Been there or not?

Lisa and I often have this debate: if you fly into a city, but do not leave the airport, have you been there? She says no. I say yes.

This came about during a layover at the Detroit airport. I had never been to Michigan before the flight. I say I was in Michigan, but did not visit the state. Her position is that I cannot claim being there.

My argument is based on the fact that the airport is located in Michigan; thus, I have been there. I could buy a souvenir from a gift shop. If I can do that, I have been there. Lisa says no because I did not leave the airport.

So, I guess I was not in Japan when I changed flights at Tokyo’s Narita airport or at Nagoya airport. If that is the case, how was I able to buy souvenirs that said “Japan” on them or get a photo of a sign welcoming visitors to Nagoya, Japan?


I agree that I have not visited the tourist attractions. But, using that logic, we were in northwest Wisconsin (Superior) three years ago. However, does that mean I was not in Wisconsin because I did not go to Milwaukee or Wisconsin Dells?

We drove through Delaware, North Carolina and West Virginia years ago on a trip east. Were we not in those states because I did not stop the car and get out?

So, been there or not? Thoughts?