Map Obsession

According to the Been app, I’ve only been to 2% of the world.

At least, according to the countries I’ve visited so far.

This post is titled “map obsession” due to the fact that I love collecting maps. No joke. One of the souvenirs I like to get from the states and countries I travel to are maps of the cities I visit, or of the entire country itself.

Yesterday in class we discussed the Gaza Strip. I learned that there are beaches on the coast of the middle east that people like to go surfing at. In today’s world, we don’t truly realize there are lives on what people see as “the other side.” I pulled up Google Maps to see what the area looked like. I then stared at all the countries around the area in that region for a good two minutes before zooming out to see what else there would be to explore… it’s not that far from the places I’ve visited in Europe.

Traveling is scary because of the threats of both ends. You never know what crazy hides around the corner, but then again, in my own country someone can easily conceal a weapon or hit me with their car. Tragedy can strike anywhere.

I’ve been fortunate to travel to Europe twice last year–one for my study abroad in Spain and one for a trip that was planned way before to France. While in Spain (I know I’m repeating myself if you’ve read my other posts), I did weekend trips to Rome and Barcelona. In those cities, everywhere I went I saw that there were tons of police and military officers at every tourist attraction. I wasn’t sure whether I should feel safe or scared. Ultimately, I decided I shouldn’t live my life fearing what may or may not happen. The scary events can happen anywhere, and if I let that deter me from traveling the world, well… I’ll never get anywhere.

So here I am, staring at a map, trying to figure out where to go next. Eventually I’d like to go back to Spain, France and Italy to explore the other cities that I missed. I want to do a trip to the UK, Iceland, the Netherlands, Greece, Egypt, Morocco… I mean, I just want to get to as many places as I can and take in the different cultures around the world. Then there’s Asia–I’ve only been once and it was when I was three, so that barely counts.

The world is such huge playground with nooks and crannies to explore. I don’t want to just stare at my maps all day… I want to be putting them to good use!

And I will. I’ll take every opportunity until I no longer have life within me…

(I’m dramatic, I know.)

Where would you like to visit? Or suggest I visit?

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