None of my ancestors were recent immigrants. The most recent of my ancestral immigrants came to America in the 1800s and some as early as the 1600s. So when I think of the "old country" I usually think of the New England states. As I travel onward, I am, in a sense, retracing the paths many of my ancestors took when moving across the American continent to the Southwest, now a part of Utah, Arizona, California, Idaho, Mexico and Canada. Of course, my ancestors did not have the benefit of jet planes and rental cars, but I do feel a connection when I drive through places such as Rutland and Castleton in Vermont for the first time in my memory and see where some of my ancestors lived.
I have always wondered what these stanch New Englanders thought when they finally reached the western part of the United States with its contrast to the green mountains of Vermont and New York. I believe that Vermont is the greenest place I have seen since I lived in the Panama jungle. I really did feel like I had entered a foreign country when we tried to buy gas and food in Vermont. I am still puzzled as to where those folks shop since we had such a hard time finding stores and service stations.
I was also interested in the contrast as we drove from Vermont to New Hampshire and then on to Maine. Most of these lines of my ancestors came to and through Massachusetts and Rhode Island. I am staying north on this trip, but I have been to the Massachusetts and Rhode Island locations previously. Most genealogists would think of doing some "research" along the way. I have yet to find it necessary to go onsite for research. I have been able to find the original documents either online or on microfilm. But visiting the areas where they lived gives me a good idea of what they gave up to come west.