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Greetings from half a decade later!

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adventurernumber1:
Disclaimer: This may seem a bit peculiar--albeit I have seen similar threads (belated welcomes) pop up on the forum in the past from time to time--but I thought that if I were to do this at this point, there was no better time than on the 5 year anniversary (to the date and time) of my registration to this forum. So here goes a more elaborate welcome and introduction of myself that I have not yet done before (since I've never actually created my personal welcome thread before this, even when I first joined the forum).



My name is David, and I am 19 years old (though I was 14 when I first joined). I was born in Chattanooga, TN, but I have lived in Dalton, GA ever since I was six months old. Thus, I have grown up in the northwest Georgia area, and this (along with the very close by Chattanooga Metro Area) is what I am most familiar with. Over my life so far I have traveled many other places as well, but I still have a lot left to see. I have been immensely interested in roads and such as long as I can possibly remember (therefore, since 2 or 3 years old). As a young child, I grew up constantly drawing roads, signs, and even stuff like cell towers and transmission towers (power lines), on my beloved magnadoodle. I absolutely loved going on roadtrips and drives, and I was always wondering what the roads looked like on the stretches that we weren't able to go on. I would often draw in notebooks what I thought those unknown stretches of road would look like. I quickly memorized what the roads looked like in my hometown of Dalton (or at least the ones I had been on), as well as some other places such as when we would go up to Chattanooga, or on vacation to places such as Hilton Head Island, SC.

I went until around the age of 8 or so without truly really ever having access to maps, and knew relatively little about what the roads looked like from the perspective of a map. I believe the turning point was in 2008, after we went on a roadtrip to Snowshoe, West Virginia (which, IIRC, was in Winter 2008, since we went skiing there). Right after we got back from that trip, I stumbled across the Rand McNally Atlas that my parents had used on the trip (which I knew, because there was black circles on the interchanges we would take switching interstates in Virginia and West Virginia, as well as one marking the destination of Snowshoe). I absorbed that atlas and absolutely fell in love with it. I quickly started rapidly encoding the maps and roads of each state. Around a year later, perhaps in Summer 2009, my mom and I went to Big Lots looking for my own new personal atlas. We found a big 2009 atlas, and that became a very significant outlet of information, learning, and entertainment for me for the next year (until it was literally physically destroyed from all of the use). I would carry that atlas everywhere I went, from the grocery store, to the houses of friends and family, and even to school (elementary) during special events (the end of the year, when it was more laid-back - although sometimes I might have snuck it in my backpack other times anyway  :biggrin: ). That further facilitated my growing knowledge of the roads in the United States. In late 2009, I was also widely introduced to the internet for the first time (including Google Maps and YouTube). This meant that I now could also see tons of street-view, online maps, and road videos on YouTube.

Although in retrospect I now know that most of those road videos I was watching back then were created by fellow road enthusiasts, I was not aware of that at the time. I went until 2012 or 2013 without actually truly realizing that there were other people who were very interested in roads, maps, and the sort just like me. Even though in those years before I remember seeing the word "roadgeek" tossed around in some of those videos I watched, I didn't actually know what it meant at the time. A big turning point regarding this was when, after having begun gotten involved in online gaming, in Summer 2013 I came across a series of driving games that were absolutely mesmerizing. I got the chance to talk to the guy behind them (online), and it turns out he was a roadgeek. Over the next several months, through those very games, I met many other roadgeeks, and I had now realized that there was actually an entire community of road enthusiasts that I was completely oblivious to in the past. I remember that as a younger kid I had always dreamed that there were other people who shared my same intense love of roads, that I could talk to about roads and interact with through that interest, but I didn't think that it actually existed. In December 2013, I also made my own YouTube channel for the first time, and I started filming and uploading my very own road videos. After a year of being aware that there was a roadgeek community, in Summer 2014, one of my friends recommended that I check out this forum, so I did, and I signed up - exactly 5 years ago from now.

Ever since then, I have truly enjoyed being on this forum. I have met even more great people through this, and I have learned a whole lot. I still have much, much left to learn, and I am determined to do just that. I am a dedicated roadgeek for life, and I am immensely appreciative of the opportunity to interact with the roadgeek community and to learn so much.

Thank you to everyone, and I will continue seeing you around on the forum.  :wave:


Roadgeekteen:
I joined after you, but welcome to the club of people who have welcomed themselves!

andrepoiy:
Hello, person from Roblox!

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