I’ve been obsessed with maps and globes since I was a kid. Back then, I used a blank outline of the United States to color in each new state that I visited to track my travels. These days, I’m a little more sophisticated (though I still keep colored pencils in my carry-on), so when I was offered a chance to partner with GeoJango Maps to review a push pin travel map, I jumped at it. They offer a variety of maps of the world and the United States, with different colors to choose from, options to add personalized text, and colorful pushpins to mark off where you’ve traveled to, places you’ve lived, or where you’re dreaming of going – or use different colored pins to track all of them! I just hung mine up on the wall this weekend, and it’s made me smile every time I’ve glanced at it since then. Note: I was provided a complimentary framed map in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links, and should you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra charge to you. I opted for a world map with the Humboldt Explorer print. If you’ve looked around my site or noticed those bright turquoise walls in the background of my photos, you’ll probably be able to guess that I love those colors. It fits perfectly with the walls in my condo, and it’s such a pretty mix of blues and greens and purples. I also quite liked the rainbow one because I’m totally a kid at heart who loves bright colors. You can order sizes ranging from 24 inches wide to 48 inches. The one you see pictured here is 36″x24″. In addition to the push pin world map choices, there are United States maps and US maps with the locations of pro sports teams available. I’m a fairly petite 5’4″ for perspective if you’re trying to pick the right size. I picked the barnwood grey frame for it. It turned out a lot darker than the sample frame pictured on the product page, but I think it actually matches my black furniture (that’s not pictured because you can only see my couch in the photo below) better this way than it would’ve with the paler I was expecting. You can also order the map without a frame to save quite a bit on the cost.
Customizing your pushpin travel map
Picking the customized text was the hardest part for me and I agonized over what to put. The first idea I had was an old saying that I couldn’t place, but when I googled it I realized it was a corporate slogan I must’ve heard years ago and liked but not associated with their product. I was leaning toward the classic “Not all those who wander are lost” for the main text, but at the last minute I decided to go with a song quote that’s stuck with me for most of my life. I used to sing that line from “Belle Reprise” from Beauty and the Beast all the time as a kid, wishing I could recreate the scene of her running through the hills. Plus, I couldn’t resist a subtle little nod to Disney in there. You can also customize the compass text if you want to. I was going to use that Lord of the Rings quote there, but again changed my mind at the last minute. I wanted something custom to me, but felt like just slapping my name in there was a little odd. Inspired by the sample images on the product page, I went with the text you see here. While I can’t exactly remember all the way back to 1986, it’s a safe assumption that the wanderlust started then. The best way to design your map is to play with the Build-A-Map editor. You can choose different map designs and play with the fonts and text layouts that you want. The text on my map is in the font called Colonial, but there are a few other options to choose from. There is no hard limit for how many words or characters can be in the customization areas, but the more you try to cram in there, the smaller the font will be so I’d recommend being somewhat concise. If you use this option, the display serves as your proof, so when you place an order it will enter production immediately. I’d highly recommend having a second set of eyes proofread your text because it would really suck to order a gorgeous map like this and have it come back with your name spelled wrong. If you go through the order process on the product page, you’ll have a bit more freedom to play with text, but you’ll need to wait for a proof and then approve it before your map enters production.
Decorating your pushpin world map
My map arrived in an enormous box that looked like it should’ve weighed a ton, but was actually light enough to carry with one hand. Which was lucky, because I had my hands full of other packages and a Slurpee at the time. And obviously making two separate trips was completely out of the picture. The map itself was wrapped in paper with foam across the two long sides to keep it safe. It felt pretty secure in there, and I decided to keep the packaging because I’m moving very soon and want to pack it back up just as snugly so I don’t inflict any damage on it in the process. I spread out on the floor to mark my travels. Once you’ve hung up the map, you can get away with putting a few pins in on the wall, but for the first round that in my case involved a lot of pinning, having the leverage from laying it on the floor will help a lot. I hadn’t realized that GeoJango was including pushpins, so I’d ordered these ahead of time. I decided to use the ones I’d bought so I could keep the color scheme consistent. I would’ve needed extra anyway though because I put over 100 pins in the map just for my travels. The original plan was to use purple for me, green for my boyfriend, and blue for the places we’d been together, but then I hogged the whole US with my purple pins and he decided there wasn’t enough room. He’s already declared his intentions to order a US map for himself when we get into our new house so he can have space for his own pins. Lucky for us, there’s a design named Explore America whose colors coordinate perfectly with the world map I already have. My map was made out of satin paper mounted on a pin board. You can also get a canvas print option or a frame wrapped canvas print, though those cost a lot more. Pushing the pins into them took a little more force than I expected. My thumb was pretty sore before I’d even finished the pins for places we’d been together and I knew I wouldn’t make it through my whole map without finding an alternative. I opted for a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the pins and a small hammer to tap them into the board. It required a little planning so that I’d move from right to left across the continent (I was holding the pliers with my left hand and needed room for them), but it saved my thumb from more discomfort. It’s totally my life goal to blanket this travel map with pins. They stick in there pretty well once they’ve been added, but be careful that you don’t bend them or knock them sideways, which will loosen the hole they’re in.
Once my pins were all in, it was time to hang it in its place of honor over the couch. The back of the frame has a wire across the whole thing, which makes it easy to level. I’d gotten one of those scratch off world maps a couple years ago and never really liked it all that much. This is so much prettier on the wall than that one was. Tip: If you’d prefer a US map, you can get those in a variety of prints targeted for adults and kids. There are also some cool options that have pro sports teams marked on them if you’re shopping for a sports lover who likes traveling to different stadiums/arenas.
Get your pushpin travel map discount code!
If you love these maps as much as I do, you’ll want to grab one for yourself (or a loved one). I have some great news for you! GeoJango Maps is offering a 10% discount off of your purchase over $99 using the code NBT. Just apply it at checkout and save yourself some cash. If you order one, tag me in your photos on social media so I can see how cool it looks!
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Oh my gosh, this is so cool! I have one of the scratch off travel maps, but it’s a pain in the butt for small countries. I’ll have to look into this for sure!
I had the same problem with mine, haha. How exactly am I supposed to scratch off Liechtenstein?
So fun! I have one, as well. It makes a great convo started when family and friends are over. I get to explain my favorite trips, as well as future travels!
That’s so cool. What a nice-looking framed map, and I like that you get to customize it with your own sayings. But one thing….you really need to get some pins into Canada!
I have wanting to get myself the scratch maps but then I think i’ll get too obsessed with scratching them all off and not go to work. Lol. This is good option worth considering.
I love the push pin travel maps, Its such a great idea especailly for countries that are small.
Great idea. I need to keep better track of all of the places I have been!
You definitely piqued my interest with your push pins. I am to looking at where you went and seeing the patterns but you buried the lede. What do the different colors of blue mean? This is a conversation starter for sure.
Travel maps are great fun. But also they are visual reminders of our travel accomplishments and travel goals.
Needless to say, playing with colors and maps is a great way to keep our inner child alive.
You’ve loved maps and globes since childhood AND you still carry colored pencils with you as an adult? I think we’re spirit sisters ♡
Love this map! Gonna check out their whole store now!
I love the idea, it can be great as a gift for a fellow traveler. I have a scratch map to mark the places I visited with my husband-to-be. We didn’t hang it, yet, but every time we go to a new place together, we scratch it carefully when we get home. And we use the local currency 🙂
I love that you use the local currency to scratch off the countries! That’s such a fun tradition.