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Do you ever do this, or am I just weird?

Sometimes when I’m traveling, I like to pretend that people from my distant past have come into possession of some science-fictiony device that allows them to tap into my optic nerve and see exactly what I see.

Then I imagine — if they used the device right now to peer out of my eyes, what would they see? Would they be able to figure out where I am?

This game is most fun when I’m kicking around a place where the landscape doesn’t match popular perceptions of the region at large. I might even purposefully select a field of view that makes it most difficult for them to determine my location.

The images below depict 14 such places, 14 such views. Bet you can’t guess where they are.

Clues are displayed at the bottom of the caption box for each photo, followed by the answer, so don’t scroll down too fast if you’re actually quizzing yourself. And let us know how you do in the comments.

Travelers Stoked on this Gallery

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About The Author

Hal Amen

Hal Amen is a managing editor at Matador. His personal travel blog is WayWorded.

  • Candice Walsh

    I guessed the first one right!

    And that was it. #4 kinda blew my mind. 

  • bettina r.

    I’ve been doing that tap-into-my-optic-nerve thing since I was 14! I guessed no.5 and no.11, is that Iliniza Norte and Sur in the background?

  • Priyanka kher

    never been to any of these places but the pictures sure have inspired me to go !

  • Ekua

    Such a great idea for a photo essay, Hal! It’s always nice to have reminders that places are so much more than the narrow ideas they’re often presented as.

  • KarinMarijke

    Fun game Hal. We guessed one: Meteora, because we’ve been there.

  • Kathleen Amen

    Your optic nerve thing must be genetic; I like doing it, too. Although I didn’t guess any correctly, I’d love to live in #1!

  • sagerussell

    This is a great reminder for those odd days when you are tempted to give in to travel fatigue. 

    It’s always a boost to look around and imagine what your view might look like to someone in a cubicle munching a vending machine sandwich while they fill out TPS reports.

    Or imagine what it would have looked like to you, a few months ago when you were filling out the TPS reports. :)


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  • Abhijit Gupta

    A very interesting idea! I was able to get the Greece and Spain correct! Would love to visit both of those places! :)

  • Erika

    I got Brazil, Nepal and Spain!  Good for me! :)

  • Syn cso

     This is really innovative and a new idea, I like this concept and the way it is carried out in so light and cool manner.
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  • haitravel

    So great.This is all i can say.


  • Alexandra Brückner

    Won’t even lie — when I saw that Lamma Island made the list, I let loose with a high pitched “I’ve been there! I’ve been there!”

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