Rachel Rowan

Social Studies Teacher



D.C. to Goa: Mapping a learning experience.


The trip ahead of me presents a prime opportunity for exploration of worlds familiar and those not: practicing geography and travelling abroad.  The maps, I'm familiar.  International travel, I am not.

I am a high school teacher and map-enthusiast, a geography scholar in my past life, all the while stuck in my corner of the world: the east coast of the United States.  Away at an ashram in Goa, India stay extensions of my boyfriend's family - his brother and new wife.  Their travels have opened the doors to ours, and from March 28 through April 7, we will join them at Shri Kali.

This project - in evolution - will map our plans and travel from Washington, D.C. to Goa, India along with the traveling inbetween.  With this mapping, I hope to create a learning experience that connects to geography and social studies, so that I may share this project as a relevant learning experience for students in my 10th grade classroom.  (Believe it or not, some students are incredibly interested in what their teachers do during their "free time.")


One element for illustration and consideration of the mapping project will include the evolution of travel plans.  In the week or so that followed this original "Before-the-trip-brainstorming" map, my boyfriend decided to draw me a map away from my computer and fascination with trip-planning.  This next map was his map.

Zach's Map:  "Me to Zach & Ice Cream."


Looking into the possibilties of mapping online, some of Skillshare's Map Design course resources have turned up beautiful illustrations and ideas.  Specifically relevant to my trip, I wanted to share some maps and geography-influenced images that excite my curiousity.

"Beach-Hopping in Goa, India" by Moutushi Sarkar.   

While Goa seems to have infamous beaches, dipicted by Sarkar above, it is a very small and culturally distinct area of India.  The smallest state in the country, 

The image below, from BuzzFeed, compares the size of India by overlaying the border on this map of the United States.  As intended by the blog, this map puts the size of the country into perspective:


As we move through place and time, this portion of the project demonstrates the physical space and movement from our flying, to walking, to time-zone changes.


From www.travellerspoint.com, I generated a map to demonstrate the distance  which I will be travelling.  Above (to the west) you can see our starting point near Washington, DC, to our layover in Qatar, to our landing in Goa.


The map above (from http://www.icsm.gov.au/mapping/images/time_zones.jpg) was an image that resulted from a Google Images search on time zones.  On the eastern side, in the green portion of North America, is my current time zone.  Below, I will calculate some of the time changes that I will be experiencing as our trip goes on.

        Time Zones

  1. Washington, DC; USA - Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
  2. Doha, Qatar - Arabian Standard Time (AST)
  3. Goa, India - India Standard Time (IST)

        Goa / Doha / DC

             Departing Flight

  • Departure Time:   08:15 on 03/28/2013  |  05:45 on 03/28/2013  |  22:45 on 03/27/2013

  • Layover (3hrs and 5min.) in Qatar:  20:45 to 23:50 on 03/28/2013  |  18:15 to 21:20 on 03/28/2013  |  11:15 to 14:20 on 03/28/2013

  • Arrival Time:  03:20 on 03/29/2013  |  12:50 on 03/29/2013  |  17:50 on 03/28/2013

    Returning Flight
  • Departure Time:
  • Layover in Qatar:
  • Arrival Time:


On the website for Shri Kali (www.shrikali.orgthe ashram where we will be staying), a major way of transport suggested from other cities was the Konkan Railway.  As a DC resident, I find transit maps comforting in some way.  


Finally, when all is said and done - as with any good instructional and educational experience - there is a place for reflection and future application. 


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