The author of the Geographic Travels blog provided a survey of his personal geography in an article a few days ago called Geographical Survey of Catholicgauze. That sounded like a fun idea so I decided to use the same survey questions for a "Geographical Survey of 12MC." Then I decided to add a few more questions and answers. Maybe others can keep the survey going and continue to add to it.
I’m not sure even though I’ve probably researched this more than anyone. My surname is incredibly rare even though one might not realize that because of its mundane pronunciation. I’ve calculated that it’s a one-in-a-million surname (literally) in the United States. Circumstantial evidence seems to point towards a German-speaking area of Switzerland before the surname traveled across the Atlantic where it was "Americanized" to its current form by 1810.
Geographical Region of Where I Grew Up
Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. I’ve traveled widely since then but I live less than four miles from where I was born because of an odd assortment of coincidences. I feel so Fifteenth Century!
Geography of Last Meal Eaten
I can’t even begin to say. I had a grocery store knock-off version of Honey Bunches of Oats with milk before typing this article this morning. Counter-intuitively, in spite of its name the leading ingredient is corn (maize) rather than oats. It was first domesticated in Mesoamerica. All of the vitamins additives originated from whatever laboratory first isolated them I guess. The milk came from a cow in Pennsylvania.
Extremes of Travel
I actually figured this out already for an article on 12MC awhile back called My Travel Box
- North: Reykjavík, Iceland at 64.15° N followed closely by Denali State Park in Alaska at 62.27° N.
- South: Sydney, Australia at the airport at 33.97° S
- East: Cape Byron, NSW, Australia at 153.64° E followed less closely by Kyoto, Japan at 135.76° E
- West: Koke’e State Park on the island of Kauai, Hawaii at 159.68° W
Then, because the Prime Meridian is so arbitrary and any number of places could have substituted for Greenwich, I recreated the same set of calculations using the old American Meridian.
Top Three Places Recommended for Travel
- Belgium (for beer aficionados)
Three Places I Want to Visit
- The Caprivi Strip Strip and over to the near-quadripoint of Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botwana
- Kalawao County, Hawaii
Unique Personal Way to Count Where I Have Been
I’m a relentless counter but I’m not sure any of them fall into the category of uniquely personal. Maybe Breweries and brewpubs (271 as of today) would be my favorite. But I also count counties (of course), ferries, fortresses, lighthouses and waterfalls that I’ve visited, all to varying degrees.
I thought I’d add my own stamp to the survey by personalizing it with a few other noteworthy items.
Farthest I’ve Gone Out of My Way to Say I’d Been Somewhere
Approximately 500 miles in a single day. This was a round-trip south from Kansas City one fine Saturday many years ago solely so I could say I’d been to Oklahoma and Arkansas. This continues to be my only visit to either of those states. I hope to correct that someday.
My First International Travel
Canada. I was in a marching band in the sixth grade and we rode on buses up to Toronto and stayed for a couple of nights. We didn’t get much of an opportunity to see this sights from what I recall.
First Time on an Airplane
This was sometime early in my elementary school years for a trip to see our relatives in Houston, Texas. I guess I was probably about six or seven. Flights were expensive prior to deregulation and it was a big deal for our middle-class family. I remember that we flew on Continental Airlines because the one thing that impressed me the most was seeing their logo stamped onto a pat of butter when they served us our meals. Of course it was on china with real utensils. How times have changed. Airplanes are now buses and airports are a hassle. When was the last time I actually received anything more than a small bag of pretzels on a flight, much less a meal?
In contrast, my kids have flown several times a year since birth and have frequent flyer cards, but they never got to experience the golden age of flight.