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.

Sunday Photo Fiction — The Room

EFBFC63F-753E-4176-9D73-7C286C5DEEBFThe lamp on the bedside table was always on. The bed was always made except when Donna was sleeping in it. Her room was tidy. She tried to keep it looking like it could have belonged to any normal girl her age.

But Donna wasn’t the living the life of a normal girl, nor was her room even close to a normal room. She had a few books to read, a landline telephone that wasn’t connected, and a cellphone with no SIM card or WiFi access. No TV, radio, or clock. Donna was never sure what time it was. The black curtains, where a window should have been, concealed nothing but a blank wall. A small, windowless bathroom was attached to the room. The only door to the room was locked from the outside.

Donna couldn’t remember how long she’d been locked in the room. Weeks? Months? She didn’t know. Twice a day he’d bring in food. Once a week he’d have his way with her. Every other week he’d bring in fresh towels, clean bed linens, and laundered clothing.

This was her world now, at least until she could figure out a way to end it.

(198 words)


Written for Susan Spaulding’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt.