovering that I would have had to repeat that year of high school upon my return, something that offended my sensibilities at the time. Had I the opportunity to make that decision again, I would probably go to France in a heartbeat, and enjoy the bonus year of adolescent fun into the bargain.

    On my travel wishlist: the UK, Sweden, Iceland, the Netherlands, India, Australia, France, Jamaica, Japan.

  15. DeLynn says:

    Born in Scranton, PA, but to a family with a strange love of travel. I’ve been to 36 states (all of which we squished all six of us into either a Ford Taurus or a Toyota Sienna through; none of which were flown to), Canada, and through 6 different countries in Europe, going as far east as Greece.

    Where I’ve lived is much less exciting. I’ve only actually lived in the PA home I grew up in and for two years in Cleveland.

  16. Dale says:

    I’ve spent my entire life here in the Pacific Northwest though I’ve traveled throughout the U.S., including several times by train, a much slower paced way to go. Aside from visiting British Columbia a number of times I have yet to venture further, which is frustrating for someone with a history degree and a wide-ranging interest in world history, languages and cultures.

    On the other hand my career in the local library system has brought the world to me-I’ve had the privilege to help and become friends with people from many different countries and six of the seven continents (no native Antarcticans so far 🙂

    Next year I finally get to visit Europe.

  17. Brian Dolton says:

    I’ve visited 30-odd countries in five continents (if you count Trinidad as, continentally, South America, which geologically and biologically it is) and currently live in New Mexico, about 5500 miles from where I was born in the UK. Depending on what happens with US healthcare, I may or may not move intercontinentally again before I die, though whether it would beback to Europe or somewhere else (South Africa? New Zealand?) is open to question

  18. Shelly Rae Clift says:

    I have traveled by horseback, plane, car, boat, foot, bicycle, train, motorcycle, wagon, camel, elephant, and piggybacked on my Dad’s shoulders…not sure I’ve “travelled”.

    1. Jay says:

      Smart aleck :p

      1. Shelly Rae Clift says:

        Takes one to know one eh?

  19. Scott says:

    I was born in Northern California, and spent nearly a year living in various locations in Australia when I was a kid. So… beyond the hemisphere.

  20. Rashda says:

    I was born 30+ years ago this day in Karachi, Pakistan and now I live in West Texas.

    In between I’ve traveled to Africa, UK, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Italy, PA, New York, New Mexico, Mexico, Colorado, NJ

    Places I’ve lived in –Bangladesh, Pennsylvania and on different ships.

    So many more places left to explore!

  21. A.R.Williams says:

    I was born in Portsmouth, VA.

    And have been as far away as Fairbanks, AK.

  22. Cora says:

    I was born in Germany and still live in the same town where I grew up (some of the time) and even teach at my former highschool.

    However, my Dad’s job required a lot of travel, so by the time I was ten I had lived on three different continents and was fluent in two languages. So far, I have lived (i.e. spent more than three months and was not a tourist) in five countries: Germany, the US (Mississippi), Singapore, the Netherlands and the UK. I haven’t crossed the equator yet, though Singapore came pretty close.

    Regarding something that isn’t on your poll, I also crossed the iron curtain several times as a teenager in the 1980s, because we had relatives in East Germany and visited them once a year.

  23. Meran says:

    (above site is being built by me for my arts group. Some of my artwork is on it)
    I’ve lived and traveled many places in the US and have gone into Canada and Mexico . I also checked off the planet.. Traveled there by mushroom many many years ago 🙂
    btw, I’ve been waiting to see a Powell’s “appearance”!

    1. Jay says:

      I was at Powell’s in June. Not sure when I’ll be back, but certainly my day will come… 🙂

      1. Meran says:

        Figures. I bought “Green” in June, read it immediately, found your blog, all just apparently AFTER your Powell appearance…
        Always a day late and a dollar short 🙂
        loved the book!

  24. Erin Tidwell says:

    I was born near Seattle but spent a couple months as an exchange student in Chengdu, China, in the 90s, when I was in high school.

  25. I was born in Pakistan – my parents were working at a damn project near Mangla. They moved back to Oregon when I was three.

    Apparently I went around asking people, “Are you my [Pakistani word for bearer]?” For several months back in the states (Mark says this explains a lot).

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