I can’t remember how or why it started, but when we lived in NYC we had a cheap subway map mounted on a foam board, hung it on the wall, and then stuck in push-pins to mark every subway station we visited together.
Some lazy weekends when we didn’t know what to do, we would take off for a random faraway neighborhood just to earn another push-pin. (And, you know, to explore and stuff.)
We lugged the map along with us to DC, where it’s been living in our closet for the past seven months… until… yesterday! Andy surprised me by unveiling a framed version!
Admittedly, I suggested we get it framed about six and a half months ago, back before Andy was in French and when he was desperately looking for things to fill his days. And yet back then he whined about how he had far better things to do and just couldn’t possibly find the time. So, let’s keep that in mind when trying to decide how many husband-of-the-year points he gets. =) Nevertheless, a nice gesture.
Hopefully this map will eventually be joined by many others. You see, shortly after we signed on for this Foreign Service lifestyle we decided that to remember each country we called home for two or three years, we would invest in a nice, preferably old-timey map.
We like the idea of having a physical reminder of each post. Some people collect paintings, others masks, and others jewelry. But for us, maps just make the most sense. As a kid I had a dorky habit of spending hours hunched over a Rand McNally atlas, strictly for fun. And I’ve often caught Andy in the living room staring at the giant West Africa map I picked up at Main State. (Yes, it’s true. There’s a map room in the library where they just give out free maps. Go! Now!)
Even though we’re pretty settled on our new tradition, I’d still love to know how others remember — or plan to remember — where you’ve been.