Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guest Post ~ A Suitcase and Stilettos!

I am happy to introduce to you one of my best bloggy friends, Megan!!  I love her blog and I cannot wait to share what she has for you today!  As I am recovering from my 20 hours trip with two kiddos by myself, (more about that later) she is takin the reigns for me.  Thanks Megan!

Hi everyone! I am Megan from over at A Suitcase and Stilettos and I am guest posting at Ma Nouvelle Mode today. When Natalia had asked me to guest blog for her, I was super stoked and 20 ideas had flown through my mind. Since I had free reign on what to say, I thought conjuring up topics would be fairly easy, but I realized it was anything but easy!
It wasn’t until I read an article in a US Airways in-flight magazine that I felt completely inspired. The article was an excerpt from a not-yet-released book called Maphead by Ken Jennings…that’s right…the guy who is the Jeopardy millionaire. I never in a million years would have fathomed having ONE thing in common with Ken Jennings (except the fact that I am full of random knowledge and facts), let alone actually being left wanting to read the whole book in its entirety after reading only Chapter 1 in the US Airways Magazine. So what is this book about? Maps.
Yes, I am a nerd. I like geography. I like sci-fi movies. And I genuinely love to learn. In his book, Ken documents that maps changed his life. He states, “My childhood love of maps was much more than casual weirdness. I was consumed.” He also goes notates that he was more intrigued by visiting off-the-beaten-path places like Weirton, West Virginia (the only town in the US that borders two different states apart from its own) as opposed to Athens or Tahiti. While I do not know if I’d go THAT far (hey…my entire grandfather’s side lives in Weirton, West Virginia…no joke), I definitely have always had a fascination with pointing to places on maps and deciding I would eventually check the place out.
I grew up traveling and I certainly used to be a map nerd. My parents never let me forget that on a road trip from Richmond, Virginia to New Orleans, Louisiana, I studied a road atlas the ENTIRE trip. City names and town populations were something I thoroughly enjoyed looking at.
Many places I wanted to visit were not for reasons I could even explain. Many of these places simply had “cool” sounding names, were in remote and barren locations (for some reasons these places are often most fascinating to me…a huge contradiction for someone who considers themselves a ‘city gal’), or other strange reasons that will make no sense to anyone but me. BUT, I thought I would share a few of these locations with you today. You may have heard of them all, OR you may have heard of none…
1. Jackpot, Nevada.  This town was always one of my most favorites on a map. True, it only showed on a map of Nevada (with virtually EVERY single city listed)…and back when I used to ‘study’ maps, I recall it had a population merely over 500. I have no reason for wanting to visit this town except I loved the name. I always thought it would be cool to say “I’m from Jackpot”. Yes…these are the things that made me smile as a kid.
2. Alice Springs, Australia.  You have probably heard of this town. Alice Springs is nearly dead center in the middle of Australia. Sadly, I have always wanted to visit the Australian Outback more than the big coastal cities in Australia.
3. Mozambique, Africa.  I never really knew a specific city I wanted to visit in Mozambique. In fact, for many years, I never knew much about the country. What made me want to visit here is that a women’s’ basketball player I grew up watching from Old Dominion University (in Virginia) was from here. Thought the name sounded so beautiful, so I wanted to visit.
4. Yukon Territory, Canada.  Again, another quite barren and remote location, but that has never stopped my desire to want to visit here. It all started when I was young reading a book about a dogsled race that took place there. And I was hooked… (On a much cooler note, I have never met someone from there until recently! Fellow blogger, Laura, at Never Not Beautiful grew up there!).
5. Kalapana, Hawaii.  This is the only place on this list that I have actually BEEN to. Kalapana is on the Big Island (Hawaii) and was a small fishing village…until a volcano 100% wiped out the town. I watched a documentary on Kalapana when I was about 11 about this volcanic eruption, and of course, lava covered or not, I wanted to visit. And last June, I had the opportunity to do so.
I could go on and on and on…but I won’t bore you with my map obsession or infatuation with towns and places that have such minuscule meaning to most people. This article/chapter really inspired me, but most importantly, it encouraged me to embrace the fact that I DO enjoy looking at maps. Nothing is more impressive to me than a small town, one of perhaps only 500 people, leaving an impression in one’s mind for nearly TWENTY years.
Is there a place in the world that resonates with you…maybe with ridiculous reasoning or no reasoning at all? If so…I wanna hear about it!
So happy to be posting for yall today! I’m not typically as “wordy” as I may have been right here…but feel free to stop by A Suitcase and Stilettos and check me out… I LOVE hearing from new people! Thanks Natalia for having me on your blog…I had a ton of fun doing this post!!! <3
Photos courtesy of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
To read article from US Airways Magazine, click here.


Megan said...

OMG im such a nerd!!!! LOL!~

Thanks for giving me to the opportunity to do this! I had a blast and hope you're enjoying your days away ;-)

MiMi said...

Oh yeah...definitely a nerd!! I LOVE NERDS!! :)
I have been to Jackpot Nevada. SWEARS. I laughed uncontrollably through it too. Seriously.
I also have been to Searchlight Nevada which is nothing but a hill and a gas station. LOL

AJ and Summer said...

I have also been to jackpot nevada! I actually only live an hourish away and although there isn't much to do. .. they do have fun hickish concerts. Trace adkins and zz top! I loved your post though. I have an obsession with maps too. My mom used to get the national geographic when I was little and I collected the maps inside. - summer

TexaGermaNadian said...

What a cute feature! I actually love maps too. Who knew!? I have to go check her out right now :)

Christina {The Tattered Tag} said...

Hi Ladies~

What a fun post!! Guess what Megan, I have actually visited Jackpot, NV. It's been many years, I have family in ID and they took me to the casinos there one night. I keep saying blogging make the world seem so much smaller. :)

Drop By The Tattered Tag

Megan said...

So it is official...everyone has been to Jackpot but me?!?! I need to get on this ;-) Thanks for yall's kind comments!

Laura said...

Hawaii and the Florida Keys are at the top of my list of places to see! Hopefully the Yukon girl in me won't melt from the heat :-)

Lindsay said...

Great guest post. Definitely going to check her out!

Ocean Dreams said...

Ooooh I would love to travel to all of these places - they all look amazingly fun!

Norwegian Phoenix said...

I'm apparently a nerd as well. I love maps and even have several framed of various places (Stavanger, Norway; Amelia Island, Florida; and Greensboro, NC) in my apartment as decor.

I've never been to Jackpot, in fact I've never even heard of it until now, but I have a list of places I'd love to visit as well.

Have a great day! :)


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