I find myself browsing back and forth between Google Maps and WikiTravel far too much these days, planning imaginary holidays to a dozen countries an hour. This would be fine if I couldn’t actually go, but as I’m in the rather privileged position of having the means, time and desire to do so, these fevered daydreams become a distraction, and worse, an idle waste of time and imagination.
I am paralysed by the sheer amount of choices before me. It seems too hard to pick just one place to go. So, to both heal myself of this paralysis, and to dip my toe deeper into the currents of fate, I’m taking the decision out of my hands.
Where I next travel is going to be decided by throwing a virtual dart at a virtual map, a service which is, happily, already online. Subject to the rules below, to ensure that a random location on the global is somewhere its actually possible for me to travel, a random number generator will be my compass, and where it points, I shall go.
I think this could be a lot of fun.
Rule 1 – The point must be on land. Taking a boat to a particular point in the ocean seems like an expensive endeavour to see water that looks like all the other water.
Rule 2 – No dangerous countries or areas. While I’m willing to take a certain amount of risk, there are some countries where the threat of war or kidnapping is simply too high. So Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and certain parts of other countries (for example, northern Chad) are out.
Rule 3 – There must be transport infrastructure available to access the point. I don’t have the means, nor particularly the desire, to mount an overland expedition to places far away from roads or railways. So most of Greenland, and lots of Siberia are out.
Rule 4 – I reserve the right to reject points in countries I’ve already visited. I want to travel to new countries and see new things, so this puts 32 countries potentially out.
The first point the dart hits that meets these rules is it. That ensures that my destination is as randomly-chosen as its possibly can be.
(Image by thewamphyri.)