It used to be a kind of contest for me in my own mind: how much of this world could I colour in (having been there). Then I would look at these pieces of the globe and readily conjure awesome memories of my travels. Collecting new experiences and being a tourist somewhere is fun, but I’m beginning to find that what I savor the most is the people I am with on the trip and the feeling of coming home. It’s less these days about seeing a place for myself or saying I’ve been somewhere. So regarding these maps which I update, I think I now enjoy it for the graphical design itself more than anything else.
So here’s the latest map:
It now includes short visits to Poland, Czechia, and parts of Netherlands. A longer visit to Crete is visible, as well as some longer stints in other parts of Denmark, Switzerland, and Germany. The highlight of all of those was probably Wroclaw and Crete. Wroclaw because I immediately got a good feeling from the city as being a place I wouldn’t mind living someday. It has culture but it also has edge, and I get the sense it is keeping some cool secrets. Crete because I took it slow there and was really able to relax. This is something which I think you don’t realize how much you’ve missed until you’ve got it. To just be at peace is a wonderful feeling. On Crete I started sketching with pens, and I started reading a lot more, too.
Here’s the original layout:
I’ll mention a big shortcoming of these maps which is that the geographical area of a place has little relevance to the time I spent there or the experiences I had meanwhile. Have I traversed up and down Ontario Province in Canada? No.. I’ve been to Toronto and a couple of other cities a few times, but my memories there are not as remarkable as the sheer amount of green filled-in would imply. On the other hand, Budapest and Belgrade are practically invisible, but I lived out much more adventure there.
Here’s what I do find really useful about these maps though. It makes it very easy for me to tell people where my familiarities lie. I think I can tell a lot about person with a list of everything they’ve read and everywhere they’ve been, and I feel a person could tell a lot about me with this information. One can just glance at the maps and understand something which would otherwise take a while to explain. It doesn’t tell you everything, but it’s a place to start.
2020 is starting to look like it has some interesting travel in store. I’ll be sure to let you know once it all pans out.