It started with a blank map. Knowing what I know now about my life and who I have become it is almost comical to think that an object as mundane as a map would have such a profound impact.
Yet, as I think about history I can’t help but wonder how many souls of the ages were inspired by a single word, look or phrase. Heck, Sir Isaac Newton credits his theory of gravity to the observation of a falling apple. These seemingly simple agents of fate have served their purposes and ignited sparks that have changed the course of history. God works in mysterious ways, He speaks to our hearts in quiet whispers and sometimes uses insignificant objects like apples or maps to help us realize our purpose. When I walked into staples in 2001 as an unfocused adolescent I had no idea that on this common shopping trip I would receive my greatest inspiration. I entered aimlessly, but left with two items that would come to symbolize my life’s greatest ambition.
My Map that Started Blank all those years ago has not stayed that way! I have been pretty busy filling my map! My goal is to travel to 30 countries before I am thirty years old!
Goal: 30 Countries before I am thirty years old.
Current Count: 41 Countries, and I’m 33 years old!
STICKERS FILLING MY WORLD MAP
(In order of my visits)
2. Scotland: Spring 2006
- Scotland: My First Love
- Edinburgh: Castles, Ceilidhs & an ode to Haggis
- Finding Scotland: Scott’s View, Dryburgh Abbey and Abbotsford
3. England: Spring 2006, Summer 2011, Spring 2014
4. Germany : Spring 2007, Summer 2015
5. Belgium: Spring 2007 and Summer 2015
6. France: Spring 2007, Summer 2011
7. Italy: Summer 2007, Dec/Jan 2019
8. Vatican City: Summer 2007, Dec/Jan 2019
9. Jamaica: Summer 2008/ Various childhoods
10. Canada: Winter 2008, Spring Break 20 Summer 2019
11. Spain: Summer 2011, Spring 2013, Fall 2016
12. Monaco: Summer 2011
13. Switzerland: Summer 2011
14. Austria: Summer 2011
15. Czech Republic: Summer 2011
16. Mexico: Christmas 2011, November 2019
17. New Zealand: Summer 2012
18. Australia: Summer 2012
19. Singapore: Summer 2013
20. Thailand: Summer 2013
21. Cambodia: Summer 2013
22. Malaysia: Summer 2013
23. China: Summer 2013
24. South Korea: Summer 2013
25. Japan: Summer 2013
26. Ireland: Spring Break 2014
27. Finland: Spring and Summer 2015, Spring break 2016, Summer 2018
28. Russia: March 2015, Summer 2015, Spring Break 2016, October 2017
29. Sweden: Spring 2015
30. Denmark: Spring 2015
31. Estonia: Spring 2015
32. Netherlands: Summer 2015
33. Norway: Summer 2015
34. Brazil: Summer 2016- Olympics!
35. Portugal: October 2016
36. Argentina: Spring Break 2017
37. Chile: Spring Break 2017
38. Hungary: Summer 2018
39. Poland : Summer 2018
40. Iceland: October 2019
41. Romania: December/ Jan 2020
10 thoughts on “My Map”
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Beautiful Story of God’s leading. Love you always-Mom
P.S. you need to color in another country !!!! I was expecting Finland to be “blue” 🙂
wonderfull great idea
2 more countries to go in 2 more years shouldn’t be hard.
Suggest a small Scandinavian trip:
Stand on top of the “Ribe Domkirke” and enjoy the view across the flatlands. (Church, built in 1110-1134). Travel up the coast from there, see the beaches and the WW2 bunkers, some still in place, securing the Axis powers from an Allied invasion. Go to Roskilde and study the original viking ships there and visit a viking market.
Continue either to Oslo to sail all the way up to Tromsø or take a ride on a river boat on the Göta canal in Sweden.
That will add two more countries to your map.
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Weird you didn’t visit Egypt yet
Hello, is new years eve and I’m reading your story that is great. I hope you will visit Greece in some time.It’s a wonderful country for the visitors and in contrast with Finland not for the students as well.
Would next be Maldives…?
Nice to see The Netherlands on your list…, and that you have ticked off New Zealand already.
Do let me know when you might like to come here, Family Kiwidutch live in The Hague and are rather in the habit of taking in random strangers… we have guest room. Nothing fancy or large but a free bed is a free bed right? As a family we also save hard for travel, and we share your experience ethos. 🙂
We also like to blend with the locals if we can, rather than do the tourist thing, but, as you mentioned with your Venice experience, a few tourist things just “need” to be done sometimes. Why go to Paris and not go up Tour Eiffel for instance? Great blog, I’m having fun reading.
Thank you so much. It sounds like you have a lovely family. I would love to stay in touch.