Maps are journeys and dreams all rolled into one. When the Muppets traveled by map in their first movie in years my mouth dropped open, I was in complete awe! Seriously, I thought the Harry Potter floo powder and apparating was amazing, but this one blew me away! Could you imagine? Where could we go if we could travel by map? The possibilities are endless and prices minimal. Regularly I find myself travel dreaming and most of the time it starts out with a glimpse at a map.
They’re around our apartment in all forms. There’s a globe sitting next to the couch drawing me directly into whichever space I’m facing. There’s the huge framed National Geographic map on the wall that we stare at often reminiscing about a journey or plotting the next adventure. There are the ones we’ve brought home from travels that serve as reminders of times gone by or travels to enjoy again and then there are the ones that wrap gifts for friends and family to entice their exploration or just add a touch of ‘us’ to a present. Either way, it’s safe to say exploration, investigation and journey are part of the fabric of our every day.
Maps are transformative pieces that make travel possible without leaving the couch. I’m drawn to map stores and anything travel no matter where we are in the world but there’s something special about those maps. They pull you in and say ‘anything’s possible’ in their own subtle tones. When teaching a year nine Global History class, I’d often show students an ‘upside-down’ map. It’s interesting the way their perspectives change when what they thought was ‘up’ is now ‘down’ and what they thought was ‘top’ is now ‘bottom’. Just a piece of paper, or today, an image depicted on a smart board, but the catalyst for a conversation they didn’t yet know they could have.
There’s a draw I feel towards maps. Whether it’s standing in front of a coffee table sized world atlas or the comfort of a spread out well-worn map on the floor there’s a magical mysticism and feeling of joy just looking at the world and taking a chance to explore the unknown. Google will without question help along the way, but plotting points or putting pins on a map provides a certain satisfaction. Perhaps I was an explorer in another life. Perhaps I would have set out on ship adventures to far away lands awaiting the discovery that would happen both on the journey and at the destination. Who knows? There’s wanderlust inside my veins that seems to be unquenchable. What I do know is that I have a strange affinity to maps and a love of the fact that looking and dreaming they offer endless possibilities. Adventure awaits!
How do you feel about maps?