Daniel Seddiqui is set to do what he says has never been done before: travel to every major city in the U.S. and create a unique piece of meaningful art.
Minneapolis-born Seddiqui started his journey on the East Coast in Maine and will end up in either San Diego or Seattle. In all, Seddiqui plans on visiting a total of 65 different cities by the end of the year.
What inspired the idea? Over the years, he has taken upon several travel projects under his Living the Map brand. Other media-piquing endeavors have included 50 Jobs in 50 States and American Bucket List. Seddiqui says that while he has always been interested in travel, there was a particular moment that struck him, leading to his latest idea.
“I was sitting at a hotel lobby lounge and had been living in Minneapolis for three years at the time,” he says. “I see a bunch of conference goers thinking of what to do with their time, and they decided to go to a restaurant downtown, and I just thought, ‘Oh my goodness, that’s what they decided to do with their time?’” Knowing about Minneapolis’ many places to explore, especially for visitors, Seddiqui wanted to come up with a fascinating itinerary for every major city in the U.S., and thus, his national journey was born.
So far for this project, Seddiqui has been to 14 major cities. His next stop? The Twin Cities—or, as he suggests, “the Tri Cities” (including Bloomington). In Bloomington, he will build a craft with Legos at the Mall of America’s Lego Store with the help of an expert.
Due to Minnesota’s rich Scandinavian heritage, Seddiqui knew he had to stop at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. There, he will take a traditional Scandinavian knife woodworking class.
After visiting the two cities, Seddiqui plans to head to Oklahoma City, Memphis, and St. Louis, and make his way back to St. Paul in August to visit the Minnesota State Fair. Since Minnesota has one of the most famous state fairs in America, he knew he had to make time to visit. There, he will be working with a professional crop artist.
Obviously, not everyone can just uproot and travel for eight months out of the year, but Seddiqui finds a way. “When I initially tell people about the project, before I even start, I always get ‘Don’t you have a full-time job?’ or ‘Don’t you have a family?’” he says.
Truth is, being on the road all the time isn’t easy. Seddiqui has a four-month-old child at home, but he explains that despite the hardships, traveling and connecting with all walks of life is his passion.
“As a kid, I used to collect baseball cards, like Detroit Tigers or Minnesota Twins,” he says. “I was more curious about these locations versus the teams, so that’s kind of how it all started.”
He finds that many people are really missing out on the world around them, and what America has to offer. By the end of the journey, he wants to have made an actual connection with each of these destinations. “At the end, I’m going to have 65 mementos, from every major city.”