Travel is important to one’s own development. It’s a form of education, a means to expanding one’s understanding of the world. Or as lovable sad sack, novelist, and sometimes travel scribe Gary Shteyngart has said: “What can be more important than seeing the totality of the human condition in this awful and wonderful world of ours?”
Bleakness aside, travel can be fun, if short-lived. So it makes sense that you’d want to document your journeys in a meaningful way, to fix down in your mind and in space how far you’ve come on this blue marble.
You could do this by studding a Rand McNally-grade map on your dorm wall with colorful pins, or you could get a Scratch Map. Where the former smacks of grade-school preciousness, the latter packs all the diversionary fun of a scratch-off lottery card.
Produced by Luckies of U.K., the Scratch Map is an “uber-massive” wall map whose cartographic features are covered in a layer of gold foil. Coin in hand, users can scratch off the countries and regions that they have visited; doing so reveals a “whole new world below,” says its makers, bursting with color and geographic detail.
The more countries you’ve traveled to and marked on the map, the more colorful it becomes. The adspeak promises you’ll end up with a “totally unique and personalised world map” that doubles as a more minimalist trophy wall. (“Yeah, I was in Bangkok on Spring Break, no big deal.”)
Other more localist variations of the product include scratch maps of Europe and the U.K., with a U.S. version on its way. So even if you haven’t journeyed beyond your national borders but have driven cross-country a couple of times, you can have scratch off proof of your travels, too.