What does travel mean to you? For some, the mere mention of traveling invokes feelings of excitement and anticipation for the opportunity to visit somewhere new. For the less-adventurous, travel might mean staying in the comfort of home watching a travelogue or documentary about a place they’ve always longed to go or reading a book set in an unfamiliar area.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Thankfully, it matters little if you are the outgoing type or you see yourself as an armchair traveler. At its heart, the best travel contains the experiential pleasure of creating or invoking a memory. Perhaps that’s why the original definition of souvenir as a memory or recollection feels so right. While many of us look for a souvenir to commemorate our experience or journey, it’s often the attached memories that remain with us after the tangible item fades and cracks. With a bit of prompting these memories can be brought to the forefront of the mind through the look or touch of item or travel to a place that’s so powerful it can feel like time traveling.
Creating a New Story
These memories often become the basis of the individual stories of our own history and a gathering of experiences. For those who love history, there is a strong emotional need to remember and
commemorate those who have passed before us. This might done through the act of visiting the battlegrounds and cemeteries of our fallen soldiers, trying on the costume of a long-ago era, or retracing the steps of a famous individual or battle.
With historical travel, new generations have the opportunity to see and experience the areas once accessible only through the reading of a book. This could be something as extraordinary as walking the Freedom Trail in Boston, standing at the foot of Lady Liberty, or traveling to a well-known Civil War battle site such as Gettysburg. With each travel experience we not only have the opportunity to step back in time but to also assimilate the visit with our own life experiences, stories and education.
Places to take a Historical Field Trip
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon
- Civil War Road Trip
- Colonial Williamsburg
- Yorktown Victory Center
- Jamestown Settlement Museum
- Grand Canyon
- Space Center in Houston
- Liberty Memorial and National WWI Museum
- Presidential libraries
- Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site
- Plimouth Plantation