Been There or Not

8DD10808-A2AA-4659-B358-7464172A9527I used to think of myself as a man of the world — a well-traveled, fairly learned, and sophisticated man. But it’s just not true. Not by a long shot.

A friend of mine told me about an app for the iPhone (and I assume there’s an Android version as well) called “Been.” The app allows you to identify all of the countries across the globe you’ve ever been to. I thought that would be cool, so I downloaded the app from the Apple App Store.

I started tagging all of the countries I’ve traveled to. I even went so far as to tag all of the states in the United States I’ve been to.

The good news is that I’ve been to all 50 states in the U.S. And I’ve been to three countries (Canada, U.S., and Mexico) in North America.

But then my “man of the world” self-image got destroyed. I’ve been to just 12 countries in Europe and only one in Asia (Israel).

And I’ve never been to any of the countries of Central America, which “Been” considers to part of North America. Or to any countries in South America. Or Africa. Or Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific islands, etc). Sheesh!

I’ve never been south of the equator. And the furthest east I’ve ever been is western Russia.

The map below, from the “Been” app, shows in orange the countries of the world I’ve been to. The counties I have never been to are shown in gray.DA03A0BF-A799-4995-9577-90E946947DBBYes, I know. Very little orange and a whole lot of gray.

I’ve never had a bucket list, but I think I might start one. And at the top of that list will be to turn this map a whole lot more orange than it currently is.

Now all I have to do is win the lottery so that I can afford to fund the one and only item on my bucket list.

Friday Fictioneers —Cyber Distraction

A91CDF1D-3715-4707-BC58-0D0FB6D62E27David was happy with the progress he was making on the homemade globe for his science class project. He’d applied a layer of papier-mâché all over a round balloon to give it shape. Once dry, he used a layer of chicken wire to provide structural integrity before applying the next layer of papier-mâché.

David’s mistake happened when he decided to take a short break. He opened his laptop and logged on to Facebook. Six hours later he realized that his “short break” meant he’d have to pull an all-nighter to have his globe ready in time for class the next day.

(100 words)


Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt. Photo credit: Douglas M. MacIlroy.

Friday Fictioneers — The Inheritance

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The strangest item Hal received as part of the inheritance from his grandmother was the large, outdoor lamppost with the ornate globe on top. The steel straps securing the globe atop its rust-covered post, along with the small brass medallions and the crown on top, were displaying the patina of long exposure to the elements.

Hal was confused by the bequeath. He lived in an apartment and had no lawn on which to install the ornamented lamppost. But wanting to keep it, he contacted a metalworker friend of his and had him convert the outdoor post into a floor lamp.

(100 words)


This post is a twofer. It’s written for today’s one-word prompt, “inheritance,” and also for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt, which I usually don’t post until Fridays. However, I decided to go with that today, as I found synergies between the word prompt and the image. Image credit: Sandra Cook.