I love maps.
They invite us to daydream – about places we have visited; places we would love to visit someday; and places so exotic or so far away, that we know we will never, ever visit.
In my childhood, I remember my parents had hung a giant World Map in the living room. They stuck red pins into all the cities they had visited. Then they tied strands of thread between the pins, as if to show how far they had traveled.
Today, you can do the same thing online with Google Maps. It’s fun to see our geographic-yesterdays. To daydream about our tomorrows. And to plot our next move.
The First Map I Ever Drew (1971 – age 6 or 7)
I’m sure the T.V. news was blaring in the background because I was aware enough to draw “Side Gone” (Saigon), Paris and “Ch” (China) – this, during the height of the Vietnam War.
The rendering of “Afreeca” pretty much sums up most Americans’ knowledge of the Dark Continent: a large unknowable landmass somewhere in the southern hemisphere.
Other close-enough accuracies (for a 6-year-old): New York is to the west of Germany; Japan, Hong Kong and China are clustered in the Far East; and four of the eight major Hawaiian Islands are represented here.
As for “Danger Island” or “Skeleton Island”? A quick Google search reveals that Danger Island was a live-action T.V. series (1968-1969) that ran during The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. I was probably watching a re-run in 1971.
Hawai’i – Interisland Flights (late 1960’s – 2005)
Here are my inter-island flights in Hawai’i. Of the eight major Hawaiian Islands, three I have never visited (Lana’i, Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe).
• “Big Island” of Hawai’i: One of my earliest childhood memories is a family vacation to the Big Island (around 1968). My favorite Big Island memory is hiking with Dad in 2005 on the Kīlauea Iki Trail , where you descend through a lush rain forest to the still-steaming floor of the Kīlauea Iki Crater lava lake. Highly recommended.
• Molokaʻi: Surely, I thought, a 1974 family vacation to this sleepy lightly-populated island would be the only visit. But in 1991, then-U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka (my former boss) authorized a site visit to the leper colony at Kalaupapa National Park, which requires permission from the Hawai’i Department of Health. Mandatory isolation of the leper colony, which sits at the base of 2,000-foot sea cliffs and is accessible only by air, was repealed in 1969. Only about 14 sufferers of leprosy (Hansen’s Disease) still voluntarily live there.
• Kaua’i: My high school Speech & Debate Team flew to Kaua’i in 1981 for a statewide competition. After taking the lead in “Extemporaneous Speaking”, I threw up (probably the flu) and got a nice view of the inside of the Emergency Room at the hospital. I don’t even remember visiting Waimea Canyon. Probably too busy vomiting.
• Lānaʻi, population 3,100, is the sixth largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Any place nicknamed “The Pineapple Island” has to be on my Bucket List.
• Niʻihau (population 170), where Hawaiian is still spoken, is a private island owned by the Robinson family. Very few visitors are allowed, which is why it is nicknamed “The Forbidden Isle”.
• Kaho’olawe, the smallest of the Hawaiian Islands, is uninhabited. It was used as a training ground and bombing range by the U.S. military until 1990. Today, access is restricted for Native Hawaiian cultural and spiritual purposes.
California & Arizona (and a Toe in Mexico) (1975)
Read the series of posts HERE.
Pacific Northwest: Washington, Western Canada & Montana (1977)
California (Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena) (1979)
Not my high school marching band, but something similar. The video shows part of the Rose Bowl Parade in 1979.
Washington, D.C., Virginia & Maryland (1982-1995)
NYC, New Jersey, Penn. (Spraker Rifles) (1984/1985)
Orlando, Florida – First Visit (1984)
Circumnavigators Foundation Round-the-World Research Grant and Trip (1985)
How to travel around the world in three months or 23,692 miles: Just keep heading west from Washington, DC to London, Paris, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Jerusalem (via Tel Aviv), Cairo (via Kuwait City), New Delhi (via Bombay), Singapore (via Bangkok), Tokyo, Honolulu and back to Washington, DC (via Chicago).
Israel, Jordan & The West Bank (Int’l. Leadership Foundation) (1985)
Amtrak to New York City & Hoboken, New Jersey (1988)
Thanksgiving in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida (1988)
Christmas in Boston, Massachusetts (1988)
Congressional Junket 1: U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado) (1988 / 1989)
Holiday Stopover in Northridge & Los Angeles, Calif. (1989)
Charleston & John’s Island, South Carolina (1990-1996)
Congressional Junket 2: Unocal Calif. Visit (Jan. 1991)
Germany (Frankfurt & Munich) (USAR Training) (June 1991)
Congressional Junket 3: Ka’Iwi Field Hearings (Honolulu, Maui, Big Island, Kalaupapa, Molokai) (June-July 1991)
Atlanta, Georgia (1995)
St. Augustine and Key West, Florida (1999)
Disney Cruise Lines: Western and Eastern Caribbean (2008-2014)
Norwegian Cruise Line: Honduras, Belize City, and Costa Maya, Mexico (2014)
Albany, New York; Vermont; New Hampshire (2011)
Las Vegas, Nevada (Feb. 2016)
London, England (July 2016)
Read the series HERE.
Total Countries and Territories Visited (26):
• North America (3): USA, Canada, Mexico
• Caribbean/Central America (8): Honduras, Belize, The Bahamas, British Virgin Islands (including Tortola), U.S. Virgin Islands, The Cayman Islands (British Overseas Territory), Bermuda (British island territory), St Martin/Sint Maarten (jointly administered by France and the Netherlands)
• Europe (8): United Kingdom, France, Germany, Yugoslavia, Lichtenstein, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg
• Middle East (4): Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordan
• Asia (3): India, Singapore, Japan
• Africa (excluding Egypt, counted above) (0)
• South America (0)
• Australia / Pacific Basin (excluding Hawaii, counted above) (0)
Total U.S. States Visited (20):
Hawaii, California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Washington, Idaho, Montana, New York, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida. *Also, Washington, D.C. (not a U.S. state, but should be).
Oh, gosh. That’s less than half the U.S. states. I need to get traveling again!
Note: All maps © Google / Google Maps. Red-line drawings show connections between cities, not actual travel routes.
Return to HOME PAGE