A few weeks ago I was roaming the isles of my local book store, struggling to keep my hands to myself (dang COVID!), and then I saw it, a big, tome like, red book. The Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders, 2nd Edition. In that instant college memories and plans came flooding back to me.
I will shamefully admit that I didn’t buy it because I was scared of what people would think – I get so anxious in public I don’t even know why people would judge the Atlas Obscura – so I bought a book about murders in Ireland… not sure that was much better. Then a few days later I was like ‘man, really want that book’ so I hopped on my moms Amazon account and bought the Atlas Obscura.
Once it arrived, I started flipping through pages to find my state and see if I have been to any of the worthy places in the Atlas Obscura – I have been, Holy Land USA in Waterbury, CT but that’s a WHOLE other story. Then I started looking for places I wanted to go, I was enthralled with the places I could find in this book.
In the midst of reading about all of these places I remembered how the Atlas Obscura website was like the bible to my friends and I when we were in our late teens, looking for places to go and traveling through New England to find eclectic shops and evading our parents during our summer break. Atlas Obscura was for lack of a better term ‘our shit.’
We were amazed by the places right down the road from us and laughed about the places we’ve already been. It gave us hours of entertainment before Reddit stole my soul.
Now that I’m out exploring again, I’m absolutely loving going back and reading the website and book and planning future trips once COVID-19 decides to stop wreaking havoc on the world.
I’m not religious – Jew Dad, Catholic Mom, religion just didn’t fit in the family – but I feel like I look at and hold my copy of the Atlas Obscura (man I’ve said Atlas Obscura quite a bit) the way religious people look at the bible.
I’m excited to go back and find new places through the Atlas Obscura and see where else it leads me to!
Featured image at Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Store in Middleton, CT. My friend found it on the Atlas Obscura and we got the chance to go before Wild Bill passed.