flotsam, travel


It’s only been a few months since my last travel adventure. And, me being me, I have something else in queue.

But the fact that it is in queue, all set barring Covid-19-related travel restrictions, means it isn’t satisfying my wanderlust, and won’t until it’s time to go.

The planning is as much a part of it as the going.

So much of the world to see. I’ve barely touched South America. Asia won’t be back on the agenda for a while – as much because of the pandemic as because dear Lord that’s a long tiring way to go. And I haven’t been to Africa at all. Or Antarctica as long as I’m listing continents unseen.

There’s small bits of North America still unseen. And whole swaths of Europe.

My current map of Europe via Mapchart.net. Lots still to see!

In the absence of real travel plans, I find myself studying maps. North America, very easy of course, if you don’t count the Caribbean. All those islands. I can label groups of them, but others elude me, try as I might.

Maybe if I go there, that will help.

Latin and South America, also relatively easy to label. Though I still want to go see for myself, of course.

Europe. I have to think hard about the countries that had other labels when I was growing up. But I can get them all, if I take my time. The question of whether Americans can find Ukraine on a map irks me. It’s not hard to find.

Asia is harder for me. I can label the ones I’ve been to. Travel is good for that. Process of elimination gathers up a bunch of others. I can get them all. Again, I have to think harder about some than others … the -stans in particular. But it’s doable, if I think about it.

So now I’m trying to memorize the African continent. I’m getting better at it. It’s big. Lots of countries. I can get the entire east coast, and the larger ones. But all the little countries along the western coasts still stump me.

Not even considering all the island nations yet.

Well, learning is good. And as long as I’m not playing my word games, why not?

Learning the maps is not the same as traveling and filling them in with real experiences.

But it will do for the moment.

It’s cheaper too.