Considering that I’ve always lived on the same planet, I have managed to stay remarkably ignorant of its countries. Sure, I can find where I am on the globe, and the places that I’ve visited, but that’s about it. Sadly, most of my knowledge is extremely North American and Euro-centric.
Challenging My Ignorance.
A year ago I learned about a site called Worldle* (no, not the one where you guess the word). On Worldle, you guess the country. Each day you see the outline of a different country and you are given 6 chances to guess it. As you make a guess, the site will tell you how close you are and in which direction you need to move. I let myself use GoogleMaps to narrow down my selections.
Easy To Play
It’s a simple game that takes only a minute or two each day while I’m waiting for something (the kettle, the dog). But that 2 minutes per day has expanded my understanding of the place where we all live. I have learned some of the countries’ shapes. I can tell you that many countries in Africa have straight-edge borders, probably the result of a colonial pen. I can tell you that countries nearer to the poles seem to have frayed edges along their coastlines. I know there are three countries that sit completely inside other countries. I can find places that I have never visited and probably never will visit.
A Big Pay Off
Now, I understand more about the people that I meet and the news that I hear from a wider number of countries. I understand why music from two different countries might be similar, when I realize they are next door to each other. I’m beginning to understand how the geography of each country relates to the countries around it, and why Norway might be concerned about Russia. That’s a lot of learning from a tiny 2 minute investment.
Seeing The Bigger Picture
Give it a try by clicking here: Worldle. Using GoogleMaps to search is not cheating, in my opinion. It’s just helping you see the bigger picture and that’s what it’s all about.
*This is not a commercial endorsement. I am not connected to this company.