Are you a shrinker?

When we have visitors, I can’t help but notice how people tend to successfully shrink this world. And I am sure you know a shrinker (not a shrink!), too – maybe even you are a shrinker? Truth be told, there is at least a little bit of a shrinker in all of us.

worldmap, world map, maps of world

worldmap, world map, maps of world (Photo credit: nsikander28)

Shrinkers go through life with tons of pictures in their heads of places they’ve visited so far. And instead of admiring something new and unknown, they will tell you: “Oh, this looks like Italy!” Or: “Without the mountains and if this was by the sea, then it would be just like this tiny village by the Baltic Sea I went to when I was little.”

Shrinkers take in the new place in a heartbeat and then you can see them wandering about studying nothing else but the pavement, since they desperately want to figure out what to compare this place to.

While it might be nice to give comparisons to people who have never visited just so they can get an idea as of what to expect, it can be highly annoying while being THERE. Whenever I feel my mind drifting into shrinkage mode, I ban all comparisons from my mind and start over with fresh eyes, because otherwise, places lose their magic and their uniqueness.

On the other hand, shrinkage adds some madness that can be highly entertaining. Just to give you a few examples:

A tiny Caribbean village in Mexico becomes Miami. Or Lisbon. Minus the trams. And minus the hype.

Paris Exposition: Eiffel Tower, Paris, France,...

Paris Exposition: Eiffel Tower, Paris, France, 1900 (Photo credit: Brooklyn Museum)

Seattle becomes Paris. Minus the couture. (Really?)

A little Swiss town becomes Canada, while a little Canadian town becomes Switzerland. Or Norway. Whatever.

Isn’t it enough that we can travel from Paris to Australia within a day, more or less? Do we really have to look then for Paris in Australia?

Stop shrinking! And if you can’t, see a shrink!



8 thoughts on “Are you a shrinker?

    • Haha, I know, we all do that once in a while. And some more often than others… But really, it is a stupid thing to do, isn’t it? Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  1. This is a really terrific post! Really reminds us all to attempt to view each new place or experience with fresh eyes and hearts, and not to keep boxing things up into tidy categories in our minds. I’m a little horrified that anyone would compare Seattle w/Paris… but sometimes we all do this type of “shrinking” to simplify our experiences. Thank you for this great insight, and keep it coming! 🙂

    • Thank you so much for your comment! I agree, we probably do this when it is getting to much for our little brains. It keeps our world nice and small. But after all, that’s not why we travel! …on the other hand: we could all save a looot of money by just travelling to few places and squeeze the rest of the world into those categories! 😉

    • Haha! Well, as I said, we all have a little bit of a shrinker in us, right? We just need to shut him / her down in order to SEE! Thanks for your comment, Miss Shrinker! 😉

  2. I lately learned something about shrinking in a guided museum-tour. It was all about absract art an the guide showed us a huge abstrakt painting and the explained, that most people like an abstract painting more, if they think that they can explore something familiar in it (do you see the big cow/dog/tree…?) and if they don´t they like it less. It´s also about not to see with fresh eyes.
    And you have to train NOT to compaire new things/ places/paintings…with something you already know. It´s like hiking without a compass – a bit frightening but you see so much more because you don´t concentrate only on the plan/compass. 😉

    • Thanks, Iris! That is so interesting! Yes, I agree, when looking at abstract things, we always try to figure out something familiar. I guess, otherwise, ourk little brains get stressed…

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