Daniel Seddiqui, titled the “Most Traveled Person in America” by Rick Steves, finally crossed Southwest Colorado off his list of places to visit. As of this fall, Seddiqui had visited every pinpoint on the U.S. map except for four. As part of his motto to “live the map,” Seddiqui makes it a priority to emerge himself in the culture and community of the places he visits: connecting with locals, working jobs, and participating in various activities. A career counselor by profession, Seddiqui also does public speaking and encourages teens and young adults to be curious and step outside their comfort zones. By Rachel Hughes. This story is sponsored by Serious Texas BBQ and Happy Pappy's Pizza & Wings
No one knows America like Daniel Seddiqui. Titled "The Most Traveled Person in America," Seddiqui recently crossed Colorado's Western Slope off his list of places left to visit. You're watching the Local News Network, brought to you by Serious Texas Barbecue and Happy Pappy's Pizza-N-Wings. I'm Wendy Graham Settle.
I ended up traveling 50 states, well over 20 times each, and some even 30. And I reached out to some media outlets and publications, and even Rick Steves himself, said, "Yeah, from what it sounds like, you're the most traveled person in America."
As of this fall, Seddiqui had visited every pinpoint on the US map except for four: Traverse City, Michigan, Johnson City, Tennessee, Brownsville, Texas, and Colorado's Western Slope. Seddiqui mostly travels by car because of the flexibility it offers. He enjoys the opportunities to take unconventional roads, see different ways of living, and visit historical sites along the way. He also makes it a priority to emerge himself in the culture and community of the places he visits.
Durango, in this region, you have to intentionally get here, right? There is no main interstate here. It's not like you're on I-70 or I-80 or any of those. It's in the middle of the mountains in the southwest part of the state, and even a place like Telluride, you have to go around the mountain, like that's not even an easy place to get to. So the reason I've never been here before, and I've always wanted to come here, because I was like, I lived in Denver for five years, and I was like, "Okay, I'm so close to Durango in the region, let's make a trip, but it's a seven plus hour drive." I'm like, "That's, you have to go out of your way for it."
Before coming to Durango, Seddiqui reached out to Durango High School and arranged to speak in front of the students.
I typically do like a project where I'm either working a different job in every state. I'm learning about craftsmanship from local artisans and creative thinkers. I've done studies with the most impoverished communities in the country, and then, I've done a like bucket list of cultural events and activities, like participate in a Scandinavian festival in North Dakota, or a barbecue contest in Kansas City. I shot, I was in an archery contest with Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, sang with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Utah. So, not only just travel, but I also want to do a lot of various activities as well.
Seddiqui is a youth career counselor in Oregon and tries to spread a positive message wherever he travels. He's now spoken to over 2 million people with a focus on inspiring teens and young adults.
I wanted to have an excuse to visit Durango in the region for the first time, and I wanted to focus on careers, because at that age, they're really trying to figure out what they want to do, what avenues to take. Many times they have no clue. They don't have enough exposure or experience to really have a formulated career path. And so I'm going to talk to them about, you know, my experience being a coal miner in West Virginia, a logger in Oregon, a cheese maker in Wisconsin, a dietician in Mississippi, a meteorologist in Cleveland, Ohio, and so forth. And I learned so much about myself when I was experiencing that, that helped me understand like where my personality fit because I ultimately think a job is a personality.
Seddiqui's passion for travel began at a young age, collecting atlases and growing in curiosity. Now at age 41, he's been extensively traveling for the past 15 years and encouraging others to be curious, step out of their comfort zones, and embrace rejection.
Because I experienced a infinite amount of rejection when I was pursuing all these jobs and going to different, you know, companies and people's homes, and in all that experience, an extraordinary amount of nos. But I want to give them a positive message where, you know, a no is just one step closer to a yes, and nos are not going to be forever, and, you know, especially if you, like, learn to be confident, and understand your path is for you, then nothing really should get in your way besides yourself.
Read more about Seddiqui's travels on his website, Living the Map. For more information about this and other stories, visit durangolocal.news. Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Network, I'm Wendy Graham Settle.