22 May ’19
Earlier this year I was in Copenhagen airport, on the way home from a world tour of all the non-US Disney Parks. I got talking to an older Gentleman, and we ended up sharing travel stories from Iran and Timbuktu to Disney and America. He impressed on me the need to write down my adventures so that I remember them when I’m older.
I don’t always feel like writing very much, and I don’t always have many photos from my trips either. But what I can do is map my travels, both actual and aspirational. And so that’s why I’ve been spending time updating places.wheresalice.info recently.
I’ve seen similar maps from YouTubers who map their travels, but none of them had a nice platform, and so I built my own. Using uMap as something approaching a headless CMS, I have a nice way of editing the map. Presenting it on a custom-built Leaflet.js map gives full control over presentation, and an entirely static site that can be hosted anywhere. And the major selling point over other platforms, is the ability to take submissions of new places I should visit.
I’ve now got the site into a state where I’m happy to make the source code available on GitHub. It’s not all that pretty in places, but it’s fully functional, and there’s a README to help you get started with running it for yourself.
But of course, not every place can be mapped. There’s the locations where we were completely lost and couldn’t point to on a map. And there’s the locations we can’t safely talk about - such as the working mens club / speak easy in a very Islamic city that we somehow got ourselves invited to. But places.wheresalice.info is still a useful tool to have for sharing my travels.