Saturday, May 10, 2008

Not been there! (Or there, or there, or there!)

When a colleague referred yesterday to the landmasses on either side of the Straights of Gibraltar as Russia and the United States, I was unable to bite my tongue and I blurted out, "No, that would be Africa and Europe." If looks could kill . . . I should have kept quiet. No one else in the room would have known, and I wouldn't have shown her up. I keep forgetting that most Americans haven't done the travelling that I have, and indeed many have never left their home state. Still, I am often surprised by their lack of geographical knowledge.

Watching travel shows with my family we would often chorus "Been there!" as they introduced each new place. However, when I put the map below together it was quite humbling to see what a tiny portion of the world I have actually visited. (I didn't include places like Japan or Iceland where I never actually left the airport, and there are a few countries between Greece and Italy that I know I drove through with my parents when I was a baby.) I've never even been to Scotland, although my mother was born there. (We set off to get there on one occasion, but got sidetracked by Hadrian's Wall. Apparently it does a good job of keeping the Sassenachs out!) I have been to very few of the US states, though I admit that there are some that I have no interest in visiting. Highlighting the whole of China is misleading as the portion of China I have actually visited is really very small - half a dozen cities. There are still whole continents I haven't made it to yet. Sadly with the cost of travel going up and up, it is going to be a long time before I get to add any more locations to my map, though there is the slim possiblity of adding Washington state and Alaska in the next year or two. I'd definitely like to add Australia, New Zealand and India to my map eventually. I'd like to go back to China and add Thailand and Vietnam to my list too, but it would have to be without DH as he has no interest in visiting Asia

I would guess many of my fellow expat bloggers have been to far more places than I have - I'd be interested to see your maps!


Anonymous said...

If you ever make it to Colorado, you have a place to stay. I have a big house, and I'm on the edge of tourist mecca-ville, being just 70 miles from Aspen. I killed my blog, by the way.

Almost American said...

Thanks Jude :-) One day we'll get out there I hope. I lurked more than I commented at your blog, but I did notice when you shut it down.

iwi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
iwi said...

Little brother ties on 11% of the world visited to date.

I reckon M&D should have us both well beaten though.

Almost American said...

Hmm little brother - you've got me beat in continents visited though, and probably in countries you can actually remember, given that I was so young when I was in many of them!

Mmm said...

I love these things. I haven't been to quite as many places as you (map posted on my blog somewhere) but one day surely will travel a lot more. My mother, however, has been to tonnes--almost every continent. Quite amazing really.

Yes, that Gibraltar incident is too true--can relate.l However, I was shocked at how little my 18 year old niece knew of the States--couldn't pinpoint on state at all. Still, I do remember we wer always good at other countries, just not good at America for some odd reason. I mean, after all, we did learn the Australian "states' as it were and the like

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