'Auntie' Salty Dog, an intrepid explorer, bought Louis this scratch map of the world the other Christmas so he could record his travels. She is keen to encourage his wanderlust. We have only recently got around to putting it up on his bedroom wall. On Saturday he was home alone because his dad had swapped weekends at short arrangements and I'd already made plans to meet Aril in London. No parties or drug taking were going on when I phoned to check that my teenager was okay. Probably lots of gaming and chocolate eating were in progress but he'd had a haircut and had finally got around to scratching away the places that he'd visited.
'Andorra is soooo tiny.' he told me. He also had decided only to reveal the approximate location of the states that he's visited in the USA. If I had a map of my own it wouldn't look much different. Only teeny areas of the globe bagsied. I'm a frequent traveller but haven't wandered all over the world. I often return to the same place. The 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mantra rings true to an extent whilst I'm working. I'm aiming to wander farther afield when I've got more time in retirement. Louis plans a gap year so I expect his country count will overtake my own sometime soon.
He visited Scotland and Belgium when he was tiny. The funny thing is that he refused point blank to acknowledge that he's been to this countries. 'I don't remember going there so they don't count.' It's a bit like me with the Netherlands. I changed planes once at Schipol airport yet I still do not count ever setting foot on Dutch terra firma.