A Dog-Eared Page: Travels with Myself and Another

You know the feeling: you discover a new writer, you devour their work and wonder how can it be that in all your reading you’ve never come across them before. You fight the urge to feel gypped and take comfort in the fact that you’ve seen the light and found a kindred spirit. You finish the book, favorite quotes/passages underlined, and add the book to a shelf of “can’t live without” books.

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Wish I May, Wish I Might

Years ago, I bought a National Geographic map of the world. My idea was to buy multi-color push pins for the places I’ve been vs. the places I want to visit so I could proudly hang it above my desk in lieu of a corkboard. Yeah, I’m nerdy like that. I was so motivated, I took the rolled-up map to a local Kinko’s and had it mounted on foamcore. To take it one step further, I even toyed with the idea of having it framed, but that seemed a little OCD, even for me.

But a funny thing happened on the quest to proudly display my wanderlust.

I couldn’t bring myself to place a pin on the map. It just seemed wrong, in a “defacing public property” kind of way. Here was a beautiful map of the world for my enjoyment and I was going to turn it into Pinhead, that creepy guy from “Hellraiser” (in the spirit of full disclosure, I did Google this – not being one for scary movies and all).

So now, after a year of sitting on my dresser it sits on my desk, staring back at me when I work from home. I find myΒ eyes will settle on a region — one day I’m studying the African continent and thinking about a hike up Kilimanjaro, the next I’ll ponder what it would be like to sail the Caribbean, plotting a course through both the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. And I think, would I be able to do this if the map was littered with pins? Maybe I just need niftily-designed push pins that are map-worthy and that will entice me to take a stab. Or maybe I should focus instead on a creating a wish list/bucket list instead (after all, my passport is a pretty good reminder of the places I’ve been).

So a question to my fellow travelers: how do you track your travels? Do you keep a log/journal of places you’ve visited? Or do you have an ever-growing bucket list of places to go?