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A life in maps

It’s no secret that I love maps. It’s been a long relationship that started when I was young and continues to this day.

Geography was always my favourite lesson at school. Mountains and glaciated valleys seemed so exciting on the map (particularly as I’d not seen either in real life). All those contour lines packed so closely together. They were even better than I imagined when I got my first glimpses of them! School was also where I learned how to map read and use a compass doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme; skills that have been well used over the years.

I suppose it was inevitable that maps would be a part of what I did next. I studied surveying science at university, learning how to make maps long before they were computerised and GPS could fit in your pocket! All the jobs that I’ve done since then have involved maps in some way. What could be better for a map geek than to spend all day working with them?

Now that I’m running Saddle Mountain Hostel I haven’t escaped from maps. Far from it! We use maps every day to show our guests lots of great places to visit in the Scottish Highlands.

When we’re not working we’re usually found exploring the great outdoors in this country and abroad. Part of the fun is the planning, and many a day out or holiday have come together whilst poring over maps. It’s always great seeing the map come to life when you get there and it’s never far away, ready to offer a helping hand.

So, I think it would be fair to say that maps have had a huge influence on my life. The subjects I picked at school, what I studied at university, my career, what I do for fun; all of these can be traced back to my love of maps.

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