Oh the Places We’ve Been!

I’ve come to realize I really enjoy maps. They are so fascinating. Cities, towns, lakes, rivers although all discovered not all discovered by yours truly. I catch myself staring at them for hours. Thinking about how long it would take me to drive to San Francisco if I fly to Portland. (I mean it’s like RIGHT there relative to Jersey)Β  I’ve also come to realize I enjoy travel more than I once thought. This combination fueled a fun and forever evolving project.

Upon a semi recent trip to my wonderful college roomie’s house I got pretty jealous she beat me to the punch.Β  Over at Creating Confidence you can see roomie’s version of her “travel map”.

Because Mr. Fiance and myself have really only ventured to the greater Americas we started simple with a map of North and Central America. I found a really nice vintage map from the 1960’s with gorgeous coloring. Little bit of spray glue, foam core board, and skills from Art School I mounted the map so I had something to pin into.

I then took a quick trip to Office Depot, grabbed some map pins and hurried home. The colors left a lot to be desired. (White, Black, Red)

Quick can of spray paint and I fixed that problem

Future Hubs and I decided that rather than just including trips we went on together we would also include trips we’ve gone alone. Pink represents my travels, blue his, and white is where we’ve been together.

I’m still working on a frame to enclose the whole project but for now it’s just fine hanging raw. He may have significantly more pins West of the Mississippi but I’ve got the East coast dead and buried. He’s got me beat on furthest North, Canada, but I’ve traveled way closer to the equator than he has, Nicaragua. It’s also exciting to see how many white (us) trips we’ve taken.

The most exciting thing about this slightly lovey dovey project is how it will always be evolving. Removing a pink or a blue pin to replace with a white one, adding a new color once our traveling changes from “us” to “all of us” (ie potential future family trips) Just look at all that blank yet to be pinned and conquered map. Looking forward to hitting all 50 states and further.

146 thoughts on “Oh the Places We’ve Been!

  1. I think my husband and I will definitely do this! Great idea – I like the different colors for different people and I love the idea of replacing a lot of them with a shared color.

    • For someone who’s a bit of a home body herself I’m going to insist you do some traveling. Even if it’s to a travel spot close to home. I live close to NYC and just went to the top of the Empire State Building for the first time last year. I’ve lived here my whole life. There’s always new things to see and new paths to take. Start small and dream big. I’m so glad I could inspire you. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. (And get yourself somewhere fabulous)

  2. You need a green pin for where you most want to visit in the future. Seattle’s a great choice since neither of you have been to The Pacific Northwest. Do you feel a commercial here? LOl
    Great job on being Freshly Pressed!
    Have fun commenting on all of the responses you’re getting!

    • We actually have family in Seattle whom we should really go visit. Seattle’s VERY high on my list of places I must go. Maine is a home away from home for me, and the Pacific North West is rumored to be just as stunning. I fear putting “places we want to go” pins in as there will be no map area left πŸ™‚ At the minimum I want to see every state. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Means the world to me.

  3. I love the idea of separate travels, together travels, and the idea of an evolving art piece. I too love staring at maps of all kinds, and this is a neat way to make it interactive, and meaningful.

    • Do it Joanna! $10 for the map on Ebay, couple of dollars for the pins, and what? $6 for a piece of foam core? It will bring you more joy than you think. Worth every penny. And such a conversation piece. Thank you taking the time to read my humble little blog. Really appreciate it.

  4. I love this! I used to have a map showing places I’d been and also places I had friends all over the world. I keep meaning to reinstate it but haven’t decided where to put it since I moved and life moved…I really should get that together again! Thanks for the nudge. I love your pink pins too by the way πŸ™‚

    • Office? Bedroom? Living room? Bathroom? Who cares where you put it! I 100% support the reinstatement of the map. Pink is my favorite color. It was one of those “ya just have to” kind of things. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. Means so much to me.

      • Thanks for your support and replying to my comment πŸ™‚ I’ll put that map up then! I will need to find a new backing for it. It used to hang on a cork board where I was living before. I don’t have a big enough board anymore…

  5. Very inspirational idea! I hope the rest of your lives together makes for many more pins! And… don’t know if children are in your future together… but adding colors for their travels would make for great family memories! Good luck!

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad I can inspire others as I am usually the one turning to others for the inspiration. I’m from a massive extended family. Children are in my destiny… just not yet.

  6. Another great blog Liz!
    Love the push pin travel map – this version is so you. Great photos; and your narrative puts a smile on my face πŸ™‚

    Congratulations on your front page feature! Keep those blogs coming!
    Love, “Future Aunt” Sue

  7. This is so great! I have a world map with pins on it too! Red for where I’ve been, green for where I want to go and yellow for where I’m going. My push-pins are shaped like flags, but I just used the colours they had. I really like your idea of painting the pins, I never would have thought of that!

    • SPRAY THEM! It’s so quick and easy. 1 to 2 coats and you’re good to go! I do like the red, yellow, green concept. Always something to look forward to right? (Or happy memories to look back on.) Thank you so much for the comment! Happy blogging and happy travels!

    • Getting the kids involved is always a plus. They can even pick out places they would like to visit! It’s a great way to teach them about the world around them; from what’s in their backyard (I didn’t realize we lived THAT close to New York) to a global scale (There are elephants in Thailand?!?) Thank you for the comment and being part of this amazing night in my life.

    • It’s probably the quickest and easiest “art project” you’ll ever tackle. I would imagine it’s a great way to teach kids about the greater World around us. (From local to global) Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment! You’re helping to make my night awesome.

      • I love the map you all have used though…I was looking for something like that until I gave up and just used the globe πŸ™‚ My hubby is way more global than I although we just took an epic adventure to NZ…come check it out on my blog or photo gallery sometime! Great to connect with you over travel and maps πŸ™‚

  8. Oh this is a really nice idea! I used to have a similar thing happening online but I removed it. I feel like doing it again now!

  9. Absolutely and utterly having the biggest nerd spaz out of my life. Beyond humbled and touched that you would all take the time to read my little blog AND comment such beautiful words. Thank you ALL for the love and support. Humbled, touched, honored, and overwhelmed. Unwinding with a glass of wine and some Willie Nelson. Thank you thank you thank you!

  10. Enjoying your site so I’m nominating you for my Illuminating Blogger Award for informative, illuminating blog content. I know not everyone participates in blog awards but I hope you’ll at least check it out because it’s a great way to discover new blogs and meet new web friends. If you’re interested in participating, you can check out the details at my site … foodstoriesblog dot com & then click on “Illuminating Blogger Award Site” in the upper right-hand corner … Either way, hope you’re having a great day πŸ™‚

    • What an honor!! I’ve never been nominated for a blog award so by default I haven’t participated, but am very honored and very willing to be part of it! Thank you so much! How touching!

  11. I’ve had this on my to do list for ages! Deciding this is going to happen as soon as we move into our new home. I just love the reminder of everywhere we have been!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read my little blog. So glad I could give you the nudge to get something off your to do list. (I LOVE to do lists) Congratulations on your new home! Hope the big move goes well.

  12. I just love this idea of yours, and I will suggest this to my mother so that she can make something like this for our family!! πŸ™‚

  13. What a great way to start conversations, too. People come over and see your map, start asking questions, and the next thing you know, you’re having a very animated discussion.

    • Agreed! It’s so fun to hear what people thought of places they’ve been, what they recommend, or simply where they’ve been. Love when people go to places you wouldn’t expect them to visit. The conversations are always the best part. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  14. Very inspiring. I have had to retire early due to a disabling illness. I have always loved to travel but flying can now prove difficult & excaserbate my condition. Yesterday my son arrived with a fully equipped Winnebago & we realized it could prove to be my new mode of holidaying. Australia is a big country & perfect for exploring. Now I just need to find a suitable map. So pleased I found your blog. Inspiring, inspiring!!!

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your illness. It sounds very not fun 😦 That Winnebago sounds like a perfect solution to the traveling hurdle you were facing. I personally am dying to take a cross country road trip. I hope you cover many miles and have a relaxing low pain journey. You inspire me! Get out there and explore all that Australia has to offer. (A country that’s very high on my list of visiting) Honored that I inspire you! Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  15. I LOVE the idea, and how romantic! You’ve even got plans in mind for future “colors”, how cool is that? Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, and thanks for the smile, I enjoyed your post!!

  16. Fun! I love maps! I just started doing a similar thing for Japan, but with Choppers (a popular Japanese character that you can by regional souvenir keychains of wherever you go in Japan). Problem is, I’ve been to way more places than I have Choppers for, because I just started this recently, but it’s still fun!

  17. Happy traveling! If you are in the Northeast, you should drive across the border, as well. Maybe to Toronto, maybe further to Montreal or Ottawa. You will be surprised how different the culture can be even just in Canada, or especially in the French part of Canada. And it is so easy to drive there and have a relatively cheap trip.

    • Funny you should mention Canada. My fiance is 100% Canadian, his parents are both from Montreal. We love Harvey’s, poutine, and especially Montreal Bagels (we usually cross the border with no joke 6-9 dozen) We’ve visited both Montreal and Toronto (and Kitchner) on family trips. I also went to Niagara Falls while in college in Rochester, NY. Canada is sneak-a-ly more south than one would think. With that said, Mr. Fiance promised (for 7 years now) to take me to Quebec City and we have yet to make that trip. It’s on the bucket list for sure! I’ve heard such great things about Ottawa! We’ll make it there some day for sure. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Appreciate more than you’ll ever know, eh? πŸ™‚

  18. 1. I love maps – I want to hang old maps on my wall
    2. I really want to do this project as well – so fun. . . And it seems as a great way to inspire to more traveling.

    Great post πŸ™‚


  19. I loved his post and the pics of the pinned map. It was so nice to read someone still loving maps! I do too, and still way prefer navigating my journey on a paper one as supposed to a google one, or gazing at a world map as apposed to a google one. These days we’re blessed with amazing technology but it’s just still important and special to use the ‘old fashioned’ paper style format – I find it grounding and exciting, and inspiring. I think it makes you feel more connected to all the world around you perhaps?
    Look forward to hearing of all your adventures. It’s reminded me how much I’m excited about meeting a fellow and having many more adventures to come, so thank you. Happy exploring! x

    • Here’s to meeting fellows and going on adventures! I agree, technology is great, however there’s something magical about unfolding a map and plotting your travels. (and then the magic ends and the frustration of folding that sucker back up takes over) Good luck in finding Mr. Right. I’m so thankful to have someone in my life who would rather go camping in the deep woods with me for a week than sit with our butts in the sand on some generic beach. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  20. Oh, I love this! Like you, I sit and study maps and daydream. I’m the only person I know who still uses atlases for road trips. GPS just doesn’t cut it.

    I like the idea of sticking pins in to mark where I’ve been, but my husband would be so jealous. He never travelled before he met me. So I’ll just make mental notes. Or maybe just do white pins so he’s included.

    • I have a US Atlas in my car which has come in handy once or twice. I agree sometimes GPS doesn’t cut it. There’s nothing wrong with doing a map for just your travels together. Although, You’d be surprised how many places he may have been. In my opinion local day trips count just as much as the big planned escapes. Thank you so much for reading! Hope you and your hubby get lots of travel miles under your belt.

  21. I currently have a giant world map in our kitchen that we play with! We mark where we have been and where we want to go, and are including his son in the project to get him more interested in seeing the world! It’s such fun thing, and makes a wonderful statement when you walk in the front door! πŸ™‚ Happy travels!

  22. I’ve always thought about doing something like that (mainly with a EU map, for me), since I’ve always travelled a lot with my parent’s motorhome… but I’ve not put it into practice (yet). I should take inspiration from your idea. the spinning globe (see comment above) is also a great idea! πŸ™‚

  23. What a great idea. I love the symbolism of replacing with the whites. My husband and I were both lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel growing up and now love traveling and sharing new experiences together

  24. Cute idea! I love the idea of a vintage map. I used to have an old sepia one and pinned my places with pearl thumbtacks. I’ve moved a lot and eventually had to get rid of the tattered thing. You’ve inspired me to make a new one!


  25. I’m from the UK and the only other country I’ve visited it Bangladesh (where my parents are from), but one of my dreams is to take a road trip across the US and visit all fifty states. It will probably be several years till I do this but I can’t wait! πŸ™‚

    • A very good friend of mine did a cross country road trip. I’m so jealous she pulled it off. Driving cross country is a dream of mine too. I hope you make it over the pond to the states soon! I dream of driving through the Scottish country side. Funny how that happens huh? Bangladesh must have been amazing. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  26. Just wanted to say this is an extremely fulfilling and adorable project, and I love it. Great idea to use paint to change the boring, standard pin colors. One of my goals after graduating university is to put some life back into crafts and projects which have been long abandoned. Thank you for making my day, and have fun exploring the world! πŸ˜€

    • Thank you for making my day with your kind words! Good luck with finishing up school, and dusting off those craft supplies. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  27. I’ve been doing this with my ‘Cities I’ve Visited’ App but it never occurred to me – until reading your blog – what a wonderful, interactive, constantly-evolving, and inspiring (for any kids hubby and I may have) piece of wall art a map with colored pins might be! Thanks for the idea and happy travels!

  28. Oh, I LOVE this idea!!! I just got married in Nov. & we have a blended family. We have a huge wall-sized world map that we could use. With 4 kids, I can imagine how fun this will be to record as we begin our new adventures together!!! πŸ™‚

    • Congratulations on your Marriage! So glad I could help bring your family closer together. Thank you so so much for taking the time (from what I can assume is a very busy schedule) to read and comment. Means so much to me. Hope you have many happy trips with your new family.

  29. This is a great idea! Wish I was brave enough to travel on my own… My map would look pretty pathetic.
    I have a map that I always bring along when I meet people from a certain internet forum, and have them sign in the general area of their hometown. And on the back, I list the meetings (time, place and who was there). And there is also a drawing by one forum member’s little daughter.

    • What a great memory you’re making! Such a fun idea to keep track of where all your acquaintances are. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment

  30. This new map with all those little pins must be really driving up your anticipation of future travels. Oh, the places you will go! (I love the idea and really would like to do it myself.)

    • You have no idea. EVERY time I look at it. “Seriously we should get to The Pacific North West.” “We could go to Iceland and not need to get a new map… Scotland too!” Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Overwhelmed by all the love and support.

  31. Fantastic idea! I had one of these in my old room at my Mum and Dad’s but they wanted me to leave for them. I’ve been wanting to make one for my husband and I but haven’t got around to it yet. Thanks for the inspiration. And I like the idea of the “yours”, “mine”, “ours” and possible “future ours” colours. Definitely what we’ll do.
    Thanks for sharing!

  32. I’m finally reading this and it is amazing!! So cute and crafty! I actually saw a similar map to this in your fav vacation spot of maine in a hippy coffee shop. You were suppose to put a pin where you were traveling from. I jabbed mine in NJ, wedging it between many other people who claimed northern NJ was their home town. I love your personal map!!! Decorate my home!!!\

  33. I like the way you think. I grew up relatively poor but I still traveled with my family from Los Angeles to Torreon, Mexico. 3 day drive was scary but awesome! Since I met my husband in Febuary 1999, I have been to Canada, New York, the Pacific Northwest, two Hawiian islands and Guadalajara, Mexico. We call it ‘going on an adventure’ and I love it! Please read my blog.

    • Places that I felt I really “saw” or “visited” I count. My family took a road trip to Southern Illinois through the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Smokey Mountains and across Tennessee. You can almost follow the path we took with the pins which was fun to see. The trip was very scenic, and we took our time getting to our final destination spending time in both mountain ranges (including a broken down car smack dab in the middle of The Smokey Mountains, a trip we’ll never forget for sure). I’ve also driven from Jersey to Florida but I didn’t count “scenic” 95 through The Carolinas and Georgia as “visiting” those areas. Hope that answered your question? Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Happy Trails!

  34. Pingback: DIY travel map | MzSura

  35. Pingback: Getting Crafty: North America Travel Map « The Tiny Traveler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s