How does geography affect the way we live?

Geography has an astonishing influence on how we live. Earth’s features affect lifestyles worldwide in different ways, and they are also one of the reasons for cultural diversity. A great deal of what people are able to do in their locality comes from geography – from construction materials to crop cultivation.

What and how we build, the food we grow and eat, the clothes we wear, as well as the work we do are all influenced by geography.

Human settlements formed around some prominent geographical features, such as rivers – and the geography of an area continues to be a significant factor in most human endeavors. For instance, people that live in desert, dry climates have different ways of watering crops and accumulating water than those who live in grassy areas or tree-covered landscapes.

Different types of human settlements in different surroundings 

Also, the way people build their homes varies depending on their geographical region. For example, a settlement near the sea must take into consideration tides and sandy shores. When building on sand, you have to ensure a deep support system below the surface. In such areas, one can also see many houses on stilts which let the tide come in under the house instead of in the house. 

When it comes to masonry and brickwork, materials vary extensively, depending on the climate. In areas with plenty of clay soil, bricks are less expensive to make, which is why you will find more brick houses in such areas. In localities with plenty of forests, you are more likely to see wooden houses.

What food we grow is also geography-based. Some lands are ideal for rice, others for barley. You cannot grow cabbage in Africa, but you can grow coffee. The terrain, precipitation, and the seasons all determine what gets grown.

How does geography affect the way we live our daily lives?

Geography has a lot to do with accessibility. Does a particular region have access to clean water? Are there some dangerous animals living in the area? Is the locality very hot or cold or at high altitude? All of these factors affect how people go about their daily lives. 

In numerous third-world countries, all of the aforementioned needs to be taken into consideration, but with the development of cities, spans of land exist where geography has been brought down to a minor concern. Nevertheless, in the case of less privileged communities, many people are still dependent on proximity to water, hunting and gathering food to survive.

How does geography affect people’s lives in terms of natural and social development? 

To fully understand the nature of a land, you should study its influence on the people living there. Equally, a people cannot be fully understood without taking into account the land where their life is lived. At a physical level, people develop certain characteristics as they adapt to their environments. For instance, people living near the sea tend to be shorter than the people who live in the mountains, and those residing in cold climates are usually lighter-skinned than their equatorial counterparts. 

What is more, their vocabularies also differ. Those living in grassy regions may have a lot of words for variations of green color, while the vocabulary of a coastal nation may include a high number of nautical terms.

The type of work people do is often dependent on geography. One cannot fish in the sea unless he is near it. If we live in a swamp, we cannot grow wheat. Likewise, we cannot mine for coal if there are no coal mines in the area or be Sherpas with no mountains. You get the picture, right? Today, a lot of people have jobs that they can do in most parts of the world, but geography still has a substantial impact on many.

How does geography affect our culture?

A lot of us don’t give much thought to how their place of residence impacts their culture. But, a branch of geography known as cultural geography studies the cultural components and the way they relate to the geography of the places where we live and travel.

With the help of today’s technology and ease of travel globalization has made it possible for cultural components to freely travel around the world. Civilizations that were once out of sight for the rest of the world can nowadays be studied and acknowledged by the rest of the world.

Individuals that study cultural geography understand and aim to explain the close link between cultures and the physical geography of the surroundings in which those cultures develop. At the outset, specific cultures develop under the influence of their physical landscape. In due course, those cultures employ their own influence on their surroundings.

Even though you might have never previously thought about it, the culture you relate to has been developed and molded by the physical features of the landscape in which you live. Therefore, geography is a fundamental driving force in defining the deep-rooted qualities of a culture’s expansion in a particular region.