The unexpected gift which turned into a magical treasure for Anya. Two years ago, on Anya’s 9th birthday, we were invited over to our neighbors for a special homemade dessert to celebrate her birthday. These are friends we’ve made since living in Spain and we have just connected with them on so many levels. They are a young couple and had a newborn baby, but we all just connected.
On a side note, I find this so fascinating. Our friends Omar and Josina are very well-traveled and come from very diverse backgrounds. Omar is Indonesian, raised in indonesia, and went to University in Indonesia and Italy. Josina is from Belgium and went to University in Amsterdam and is fluent in 5+ languages. They met in Amsterdam, married in Greece and now reside in Spain. Well, that should have your head spinning about now.
Oh yes, back to the birthday. Anyway, they invited us over to have a special Italian birthday treat Omar created for Anya. It was very nice of them and we really enjoyed our time sitting on their massive terrace, eating, drinking and laughing. This was all we were invited for and it was what we expected. Then they went into he house and came out with a gift for Anya. That was completely unexpected as the homemade dessert was plenty.
Anya reached up with a huge smile and opened this long wrapped tube. None of could even guess what was inside. I kept thinking, “Wow, how do they know what to get for a 9 year-old, as their baby is just one.” As Anya opened the tube, she pulled out a rolled paper. As she unrolled the paper, it was a map of the world. How thoughtful is that?
Upon close inspection of the map, we noticed that the countries didn’t have names and all of the land areas were covered with this gold stuff. They explained it was a scratch off map! Then the excitement really kicked in! Anya couldn’t wait to start scratching off each country she had visited. I think at that time she may be been at 15 countries or so. She used the back of a spoon and off she went.
What pleased me the most is that she actually knew where the countries were located on the map! Woo Hoo, three cheers for travel! Okay, she did have a little trouble with Hungary, when we visited there, but it was very impressive. At the time we all thought that was a very well-chosen and thoughtful gift for our traveling child. What kid would love a scratch off map of the world, right?
So every couple of months, we would venture off on a travel adventure from our home base in Spain. About a year later, it was time for us to leave Spain and travel as a nomadic family through Southeast Asia. This meant that all of our belongings would be carried by us and we would not have a home base to leave things behind.
Of course we needed to pack carefully and really make a conscious decision on what will go with us and what will be given away. When it came time for Anya to make her choices, her scratch off map of the world was coming with us! This is not something you should fold, as the scratch off may peel, she had to keep it rolled. We really chatted with her and said it was great that she loved it so much, but it may be better not to bring it along. She insisted that it come with us on our travels.
As we ventured into several new countries, the first night in each, she would carefully take out her scratch off world map and find the country we were in. This was very exciting for her and she took such care of her map. We have since returned to Spain and Anya couldn’t wait to tell our friends that the map went with us and returned. That map is still going and she has about 27 countries scratched off now. All of this to say, if you know or have a child who is traveling, a scratch map is a great gift.
The Scratch Off Map Is Educational
There are loads of facts and data on the back of the map for them to learn about the countries and they will love it. Anya takes such pride in her map and likes to figure out the short code for each country and also knowing where things are located. We did a little research and they also have scratch off maps for the USA for each state visited. So this is an ideal gift for any child (or big child/adult too). They have full size maps, but Anya has the scratch off world travel map. I would also recommend the scratch off USA travel map. The travel size is ideal for kids to bring along on the trip too.
Click on the image below or this link to check prices and sizes
What do you think, would you or someone you know love this map? Buy it now on Amazon!
This is not a sponsored post, but we do have affiliate links to Amazon if you wish to purchase a scratch off travel map. This is just a product we really love and Anya doesn’t travel without it!