I get lost even when I have a map. My husband Rich says it’s because I hold them upside down but I deny that. And anyway, I don’t care if I can’t read maps because there is so much more to maps than just being able to work out where you are and how to get where you want to go.
I love maps. I really do and I can pore over them for hours.
It might be the muted colors; those pale blue seas and gradient greens and browns of the land draw me in. It could be the crisscross meanderings of roads, rivers and borders. It could be all those little mappy symbols each pointing out a different landmark, national park or airport.
Or maybe it’s the deep concentration required trying and work out where the heck I am.
But I think I love maps because they’re a symbol in their own right of dreams come true, places unexplored and adventures waiting to be had.
Maps remind me of countries I’ve been and spur me on to travel more so I got all excited when I heard about Personal Travel Maps which is a brand new website where you can create your own personal travel map and turn it into a high resolution wall map.
You can set up an account and try creating a map free or order one online like I did. My personal Candy family travel map hasn’t arrived yet but I’m hoping to show you a photo when it does and creating the map is fun too.
Here’s an overview of how Personal Travel Maps works and if you want a personal map of your own we’ve organised a special discount for Get In the Hot Spot readers. Just use the discount code “getinthehotspot” at the check out to get 10% off your map.
How Personal Travel Maps works
1. Visit the Personal Travel Maps site to see more example of the maps along with prices.
2. Create an account so that you can start building a map and save it anytime. This means you can create more than one map. For example you might one map of Africa and one map of America, then you can start customizing them, save them and come back to complete your maps at any time.
3. Choose which map you want to create. There’s a world map or choose one of the continents: America, South America, Europe, Africa, Australia or Asia.
I decided to start with a world map to record the Candy family travels and kept it simple with just capital cities named so the kids can learn those. Oh, okay, there might be a few I need to learn too.
4. Customize your map. Once you’ve chosen your map you can start customizing it by highlighting each country you’ve been to in the colors of your choice. I chose red for countries me and Rich had both been to or visited with the kids, yellow for countries only I’ve been to and blue for countries only he’s been to.
It felt a bit competitive doing it like that which seemed all wrong, even though we are secretly vying for the title of “most well traveled”. But then the map looked more interesting having countries highlighted in different colors so I left it that way.
There are heaps of colors to choose from but I wanted our map to be in muted tones which look dreamy and go with anything.
Next you can add different pins and icons showing what you’ve done and where. I added pins to the countries we’ve lived in.
There are heaps of icons where you can record all your adventure sports and other travel activities. For example, I added a love heart icon in Egypt on the Red Sea because that’s where Rich and I met, a house in New Zealand where we bought out first home and where our kids were born and a surfer icon near Costa Rica because that’s where we learn to surf.
5. Choose a map size from small, medium, large or huge. The huge one really is huge and I wanted it badly but decided to go for the large size because it will be easier to hang in any house we live in.
6. Get 10% off. That’s it! Now you just need to order and pay. Use the discount code “getinthehotspot” at the check out to get 10% off your map.
7. Wait between five and ten days for your map to arrive. At the moment Personal Travel Maps can only ship within the USA but overseas shipping can be organised if you ask nicely. I asked very nicely and my map is being shipped to me in Australia. Just email Nick at Personal Travel Maps if you live outside the USA and want one of these Personal Travel Maps.
8. Pop your personal travel map on your wall and start reminiscing about your last trip – or planning another one. I even added a wedding icon to show our marriage in Vanuatu. Sigh! Maybe it’s time for us to renew our vows…
Want to order a personal travel map as a gift? They make brilliant gifts and your loved ones will have as much fun designing their map as they do seeing it on their wall. To order a gift certificate for someone just email Nick at Personal Travel Maps telling him what size you want to order and mention the Get In the Hot Spot 10% discount. He’ll take you through the payment process and send you an email with a gift certificate which you can either email to your loved one or print out and give to them personally.
I’m helping Personal Travel Maps promote their new product because I love them and I think you will too. Regular readers will know that I only work with a handful of products because I don’t want to bombard you with advertising but I recommend you check out Personal Travel Maps because I think you’ll love them.
And remember, when you get a map from Personal Travel Maps as a souvenir of your travels just use the discount code getinthehotspot to get 10% off your personal travel map.
Do you love maps?