Places aren't just geological formations, they are environments, they are climates, they are wildlife communities and of course they are also people. To get to really see a place properly takes a couple of years.
I so agree on this, and it is the one thing I hoped I would someday get to do.
I've seen a lot of the USA, mainly by just passing through, going to different
places for assorted reasons.
Born in AZ, my parents took me with them on holiday to southern California.
Also, to see the areas of interest in the desert SW.
Again, just on holiday.
Twice to Vegas.
And this was all age five and under, because they were from Missouri, they decided
to go back when I was five.
Good thing I'm one of the people who can remember back to birth.
At least I remember the places well.
I lived in Missouri until I moved to Florida after finishing Uni.
Spent the rest of my life here, but have seen all the southern states from CA
Just not in the way I wanted.
I could be a van dweller and do as you said. Live in areas until I really got to know them.
I planned on doing this at my age when I retired.
No family to interfere or take care of, so nothing stood in my way.
Nothing until health problems went from bad to worse the past four years.
It would have been nice though. Glad you go to do it!