So going through this exercise today reminded me of two things.
First, I am really bad at keeping track of where I have been. It took me quite a few tries to get the map filled in. I would stare at the name of a state and have to think about it way longer than should be necessary. Looking at the resulting map and seeing the blank states would trigger me to remember that I had in fact been somewhere. I think I am a very visual person–yeah, that's my excuse.
Second, while looking at the list of states I started singing the "Fifty Nifty United States" song, which I learned in first grade, in my head (yes, just in my head this time because I have been harassed enough about singing at work). I remembered that one of my old party tricks was being able to list all of states in alphabetical order within a single breath. That skill also came in quite handy in games like Scattegories. I wish that they would have taught me more things in first grade. I remember absolutely everything that I was taught that year: the fifty states, the order of the planets, how to backstitch. Then that window for memorization closed, and now I don't retain anything. I even have to stop and think about 6 x 7 and most of the multiplications table.