Robin Camille Davis
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March 12, 2010
Tags: history, maps

Today, it occurred to me how much my predecessors traveled — how many oceans were crossed, how many continents traversed, how many languages are in my blood.

Here is a map of the journeys (white lines) I know my ancestors have made. It makes me want to complete the circumnavigation. Of course, I am sure that somewhere in my distant genetic past, someone (or someones) has completed it already, many times over.

I take international travel as a given. Nobody stays in one place for long. No family is bound to the soil anymore. But each embarkation destroys more history, creates a palimpsest. I mourn this and yet I hunger more for the unexplored than the known. What is that impulse? When does it fade? Or does it?

Map from the Perry-Castañeda Collection at UT.