Finland is Inland

Well if you haven’t been keeping up to date with me over the last month or so, I’ve been learning world geography – more specifically all the countries in the world as well as their capitals. I’ve pretty much got all the countries down – which comes in handy a lot more than I would have thought.

I love the fact that when I watch the news, read an article, or hear someone talk I know what/where they are talking about. Even though it’s a small thing to know where on this Earth someone is talking about, I feel more educated and globally aware anyway. In turn, it makes me want to know more. It makes me want to get more involved, to become more educated, to know what the issues in different places are, to know how to get involved.

Recently, outside of my ECMP class and university in general, I’ve taken a real interest in the Middle East/Northern Africa region. I’m finding myself passionate about the people there, the culture, and the land. I’ve been reading a book lately – The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Tough Questions, Direct Answers by Dale Hanson Bourke. Because of my learning project, I feel like I can visualize what areas are talked about in the book, and understand a little more what/where things are happening.

That feeling of being more educated and feeling more connected to the world just by knowing the names and locations of the countries may not make any sense to you. But it has really changed some things for me and I’m excited to continue. And I’m excited because I don’t think this is a skill that just goes away. It’s something I will continue to use over and over again.

Here’s some practical things I am doing to learn my world geography – I make up little things in my head – like the title. For some reason I could not remember the order or Sweden, Norway, and Finland. So of course now that I will never ever forget that Finland is inland, and is not on the large western coast of Europe. I try to make as many personal connections to different countries as I can – I have friends in Austria, Germany, El Salvador, India, New Zealand, etc. so I like to know those places because I know people from there! I also learned my heritage – German, Dutch, and a little Russian. I know where all those places are and am learning more about them.

It’s also exciting. I’m looking forward to all the places I’m going to visit. Places others are visiting/living. I can’t wait for the list of all the places I’ve been and lived and visited. I hope that it’s a very long list! If you had to pick one country to visit, where would you go?!

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3 thoughts on “Finland is Inland

  1. That’s an inspiring idea Ashley. Inspiring to the point that I want to know all the countries and their capitals.

    There’s a great scene in Charlie Wilson’s War (can’t find the clip online) where Tom Hanks names most of the middle eastern countries while tracing out a map in the air with his finger. The purpose was to show how much more he knew than the average American politician. That seems admirable. Also, I could win every A to Z naming countries game I find myself in (surprisingly frequent occurrence).

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