When I was a kid, I thought it would be great to be an explorer. I wasn’t completely clear on what an explorer’s salary was or what the retirement benefits were, but I knew it involved blazing trails, opening doors and generally being on the move in the direction of the unknown.
Much like my dream to invent caffeinated orange juice, I learned somewhere along the way that I was too late – that the world was all done. Traditional “grab your compass, canteen and shotgun” exploration isn’t a thing anymore because every last, remote corner of the planet has been mapped, and there is already a Hampton Inn there. If you want to explore totally new places now, I was told as a child, you can become an oceanographer or an astronaut. Not precisely what I had in mind. One can’t really live on or visit the bottom of the ocean or in space without a lot of expensive equipment that I don’t have.
But as we explorers know, when life gives you lemons, you must do something productive with them, because who knows if they’ll even have lemons where you’re going? The fact that the earth has been mapped and satellite-photographed and that any given point can now be virtually skied via Google Earth’s “Virtual Ski Mode” (I just made that up – you’re welcome Google!) is a blessing to would-be explorers, not something to stew over. If I want to learn about the breakfast buffet at the Hampton Inn at the furthest ends of the earth, I can do so from the comfort of my Lay-Z-Boy.
So that’s what this site: my curiosity about the world’s cities sated by remote control.