Friday, February 03, 2012

How Far Have YOU Been?... by Barbara (Ruth)

It's an interesting question, and reminds me of a question my Dad used to ask to see if I was paying attention: "Is it faster to New York or by bus?"

The question "how far have you been" of course lacks some relativity, for it all depends on where you started.

I love to pop this question out at dinner parties, usually with the variation "how far north, south, east, and west have you been?" I've been challenged just about every time with "what's your starting point?", and so I've now added "using zero degrees longitude and latitude as starting points". (I hang out with some very picky people.)

It's a pretty neat exercise, and may just help you decide where to go next. I've had the fortune to travel to many wonderful places, but I have never been south of the equator. I came pretty close when in Uganda, but still I was "north".

Go ahead and get out your atlas. Or, check out this site to type in a city and find out the latitude and longitudes. I'd love to hear "how far you've been". Here's my list:

North: Helsinki, Finland

60° 10' 32" N / 24° 56' 3" E

Me with my nieces Marjorie (L) and Jennifer, in front of Tuomiokirkko, the Lutheran cathedral. (2008)
The bustling, busy, and beautiful city centre.
The Sibelius monument (tribute to the composer of Finlandia), appears to resemble
organ pipes. It is said on a windy day it makes different sounds.

South (and East): Entebbe, Uganda

0° 3' 51" N / 32° 26' 48" E
Entebbe is the city in which the airport is located. My colleagues Russell, Cathie, Michael
and I stayed in Kampala, which is still at 0 degrees N, but 18 minutes vs. 3 in Entebbe.
SO close to being south of the equator. (2009)
With a local shop-girl in the Kampala market.
With my process improvement class.
With my colleagues Athar and Cathie, and the executives of the
Uganda Public Service.

East (2nd place): Kritsa, Crete

35° 10' 0" N / 25° 39' 0" E

I felt the need to include Kritsa, not only because Crete is one of my very favourite places I've visited (I posted about it here), but also because it seems unfair that Uganda claimed two titles: South AND East.

Kritsa's market.
The nearby town of Agios Nikolas. 
Every staircase and doorway was picture perfect.

West: Maui, Hawaii
0° 48' 0" N / 156° 20' 0" W

The sunsets of Maui beat out those of Santorini, IMHO.
Mele Kalikimaka! (Dec 2011)
The big waves at the north shore.


  1. Here goes:
    North - Helsinki, Finland
    South - Santiago, Chile
    West - Tofino, B.C.
    East - Beijing, China

    Great question!

  2. Its all for work. As when I have a vacation I stay home in Stratford Ontario, Canada.
    North- Iceland Reykjavik
    South- Argentina Buenos Aires
    West- Linai, Hawaii
    East- Matsumoto and Tokyo, Japan

  3. My North isn't breaking any records but the rest come close...

    North - Banff, Canada
    South - Stewart Island, New Zealand
    West - Honolulu, Hawaii
    East - Whakatane, New Zealand