Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Intro 1.3: Why Geography Matters

Most people, I have found, understandably are not all that interested in geography. Almost everyone cares on some level though and this is evidenced by people’s habits of travelling and relocating. Most people’s decision for a vacation spot is driven largely, if not entirely by the geography of the location. We ask: ‘Are there mountains? Can we see the ocean from our room? Is it in the desert?’ Many times, the area is not even easily accessible or full of world class shows and restaurants. But we go anyway because of the landscapes and views; the contrast of this place and home. Also, many people relocate during their life when money allows, usually to a beautiful place. Even if the place they are moving is more expensive, requires the hassles of moving or is far from home. So, on some level, most people appreciate the benefits that the varying geographies of earth bring. Geography matters because we can only live our lives largely in a few places. The knowledge that we will never see everything, or be in two places at once, forces us to make the most of our local area. At some point, home is where you decide home is and you must settle somewhere, and not everywhere else. I think this finite fact, that we really can only reasonably spend a large amount of time in a few different places, out of all the different places on earth, is fascinating. I see specials on Television all the time about people living in Rio de Janeiro, New York City, the Middle East or somewhere else and they spend most of their lives in a place I might alone spend a week, an afternoon, or might not every step foot on at all. Geography matters because we will never all live in the same place. There will always be people living on the opposite side of the globe. Geography, then, is the subject which maps out and keeps track of all the different places on earth. We must make the most of our local area, enjoy learning about others, travel as much as we can and treat the planet right.

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