The Map Happy Travel Story
Map Happy Travel is something that I've been dreaming of for more years than I would like to admit to. And no, that's not a reference to me feeling or being old, it's a reference to the fact that sometimes life moves so fast that we forget to slow down and reflect on the amazing moments that we experience. Something that I've learned and something I'm always trying to be better at, is remembering and prioritizing the importance of bringing joy into our lives and doing the things that make us happy. I love to travel, to explore, to learn, to connect with and learn from others. I also love to share my experiences with others and help to inspire them to be brave, explore, and follow their own travel dreams.
I feel very grateful to have had a lot of adventures up until this point and I'm very excited for all that is still to come. Ask any of my friends or family and they'll tell you how passionate I am about traveling. People who know me know that not only have I been to a lot of places, but that I'm also someone who likes to try to get off the beaten path. I strive to find those unique places, those local gems, or those funny quirky spots that spark curiosity within me.
I'm 32 years old and I have been to 26 countries. I'm on my second passport. I have an antique suitcase in my apartment that is filled with maps and airline ticket stubs from all my adventures since I first took off at the age of 19. Currently I work full-time in GIS, making maps for local government. But even when I'm not at work I find myself making maps for my own personal use. I'm a visual person and I'm incredibly passionate about the power of mapmaking in the stories that can be told through points and spatial data.
Yup, I'm a total map nerd. I'm also a total nerd for researching new places to explore. I love learning about a new area and I get so excited even before I leave my own home. Through all the time I've spent and the research that I've done, I've noticed a very similar trend with most travel blogs. It's not too difficult to find great lists of the best restaurants or the best hiking spots or the most interesting sites. But for me, the map nerd, I always want to know exactly where all of the items on those lists are located and how they all relate to one another and to where the heck I should book my hotel.
Enter Map Happy Travel. Every guide about traveling to a specific location will always include a map highlighting points of interest from my adventures. You will even find a Bucket List Map including some of the places I had on my list, but either didn't have time to visit or my path took me down another road.
The theme of this blog is exploration. I mentioned, I'm currently employed with a full-time job and even have one part time job in addition to that. So my explorations may feel few and far between in comparison to my early twenties. It's true that now that I have limited vacation hours, that I'm restricted to shorter duration. That does not however mean that I do not get creative. While some of my adventures involve weeks abroad in a rented car driving along the Great Ocean Road in Australia. Other adventures involve renting a car and driving from my house near Boston and then along the entire coast of Maine. This blog will include a lot of adventures in New England, adventures within the United States, and adventures in countries all around the world.