Have you ever played spin the globe or pin the tail on the map? Where did your finger or pin land?
When i was growing up I became fascinated about adventure. At first I used to spend my pocket money on Ladybird books telling stories of the journeys of Marco Polo, Captain Scott’s trek to the South Pole, Livingstones journey down the Nile in Africa and Captain Cooks discovery of Australia and his Pacific Journeys are just a few that captivated me. I would reach for the atlas and follow all of their expeditions on the map whilst reading about them.
A few years later i would just read an atlas by opening it and studying all the names of cities, follow the rivers to the sea, and plotting imaginary journeys. This progressed into opening the atlas , shutting my eyes, making a few circles in the air with my index finger and plunging it into the page. On opening my eyes i would note where it landed, which country, city etc and then go off to the library to investigate further. I would start with Encyclopedias and then narrow it all down to whatever books i could find on that particular region. Read, Learn and Live these imaginary adventures of mine. And so my love of Geography began.
At school i was lucky enough to have Geography teachers that made the subject interesting. I developed a deeper understanding of the world we live in. I began to travel and learnt more and more about different Countries, Cultures and Languages.
The first thing i do when arriving in a country is find free maps and study them, getting my bearings. At home i still read maps !!!! Planning new trips for my bucket list. Everything is much easier now than it used to be. Just get online and ask Mr Google a question and he will bring you millions of answers. Information overload.
But even with all the information available today at the click of a mouse, unless you actually put into action what you have learnt your world will not change.
As a Traveller it is the journey that matters for me and not the destination. Sometimes i have no idea which way to head. Last year in the Philippines I arrived in Caticlan after leaving Boracay. My options for onward travel were a bus south to Iloilo or a RORO ferry north to Roxas in Mindoro. Unable to decide I tossed a coin, Heads was north and Tails was south. It came up Heads so I bought a ticket for the ferry and headed to Mindoro.
If i hadn’t had a coin in my pocket i could just as easily have taken my Philippines map out of my backpack, closed my eyes, made circles with my finger and ………… you know the rest !!!!!!