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The Atlas Project

The Origin Story

Part II: The Travel Map

Since we have started selling our Atlas Kits, we have been often asked how this little project of ours came to be.  Well, the truth is that the origin of the Atlas Project has several different roots.

Part II: The Travel Map

I had the absolute pleasure of going to college with students from around the world. Before I knew it, many these international students became some of my closest friends. As the school year came to an end and they started to book their flights back home, I felt bad that none of them would have that “yearbook” moment with everyone signing their names, writing messages, and making promises to see one another again in each other’s yearbooks to commemorate their experience.

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So, at the end of each year, I would drive to Staples and buy a World Atlas Map for each of our international friends with a one-way ticket home, and we would sign and write on those maps and give it to them as a going-home present. I considered it was a nice little thoughtful send-off present, but to be honest, never thought much of it after we gave it to them and I never realized how meaningful and valued it was to my friends. This was until I had the incredible fortune to travel the world and see many of them again in their home countries after college. And, when they were kind enough to invite me into their homes, almost every time the first thing saw decorating their walls was that World Atlas with all of our signatures and messages decorating the walls of their home.

Often, I have seen maps that just list the places people have been, whether that is with pins or scratched-off foil. But, to us, our travel story is so much more than just a list of places we go, but the friends of old visited, the friends of new-made and the adventure we’ve all shared.