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Escape the Bottle: Mapping the World Beyond Your Perception

Escape the BottleOne summer, ☀️ I set up a bottle-style flycatcher. Over the course of a week of catching flies, I made an intriguing discovery: flies were being born inside it! 🤯 As I pondered life, as you do, it got me thinking: these flies perceive this bottle as their reality, 🌀 unaware of the vast world outside.

If you’re reading this cooped up in an office 🏢 or a room at home 🏠, take this as a sign. Step outside, 🚪 embrace the expanse, and seek out a new adventure every day. 

How big is your Reality…? And what’s outside it?

Map Your Reality Quest 🗺️✏️

Explore your surroundings and craft a unique, personal map that reflects the beauty and diversity of your local area.

Materials Needed:
🔹Blank paper or a notebook 📓.
🔹Pencils, markers, or watercolours 🖍️🎨.
🔹A keen sense of observation and imagination!


  • ☀️Reality Recogniser:
    Start your day with a 10-minute walk around your neighbourhood or during lunchtime at work. Take a moment to note major landmarks and any intriguing details that might usually go unnoticed.

  • 🌳Natural Nooks:
    On your map, sketch out parks, trees, rivers, or any natural element that stands out. Try to find hidden pockets of nature, even in urban spaces.

  • 🏛️Historical Highlights:
    Just like the quest mentioned, research and visit a historical spot. Add it to your map with a small note or drawing about its significance.

  • 👣People’s Paths:
    Over a couple of days, observe where most people walk, gather, or relax. Mark these “social hotspots” on your map.

  • 🎨Cultural Corners:
    Discover areas where local art, music, or culture is celebrated. It could be a mural, a street performance spot, or a community centre. Illustrate these vibrant areas on your map.

  • 🍔Culinary Cartography:
    Mark out your favourite eateries or ones you’d like to try. Bonus points for local delicacies or mom-and-pop restaurants.

  • 🚪Reflective Return:
    After a week, sit down and review your map. Connect areas with paths of your own – based on your explorations, preferences, or even whimsical imagination. Colour in areas, add tiny details and make it personal and unique.

Completion Step:
Display your map in a spot you frequent, reminding yourself daily of the expansive world right outside your door and aim to expand it. Share your creation online with friends or family, inspiring them to see their familiar surroundings in a new light.


Beyond the Map: The Portal to Perception Quest🌌


To deepen your understanding and appreciation of your surroundings, transcending the physical map into the realm of human experiences and emotions.

Materials Needed:
🔹Your personally crafted map from the previous quest.
🔹A journal or digital recorder for reflections and observations.
🔹An open mind and empathetic heart.


  • 🔍 Perceptive Explorer:
    With your map as a guide, revisit each spot. This time, focus not just on the physical aspects but also on the emotional and social vibes of each location. Feel the ambience, the rhythm of life pulsing through these spaces.

  • 👥 Community Connection:
    Engage with local residents or visitors in the areas you marked. Strike up conversations, if appropriate, to gather stories, legends, or personal experiences associated with these places. Note these narratives down.

  • 🎭 Emotion Mapping:
    Assign emotions or memories to different parts of your map. Maybe the park bench evokes nostalgia, or the busy street corner brims with excitement. Use colours or symbols to represent these emotions on your map.

  • 🌐 Global Gaze:
    For each spot, consider its connection to the wider world. How might a local historical site relate to a global event? How does the community art reflect universal human themes? Draw these global connections on your map.

  • 🕰️ Temporal Tapestry:
    Reflect on how these places have changed over time and imagine how they might evolve in the future. Add elements to your map that represent past histories and future possibilities.

  • 🧘‍♂️ Mindful Meander:
    In a quiet moment, walk through your map areas mindfully, observing your internal responses. How does each place make you feel? What thoughts and memories do they evoke? Record these reflections.

  • 🌐 Virtual Voyage:
    If possible, use digital tools to create an online version of your map. Incorporate multimedia elements like recorded stories, ambient sounds, or personal vlogs documenting your quest.

Completion Step:
Host a small gathering or an online session to share your “Beyond the Map” experience. Discuss how this journey has altered your perception of your local area and how it relates to the broader tapestry of human experience. Encourage others to embark on similar quests, fostering a community of explorers who appreciate the depth and diversity of their everyday world.

This exercise is not just about mapping a location; it’s about charting the human experience and our place within it. By blending the physical with the emotional and the local with the worldwide, we gain a richer, more nuanced understanding of our world and ourselves.


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Lionel ThomasLionel Thomas
Father, Gamer and Founder with a Passion for Health, AI, Environment and Gamification of Life.

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