It’s difficult to focus in stuff like brand, development, restructures etc when an adventure is hanging on the horizon. Or indeed the office wall.
2pm yesterday – I was sat in a team meeting at work. A huge map of the world was pinned on the wall. Try as I might to focus, my eyes wandered over to the smudgy brown relief of the Rockies.
Today – on the request of my boss, I printed off an A2 Google map of my route and pinned it onto our noticeboard. Given my colleagues keen interest in the wildlife of Canada I added “Here Be Bears” at the appropriate sections. Tomorrow (my last day at work) I may draw on moose, whales and eagles.
I love a good map.
A map is adventure on paper. You don’t even need to leave the house. You can just pull out a good map out, trace a route with your finger and start imagining…
A map isn’t just a picture of the world. It’s a picture of our minds, and a reflection of the way we think about and have acted upon the world. We draw neat lines, boxes, smooth edges and neat corners upon a rugged and tangled world.
Just look at a map of Canada – those dead-straight lines along the provincial borders are the products of history, not geology. Recently I’ve been reading a interesting book about Canadian history. The book points out that having two nations running in horizontal stripes west to east across the North American continent is pretty odd because the physical geography runs more vertically like this:
So over the next 3 and a half months I will be cycling across a single country. But this map shows I’ll also be cycling across 7 different physiographic provinces. What will it be like to witness the transition from the Rockies and the interior highlands to the great plains and Canadian shield?
I can’t wait to watch, at the speed of a bicycle, the slow and majestic unfolding of the riotous colours, vegetations, smells, storms, squawking wildlife spectacles, rock formations and sandy shores that Canada has to show.
I can’t wait to turn my imaginations into memories.
And through the ceaseless tapping of my pedals, I can’t wait to turn the neatly plotted line on the map into my own meadering path across this great and varied continent.