Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Stanford's Map & Travel Shop

Stanford's in London
(located on Long Acre, close to Covent Garden)
is one of our favorite haunts.
It's the world's largest map and travel book store.

You can find a map to anywhere you want to go—
they're printed on shower curtains, lampshades . . .

. . . scarves and towels . . .

. . . and even the floor.

Three stories of travel books (including fiction arranged by the country the book takes place in) and big drawers of maps, plus tables to spread them out. Unique travel accessories, a section with awesome books for kids about travel, history, art—and a cafe with homemade custard tarts. I want to live there.

I love maps. My sixth grade classroom had the coolest set—ten different maps wrapped around the same cylinder with a different colored cord dangling from each one. I especially loved the one showing the route Magellan took to circumnavigate the world for the first time.

There were pictures of monsters in the ocean, because that's what the sailors expected to see (if they didn't fall off the edge of the earth first.) Isn't it incredible that people could draw maps before airplanes were invented? How could they get the right perspective?

Sailing or walking, they measured and recorded every step of the journey so they could find their way back. Other explorers charted a course based on the experiences of the first guy, and added their own observations.

Some folks strike out for places unknown, and never know if they've arrived. I got an email this weekend that said, "I was content being unhappy until I started reading your blog. Now I want to live in your world! How do I get there?"

I've had a good map for my life's journey—I'd be lost without it. It's like an A to Zed, as the British say, and it's given me direction.

"I may not have gone where I intended to go,
but I ended up where I wanted to be."

Have you discovered how to get where you're going?


Christie said...

That store looks awesome. I want to go.

Grandma Cebe said...

Thanks for giving me another place to put on my "Must See" list if I ever get back to London.

Kay Dennison said...

One word: WOW!

allison said...

Wow. I want to go there. I love maps. I always get sucked in thinking about where I want to go. That's why I can't have a shower curtain map-I'll never leave the shower!