Knee deep in a literature based curriclum for my two daughters, with one studying United States History from pre-colonial days through the early 1800's and the other studying world cultures, I find myself inundated with the spirit of adventure, and the desire to travel.
However, our curriculum came without detailed maps. Well, I admit I didn't buy the one they offered because I already one just like it. I mean the kind of detailed maps that show the map of the 13 colonies, and then a map highlighting the battle fronts of the revolutionary war, followed by a map of the Louisiana purchase, and a map of Lewis and Clark's journey across the continent.
Thankfully, for my eldest daughter's curriclum of world cultures, I have been able to find some great maps over the internet . . .and then I dug through an old bookshelf and found, a World Atlas. Somehow, being able to hold the maps in a book form helps me put myself there.
Today, we traveled from Baghdad through Allepo and Damascus to Tyre while reading a historical fiction book called Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barabar Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy.
There is a part of me that wants to really be there, to feel the sand under my feet, and the salty breeze from the Mediterranean Sea in my face.
However, on a limited budget and a busy, blessed, wonderful life, I think I will have to content myself with armchair travel for now, the travel of the imagination.
Travel of the imagination is a wonderful type of travel, I've found, and very useful to base in the real world. Even when I am created fantastical landscapese, I find they ring more true when I study a real place first. Besides, it's fun to do the research.
Have you heard of Andorra? It's a small country in southwestern Europe that I don't ever remember learning about at school.
Did you know you could buy your own
private island, if you have the means to do so?
Have you ever drawn your own map for your characters? Whether they live in a real or imagined place, I think this is a great exercise to get the feel for their travels, even if they stick to one city area.