Before I even realized that I loved to travel, I’ve always loved maps.
My parents always got me a subscription to National Geographic when I was younger, and every few months an issue would come out that had a big foldable map tucked in the middle of the magazine. I would spend hours looking at the maps, studying them, I always just found them fascinating.
Even though for most of us, a map is a drawing on a piece of paper, its really more than that. It can be simple or complex, colorful or black and white, shiny and new or dingy and dusty, with rips where the folding has happened, but really they can tell us a story, of places and people, if you look a little past all those squiggles of rivers and mountains.
I love maps as artwork, in my apartment now I have a framed picture of a map (reproduced) of an exploring expedition of the American southwest. And, when I was in Virginia recently and came across this map, I loved it. Drawn from the 1700s, it shows northern New England, and I found it to be pretty beautiful. So next time a map crosses your path, stop and take a look, they can tell us a lot more than where you’ve been and where you’re going.