Destination Springfield – World Traveler Edition

One of the most interesting aspects of having a blog that is truly international is the fact that the readers are…well…truly international! It’s an amazing fact to know that TSTO blogs like this are read in more than 110 countries around the world. Yes, there are surely “pockets of extreme tapperage” going on in certain locations (New Jersey as Blog Central comes to mind), but there is far more to this particular update than meets the eye at first (or even second or third) glance.

There is a certain irony that we are being tasked to send travelers across the globe in our games while actual world travel is becoming a “bit more complicated” to put it nicely. But as always, we will leave the politics to other radicalized sources of propaganda (FaceBook), and celebrate the amazing diversity of players/readers we have here.

I will let far greater minds than mine make the point of how travelling the world helps you find compassion and understanding of those you may fear or otherwise not understand. The Dali Lama has an amazing piece on this very thing

I do believe that most of our bias against other cultures comes primarily from fear and ignorance. And, there is nothing better than actually traveling to a different place to experience their lives and culture, to help you realize that no matter where you are in the world, we have far more in common than the minutia that separates us.

To me…one of the most amazing “FREEMIUM” prizes was the globe.  Every tap is a reminder of some place the Simpsons have traveled to, or experienced an event in which they related to international travelers or visitors (and yes…Kang and Kodos are both visitors while attaining permanent residence status in our Springfields).


I sat for an entire hour spinning the globe…and gobbling up the facts it spit out.  It may have repeated the cycle…because I also went into a deep trance in my mind (something that happens more and more with old age) as I played a mental game of “I’ve been there…” or “I want to go there!!” as the globe spit our random Simpsonian Facts.

As simple as the Simpsons seem to be…with a fairly limited cultural pallet from the head of the family (“do they have Duff in India??), Homer and the family really get around!  I am not sure why the TSTO writer/programmers chose to go to France, Japan, Brazil, Denmark, and Italy…but Homer and company have clearly been to what seems like hundreds of other locations around the world (or…like I said…I dozed off and kept repeating cycles).

There are countless places I want to go…but was equally surprised to realize how many places I HAVE been to.  My list includes…

  • 42 of the 50 United State (just missing a couple of random Eastern Seaboard states and two in the deep South)
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Ireland
  • The Netherlands
  • Germany (West and East)
  • France
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Czechoslovakia (before it was split up)
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Poland
  • Canada (several flavors thereof)
  • Mexico

And at the top of my Bucket List of WANNA GO THERE…

And then I start the “Well…if I am going to go all of the way to Japan, I might as well go to Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam…”  And then started feeling guilty for the countries that didn’t make my “A List.”

But you get it.

I have never felt more strongly about the feeling that the world needs far fewer borders…and far more cross-cultural exchange of ideas than at this point in history.  I have never felt more strongly that lifting up the lowliest of nations in the world only strengthens our overall chances for happiness and survival.  But, then again…I’m old…and tired…and very afraid of returning to a time when nothing felt stable, or safe, because we allowed our fears and ignorance to overtake our compassion and common sense.

Whoa. Wait a minute.  It’s just a game. Right?  And with the tap of our padular divices, we can go anywhere we want. Right?

But even more important, is getting out in the world…to be part of the greater community of humanity.  Tell us where YOU have traveled in your lifetime…and where YOU Would like to visit!

You know we LOVE to hear from you! Especially those from far-off lands (which is kind of a relative statement…as anywhere but “Here” is far off!).

55 responses to “Destination Springfield – World Traveler Edition

  1. I am a California native and since the late 80s, still a resident of the San Diego area. During the early/mid-80s, my family moved around, so I’ve lived in various cities as a child:

    Tucson and Phoenix, AZ
    Denver and Colorado Springs, CO
    Milwaukee and Racine, WI
    Seattle (and various small towns around the Puget Sound), WA

    Travel between those cities was via car/train, so I’ve also been through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon.

    As an adult, I have visited:
    Tucson, AZ (still have extended family there)
    Las Vegas, NV (multiple visits over the years)
    Washington, DC (amazing vacation)
    El Paso, San Antonio, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Houston, TX (Various visits for various reasons: vacations, work, family, etc.)
    New York City and Cooperstown, NY (amazing vacation)
    San Francisco, CA (amazing vacation)

    Sadly, my International travel has been limited to three “local” cities.
    Vancouver, BC (Canada) (amazing vacation)
    Tijuana and Ensenada, Mexico (I’ve been to TJ several times, the latter once on a Day Cruise).

    At the time of my border-crossing visits, none of those even required a passport… As you’ve alluded to, times have changed…. Sigh.

    But that being said, at the end of 2016 I finally got my first passport. I’m finally at a point that I think I’ll be able to afford to travel abroad. I’m hoping to use it sometime this year, and to continue to do so afterwards…

    I’m researching options to go to either Europe, the Caribbean, or South America… Eventually all of those. Also want to make Australia and Japan/East Asia, some day. Fingers-crossed.

  2. Totally agreed with the paragraph right below “but you get it”. (And by the way, if you wanna come to Brazil, better hurry up, because this country is already dead and I don’t know how long it will take for it to be swept off the map (or just become too dangerous to visit). For many Brazilians (like me), the priority right now is leaving.

    Anyway… here’s my list of places visited, sorted more or less according to distance (not counting airports I just stopped by):
    Argentina (Buenos Aires, Bariloche, Mar del Plata, Córdoba, and some other places I can’t remember);
    Uruguay (Montevideo, Punta del Este);
    Paraguay (Pedro Juan Caballero, just across the border);
    Panama (Panama City);
    USA (Florida);
    Canada (Vancouver);
    Spain (Santiago de Compostella);
    England (London);
    France (Paris);
    Belgium (Brussels, Ghent);
    Germany (Köln, Darmstadt);
    Netherlands (Amsterdam, Utrecht, The Hague);
    Austria (Vienna – lived there for three months);
    Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Eilat and a bunch of other places).

    Places I wanna visit, in no particular order, some of which I’m sure I’ll never make it to though…
    -Azerbaijan (well, this is probably at the top of the list anyway)
    -Indonesia (Bali, Java, Komodo)
    -Central African Republic
    -NYC, L.A.
    -Bora Bora
    -New Zealand

    And of course, there are still TONS of places in my own huge country I would like to visit… but that may soon become unfeasible too (see top of comment)…

    • Very Cool!!! By in large, I hate to say it…but people from other countries are better traveled! We in the US could stand to get out more…

      • Well, that may be true considering you are much older than me. Then again, a lot of these places (particularly Panama and most of Europe) I had the chance to visit just because of my haphazard career as a composer of so-called “new” music. Which means I’m probably better traveled than most Brazilians in my social class. Of course, one of the main things of being an artist in a country like this is, if you want to keep working, you’re forced to keep an eye out for opportunities abroad (which is not necessarily true in the US or the EU).

        By the way, I forgot to mention Slovakia (Bratislava) in my list of places visited.

  3. I am originally from Canada, but I’ve also lived in Vietnam and England and I have visited:

    The United States
    Saint Martin/ Sint Maarten (both sides!)
    The Bahamas
    Turks and caicos
    The Netherlands
    Portugal (well, Madeira)
    Vatican City

    And I’m only 25 so I feel like I’m doing fairly well! My bucket list is wayyyyy too long to share, but my next trip will be to Brazil in April, so I’m looking forward to that!

  4. Pls i got bug with 7th luggage box i completed task but i Dont receive him and my screen is lighting

  5. I have been travelling a lot when I was younger, even though I didn’t really have the money, although it actually can be a nice experience to wander around with a backpack and rely on the kindness of strangers. Lately there is no shortness of funds but I can’t seem to find the time any more.

    I am from Germany, and visited most of the western german states, from the North and Baltic Sea to the Alps: Schleswig-Holstein, Niedersachsen (where I come from), Bremen, Hamburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Hessen, Baden-Württemberg (where I currently live), Saarland, Bavaria. I also visited East Germany, while it still was a separate country, and a few times since, but mainly a handful of cities (Berlin, Weimar, Jena, Erfurt, Dresden). Where I would really like to go is the north east coast, and the island of Rügen.

    Compared with the US, it is just a hop, skip, and jump to any number of other countries in Europe; I’ve been many times to France, Switzerland and Austria. Once or twice to Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finnland, England/Scotland/Wales, Ireland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands (are they a different country? Don’t really know right now…), Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Greece. Not too many white spots left, but I might want to see Romania, Rome and Southern Italy, and the Arctic Circle.

    In the US of A I have been up and down the eastern and western seaboard, and the south. Missed the north and the middle, but I might want to go to Chicago and the Great Lakes someday, when it is safe again to travel to the US. Alaska as well.

    About ten years ago I took half a year off and spent most of that time in New Zealand and Australia. In Asia I visited Turkey, Singapore, China, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Lots of places left to visit there, and I barely scratched the surface of China, just Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing and the Great Wall. Dream destinations in Asia would be India, or Pakistan, and Nepal – the Himalayas! Japan isn’t tempting me all that much, though.

    I have never been to Africa or South America, almost too many places to name there that I still want to go to. South Africa, the Kilimanjaro, Egypt, the Sahara desert; the Majan and Incan ruins, the Amazon jungle, the Andes, Tierra del Fuego… And yes, I know I can’t visit every corner of the globe, but I would dearly like to.

    At the moment, I am planning a trip to Guadeloupe, I have been reading up about it and checking flights and hotels for quite some time now, but haven’t found the right time yet. Biggest problem is to find a time that is convenient for both me and my husband – it never seems to overlap…

  6. For Karlak – I’m from Australia. My eldest daughter is a travel agent & has been to more countries than can be easily named without me getting typer’s cramp! Her favourite city worldwide is Prague. Her least favourite is Hong Kong.

    Anyway; She went to Cuba mid last year & had a great trip! She had to go via Mexico, as she couldn’t get there from USA @ that time.

    7 days in Cuba with hotels that had breakfast & lunch included; bus tours, sightseeing, entry to museum & gallery type exhibits & more! All up the cost was $AU1200 (extremely cheap!). From California to Mexico to Cuba return flights were included & all items mentioned above – along with a 2 day stay & hotel in Mexico. Evidently Cuba would like more tourists, so there are some great bargains to be had @ present!

    • I loved Prague…never been to Hong Kong. My youngest daughter has traveled more than any of us recently. Seems to be part of this younger generation for sure.

  7. I don’t get to do nearly enough traveling, but thanks to the annual conventions for the baseball group I’m in, I’ve made it to about fifteen states, and thanks to friends who got married in other states, I’ve crossed another four off the list. Countries…. well, I’ve been to only three (Canada, Portugal and Peru), but I joke that living in New York City, I don’t have to go to other countries, when I can find them all here. It’s one of the great things about NYC, you can find so many different cultures (and their cuisine…. cue Homer- mmmmm, Swedish meatballs!) within blocks of each other. But if I ever do get the money and time to travel, I’d love to go to Italy, Japan, or Australia.

    The trip to Peru was the best. My wife is Peruvian. We went to Lima for her cousin’s wedding a few years ago, and stayed for two weeks. As my wife put it, once you meet my cousins you are family. So, I now have 42 new cousins. Yes, 42. Anyway, we went to a barbecue at the house of one of the cousins, and I bit into what I thought was a bell pepper. It wasn’t- it was a rococo, which was hot enough to melt my tongue. In my limited Spanish, I said “Mis dientes estan en fuego”- My teeth are on fire! Needless to say, the family thought it was the funniest thing they’d ever heard.

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