When I say I am going to university to study geography people often ask me ‘what’s the capital of Brazil?’ or something similar. This is annoying because it happens often but also because geography is so much more than the study of countries and places. It is sociology, economics and politics; it is chemistry, physics and maths; it is as old as time and as current as the today’s weather. Geography is all around us and it influences every aspect of our lives.
Living in the Lake District as I do, the influence of geography is there for all to see. It has created magnificent scenery over millennia and it has shaped the local economy over hundreds of years. I can’t help but be fascinated by the sheer, elemental power of geography and its far reaching consequences. I want to know more about it so that I can understand its complexity and apply that understanding in practical ways that improve the lives of ordinary people.
My love of geography has taken me on some exciting journeys. I am lucky that my parents have always looked beyond the all-inclusive hotel complexes and taken our family on explorations and adventures for our annual break. I have so far visited South America, the Arctic Circle and Egypt on my travels and I look forward to seeing much more of the world.
To this end, I am planning to take a gap year travelling around South East Asia, taking in the many different countries and cultures around the Pacific Rim. There are so many varieties of landscape, economy and social approaches in this region that I think this will be an eye opening trip that will only enhance my dedication to the subject. To fund this expedition, I have been working hard and saving for the last two years, fitting in as many hours at my local DIY store as I can, around my A-level studies and social life, saving up money to do some travelling.
Of course, you do not have to travel to explore geography, and I am fortunate to have an aptitude for maths that makes the statistics of geography come alive for me beyond mere numbers and graphs. I love exploring the data behind a country to get a real flavour for how it works as a society and how the environment influences everyday life.
I am a subscriber to National Geographic magazine and I am a member of the Royal Geographic Society with my father. His work often takes him to London, and so I have been lucky enough to attend high level lectures at the Society from time to time, as well as enjoying regular visits to the Natural History Museum, which is one of my favourite places.
I enjoy all aspects of geography at the moment, and I am approaching this course with an open mind as to where it will take me for a career. Who knows, it may even take me to Brasilia, the famous purpose built capital of Brazil, deep in the heart of the country, that everyone keeps asking me about.