The Souvenir of Historical Travel

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Uncategorized | No Comments

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.

Mount Vernon 01_WEB

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.

MV 04_WEB

MV 06_WEB

Places to take a Historical Field Trip

Leave a Reply