I love travel and history. In a sense, I travel for history. Some people travel to see great vistas and walk through beautiful countryside, climb mountains or canoe on a lake. Much and all as I love nature in all her splendour when I travel I find myself lurking in museums, getting lost in medieval alleyways and leaning affectionately against centuries-old buildings feeling the ghosts of ages past.
I spend days in art galleries and all manner of museums from dusty collections in villages to the glorious British Museum.
I do wander in forests and along beaches, but that is often on the way to a place of some historical note or to the home of a long-dead literary great, an art gallery or even the local railway museum.
I enjoy solo travel in cities with people and crowds as much if not more than sitting by a tree in a forest or lounging on a tropical beach. Actually, I rarely lounge on a tropical beach! I love people watching on public transport or sitting at a window in a cafe gazing outside or eavesdropping on conversations at other tables. In the evenings I find my bar, order a red wine, write in my journal, scribble a postcard or read the brochures I have collected during the day.
So when it comes to writing about my travels there is usually a historical thread running through them. I investigate recent and ancient pasts, connections between places and people and wonder what this would have been like way back when.
As for history itself, it’s the story in hiSTORY that captivates me whether it’s family tales, local history or the possible stories behind artifacts found in archeological digs.
For this blog, I have re-read old travel journals and letters I have sent home. I have rummaged through crates of travel paraphernalia – postcards, photos, maps, brochures, tickets and to do lists. I have begun writing about my trip to the Soviet Union in 1976 and will regularly blog about this. These blogs will be interspersed with other travel stories and tales of local and family history. Of course, there will be times when I follow a memory down a lane that that takes me to a very different place or I will share my recommendations for a good read.
Please join me. Enjoy the blogs. Post some comments. Share your tales.