Posted by: Waheeda Harris | February 6, 2013

The lure of the map

New Orleans - Beaucoup Nola mapI love maps.

It started early in life for me, thanks to an oversized atlas that my parents bought soon after we immigrated to Canada.  As a young child I would look through its pages, dreaming of what all those fabulous places on our planet looked like.

As I got older, I was thankful to have a pretty good sense of direction, so much that despite being relegated to the backseat when I went on road trips with my parents, I was the one who read the map, figured out the highway exits and would study the area for names and attractions.

Every time I’ve been given a map, I keep it. I can let go of so many things that are graciously given to me, but the maps go into a pile, happily stored away for that moment when I can take time to gaze at them.

When I spot a map displayed somewhere (like this on in a juice bar in New Orleans), I had to photograph it, just because it was a map.

But I do forget about them, relegated to a pile on my bookshelf. Life and work takes me in different directions and I have to focus on writing articles and doing the work that is demanded of me that day, that week.

And then someone assigns me an article of a place I visited last year or the year before. And I gleefully pull out my map, relishing in the joy of looking at the street names and place names, reliving my visit.

So although I’m not one to collect anything specifically, I think my addiction to maps has reached its limit. So to support my addiction, I’ve decided to use them in a home project (all to be revealed in the future) and to pass on maps to other travellers. No matter the electronic and technological advances, sometimes a paper map can make life that much easier.

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