Do You Travel By Map?

Book Discussion

When Linwood Barclay's Trust Your Eyes opens, we meet a man who is exploring New York City street by street. He wants to see the whole city, or at least as much of it as possible, before he has to move on to the next city. What we discover is that he's not in the city at all. He's exploring it by using the street-level option of a mapping website. I found this absolutely fascinating.

Let's for a minute ignore the fact that Thomas Kilbride made a gruesome discovery via his online travels. I had never thought of really visiting a city virtually the way that Thomas did. Don't get me wrong, I've looked up directions using mapping software and looked up places I've lived to see how they look online. Why haven't I used this technology to revisit places I've traveled? Why haven't I used to it explore new cities?

compass map

Image Credit: Calsidyrose on Flickr

Just think of all the places you could visit! I could go to London and follow the path of Mrs. Dalloway's walk. I could pretend to be on a Jane Austen walking tour in Bath. I could visit Dublin! I could eat my breakfast in Paris and have lunch in Rome. Heck, I could even just use to explore the cities I'm actually going to visit well enough so that I don't get lost when I exit the subway. I have a pretty good sense of direction that goes completely out the window the minute I step out of a subway station.

In the end, Thomas discovers that traveling by map is not a true replacement for actually visiting those cities. He discovers that being in a place is so much more about street routes. But I have a funny feeling the next time I'm lamenting the fact that a trip to Europe isn't in my travel plans, I might just find myself taking a lunch-time stroll down the map.

Have you ever traveled by map?

BlogHer Book Club Host Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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