The rooms throughout my life have always been wallpapered with maps; road maps, trail maps, world maps, street maps. Free ones, vintage ones, handmade ones.

There are heaps of us with that intrinsic fascination with maps, the calm and grounding comfort feeling they provide. Much like stepping into an overstuffed used bookstore.

Here, they both whisper, here are countless ideas for you. Take a look.

Maps are simple. They are pure and unlimited in such simplicity; and when I mean simple I really mean without judgment. A map isn’t peppered with fear or anxiety, it’s not going to look at you sternly and say, “Ayy mate, better not go there, too dangerous.” It’s not factoring in the emotionally-laced news, the temporary weather, the political unrest.

It simply unfolds itself, end to end.

A map trusts you to trust yourself. It says, all right, here’s the lot, here’s where you could go. Go anywhere. It’s all there.

A map doesn’t care what kind of passport you have, what visas you might have to buy with casual bribes of rupiahs and rupees and baht. Not a lick about your own financial situation or what you should pack. It doesn’t give you a to-do list.

This is where adventure should begin—with a map.

Start with an idea, an immature whiff of a thing with which to present to others, and the adventurer is frequently met with hesitation, reserve and fear. Human stuff.

“How will you feed yourself?”

“Where will you stay?”

“How will you communicate?”

“How will you fend off creeps?”

“How can you afford this?”

“Won’t you get lonely? Hungry? Cold? Hot? Sore? Sad?”

As if those questions don’t already rage within us, as if the adventurer doesn’t have those same worries squeezing her vision at the corners.

You see, a map doesn’t believe in you, and it doesn’t not believe in you. Which is an essential quality to adventure: true, true true adventure is not about other people believing you can do it.

The map simply extends a question: will you choose to believe in yourself?

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