Writing 101: Day Eighteen – A Map As Your Muse

Writing 101 day eighteen,

With maps, we tell tales about ourselves and the places we come from, that we miss, that we’ve reshaped in our minds. We use maps to identify and explore locations and points in between, to track movements, and to make sense of our lives — past and present.

Today, let a map be your muse. Select an area anywhere in the world on Google Maps (or your preferred online map tool), or a section on a paper map, and use this as inspiration for your post. Some ideas:

  • Tell us about your connection to this place. If you’ve never been there, why did you choose it?
  • Pen a poem inspired by the area’s topography.
  • Write a piece of memoir in the form of directions from point A to point B, in which each item reveals something about you or the area, like in Anna Fonte’s “How to Get There.
  • Use this geographic map as a model for a mental and more imaginary map, like this map of the lyrical essay from Nina Gaby.
  • Switch to Street View and write a story based on what you see.
  • Write an essay set in this location, like Dinty Moore’s Google Maps piece, “Mr. Plimpton’s Revenge.”

If possible, include a photograph of your paper map or a screenshot of the online map or view in your post.


If I were to use maps to explore locations, like well-known places such as Paris, London, Tokyo, New York, Dubai, I would choose Salalah, Oman.

oman map

Oman is one of the Arab countries, located on western part of Oman coast near Yemen. Salalah second largest city of the country with 197,169 people (as of 2009 Census) of Oman under Dofar province. The climate of the region and the monsoon allows the city to grow some vegetables and fruits like coconut.

salalah illustration

Click photo for Credits

How to go:

It takes a 9 hours and 7 minutes. drive from Muscat, which is the capital city of Oman. Arabic is their official language. Salalah has its own airport which caters domestic flights from Muscat, Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. Oman Air is their national airline,

What to see:

a. Land of Frankincense Museum – 18 minute drive from the Salalah Airport, Frankincense Land Museum is located in Salalah, specifically in Albaleed Archaeological Park.

frankincense land museum

b. Al Mugsahail Beach – 46 minute drive from the Salalah Airport.

mughail beach

This places for now about Salalah, Oman. Remember “Traveling the world and learning about the rest of the world will also teach you about yourself.”.

writing101-18

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