I love maps.
They are one of my favorite things to look at. Whether it’s on a wall, a globe, a piece of art or in a book, there is something I find aesthetically pleasing about them. Fortunately for me, maps aren’t something you need to know a lot about to appreciate. You don’t need to take a cartography course to earn the right to say ‘I like maps’. No one will expect you to be able to explain latitude and longitude (whatever that is). The world is round, has water and land. Got it.
This minor obsession ties in rather predictably with my love of traveling. In fact, I have a map that allows me to scratch off countries that I have visited (and you can too!). It pushes me to want to explore different areas of the world and spread the scratched off areas around the map. This might take some time as there are close to two-hundred countries in the world and I’ve been to eleven.
What I find to be most fascinating from looking at them is perspective. I commute from a Northern New Jersey suburb to Brooklyn NY everyday.Sometimes my commute seems endless (mostly because NJ Transit can’t ever operate on schedule) but when I look at it on the map and slowly start to zoom out, it reveals how tiny and insignificant my trip is.
The great thing about maps is the way that can instill a sense of adventure by simply looking at them. In 2010, after I graduated college (whoa, totally just revealed my age) me and two friends packed up and took a road trip. How did we plan our trip? A map. We chose our destinations, planned a route and for thirty-two days we drove nearly ten-thousand miles across these United States. I never look at a map of America without thinking of that road trip now.
Final thought – check out this amazing map of the internet that an artist imagined and created.