So, what do Buchloe, Burlington, Bern, Beaverton, Bradford, Bad Soden, Bristol (UK and USA), Baltimore, New Baltimore, and Belfast have in common? Yes, they all start with the letter “B.” But in each one of those places exists at least one person who reads, or has read, my blog. Now I ask you, how cool is that? Ever since I adopted my new blog format, and subscribed to Goggle Analytics to track my stats, I’ve been mesmerized by the little map thingie which pops up and tells me where in the world readers who are currently reading my blog are located. Blog geography, I’ve been calling it.
Blog geography class starts every morning when I sit down at the computer with my cup of tea and check my stats. I can see where in the world I get the most readers, and where I’ve had no readers at all. I mean… why does no one in Greenland want to read High Heels in the Wilderness?
But the coolest thing is the map that shows, with big orange circles, where the readers are who are, in that moment, reading my blog. For a while I’d become really excited and shout to Hubby all the places where someone was reading. Sometimes he’d come into the den, and we’d try to sift through all the bubbles to find the place names. Some days there were layers of bubbles overlapping bubbles, especially the morning after I’d published a new post.
Then I started jotting down all the different names of places each morning. I soon had to stop that because I was getting a bit obsessed. But holy cow, people were reading all over the place. Before this revelation, the only way I knew where readers were located is if they said in their comment, or in the overall stat which identifies the proportion of readers in each country. But to scroll across one of those bubbles and see that someone from Saugeen Shores, or Tallinn, or Melbourne, or Johannesburg was at that moment reading what I wrote was much more thrilling. Some mornings I’d see orange bubbles over Ottawa, or Burlington, or Fredericton and wonder if maybe my friend Susan, or Jeannie, or my mum was reading.
I’ve seen the names of places I’ve visited. Like Montreal, York, Munich, Edinburgh, Zagreb. Places I’d love to visit. Like Cape Town and Seville. Lots of places whose names are new to me. Like Long Stratton, Mahomet, Kavala, Cheektowaga, Apache Junction, and Kutztown. And places, like Hicksville and Parole, that made me wonder how in the world they came by their names.
All this geography has made up a little for the fact that we’re not travelling. I’ve googled place names and looked at pictures of beaches and towns and mountains and big cities. Sometimes I’ve clicked on articles like the “Ten Best Things to Do” in wherever. I’ve called to Hubby to come look as well. He doesn’t want me to tell him anymore if someone from Johannesburg or Cape Town is reading. He thought it was cool at first. Now since we’ve been unravelling our Africa trip, it’s just painful for him.
Not for me. As I sip my tea, I conjure up pictures in my mind of you guys reading my blog. Sitting with your coffee and laptop on a sunny patio, or with your feet up on the sofa with your i-pad and a cat in your lap. I imagine I can see tall palms or a glimpse of sparkling ocean out your windows. Maybe through your lacy curtains I see a steep, cobbled street, and women walking slowly past with string bags full of their morning shopping. I might hear the rattle of a tram go by. Maybe the sound of sheep in the distance. Or cattle. Or a train whistle. And I begin to feel as if I’ve been there, wherever that is, and that we’ve had a nice visit.
Some mornings I feel like I should rewrite that old Hank Snow song “I’ve Been Everywhere.” Ha. Maybe I will.
Hank Snow was Canadian, you know. In fact, one year when we were camping across Nova Scotia, Hubby and I even visited the Hank Snow Museum in his hometown. Not to denigrate the museums of great country and western stars… but I think it must have been raining that day.
Now it’s your turn, my friends. Let’s imagine that we can travel without restriction. Pretend that tomorrow I’m coming to your place for a visit. Tell, me…. will we have coffee or tea? Shall we sit on your patio in the shade? Hike across the moors? Or stroll somewhere in town for lunch? What will you have planned for us?