You may ask how I became a Geography Nerd?
One day, my dad came home from his office and brought a globe. I was just around 4 at that time and I wondered what that is. At first glance, I thought it was some kind of blue ball attached to a stick and is played by spinning. But gosh I was so wrong. My brother came to me and told me that it is a globe, which contains geography knowledge. He said that it is our world, it is where we live. And I was so curious because why not. I never realized that we were living in a ball, and not a flat surface. My brother explained everything about how the universe works, how day and night occur, how the seasons change, how time varies in different locations around the world, and for real, I grabbed so much knowledge in that short period of time.
The next day, my mom asked me to trace where Nepal is, the country where I live. I couldn’t find it, so my mom pointed it on the globe and said “This is Nepal. This is where we live.” I never realized that Nepal was so small compared to two giant countries in the north and south: China and India respectively. Since I got to know where Nepal is, it became one of my biggest flex in school.
I use to tell my friends about the world and where Nepal is.
And the fact is that they didn’t believe in me. Some use to say the Earth is flat, some said that there is only one country and that is Nepal, some use to say the USA also lies in Nepal, and some believed that if it is a day in Nepal, it is daytime everywhere lol. This thing led to an argument between us first graders, and the teachers came to us. I told them about the globe and everything, and my classmates kept opposing me. But my teachers came to my defense and said that I am right. They proved me correct. That was freaking it.
Soon this one small curiosity started to become a big passion for me. I use to keep questioning my parents about how many countries were there in the world. I use to count the territories in the globe, but could never get it right, as there are so many small countries too. My parents definitely use to get annoyed by my questions because even they are not a big geography nerd.
Like this, I reached 4th grade, and I bought a dictionary. There was a column in the middle of that book, called ‘Factfinders’. This column contained pieces of information like country capitals, currencies, prime ministers, union territories, states of different countries, etc. So, I started reading it and the first country on the list was Afghanistan, and its capital city Kabul. Like this, I started continuing: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra…
So, what happens next to my geography knowledge?
I got to know the names of so many countries that I didn’t know even existed. I found some names really beautiful like Cyprus, Hungary, Greece, Somalia, Togo, Uzbekistan, etc. Also, I found some names kinda funny like Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Fiji, Nauru, Tonga, Turkey, etc haha (no offense). With the countries, I also use to read the capital cities and I use to memorize them. I also ticked the name of those countries, whose capital cities I have memorized. Sometimes, I use to take this dictionary in my school and make my friends ask me the capital cities of the countries I have ticked, and I use to answer them. Now that was my another flex.
Not only countries and capital cities, but I also read states and provinces of the USA, India, and Australia. I could name about 30 states of the USA without looking. My interest in geography grew in a drastic way, and still, I use to annoy my parents by asking them questions.
Since I know the name of all countries, now I was curious about which country lies in which continent. I knew that Nepal is in Asia, but where do other countries lie. I looked at the globe too, I could separate all 7 continents, but as the globe was kinda old, the names of countries started to vanish. Looking at my curiosity, my mom bought me an Atlas book. And that book was like a treasure for me.
I use to read the atlas, and it was so interesting because it got every detail for every country in the world.
Not only capital cities, but also flags, map, population, area, currency, languages, etc. Also, they have separated the countries on the basis of continents, so now I can say in which continent every country lies. I could also trace those countries on the world map without looking. I use to draw the flags of different countries, as I was a huge art enthusiast too. After few months, my uncle gave me an encyclopedia and it was really really very heavy. That encyclopedia contained even more details. There was a brief description of every country, and like this, I got to know about every country in the world.
I was surprised sometimes. Because I didn’t expect some countries to be so poor and some to be wealthy. I also got to know about Commonwealth Countries, and which countries were under the British Empire. I also got to know about European Union, and which countries are a part if it. Also some historical empires like Ottoman, Byzantine, Mughal, Mongol, etc.
Also at that time, Animaniacs started to air on TV, and the character called Yakko had a song called “Yakko’s World”.
This song contained the name of all countries in the world that existed during that time, as Animaniacs aired around 1993. That use to be my favorite song and I could sing that song so well and could name all nations. When that song came like “United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Haiti, Jamaica, Peru…” I use to sing along, “Republic Dominican, Cuba, Caribbean, Greenland, El Salvador too…”
Not only countries, but my focus also started on other locations like rivers, mountains, seas, lakes, islands, wonders of the world, etc. I could name every major river and mountain. Even, I could also say which country is an island and which is not. I could also list the top 10 largest countries and smallest countries. I also read about the literacy rate, life expectancy, GDP, history, etc. All this happened after I started reading the encyclopedia.
And that was the start of how I became a geography nerd. I always use to do good in geography when I was in school. In Social Studies, they use to have this geography topic, and we had to place different locations on the map. It uses to be 7 marks, and I always use to get full marks.
To date, I have knowledge of everything I read. I can name the capital cities of even more countries. Now some new countries are added, such as East Timor, Kosovo, South Sudan, Palestine, etc. I can still sing Yakko’s world. I can still match the flags and their countries. Sometimes I take geography quizzes on the internet and I always get a very good score.
Because of my passion for Geography, I want to travel the world. I want to live the life of every country. Also, experience all the weather, see each culture. Explore every environment, and one day I will definitely fulfill my dream. I will travel to different countries and yes I will.
I wont be dying until I visit at least 100 countries. And that is what a Geography Nerd will say.
Picture credit: https://www.shiksha.com/humanities-social-sciences