Understanding History Through Travel – Episode 49 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

I’ve always loved history and enjoyed studying it at school, but sometimes I notice that I’m really well-informed on some kinds of history and not others. And what that mostly comes down to is whether or not I’ve travelled to the place concerned! Yep, understanding history logically can be strongly related to whether you’ve travelled there or not, just another in my long list of reasons why travel is so important.

I mention in this episode of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast that I had one particularly lucky historical experience. You know when completely by chance you’re in the “right place at the right time” to experience a really historical moment?

Brandenburg Gate on German reunification day 1990

I was crazy-lucky to be staying in Berlin on 3 October, 1990, when West Germany and East Germany were reunified. I took this (pretty average!) photo at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin around midnight when the two Germanys became one again. I was staying with a family in which the father was from the west and the mother from the east, so for them it was a particularly important moment. I’ve never forgotten that feeling and of course I know my German history pretty well, thanks to that. Have you ever been somewhere right at the moment of something really historical?

 

Understanding History Through Travel - Episode 49 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Show notes: Episode 49 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Understanding History Through Travel

History can really come alive when you travel to the place where it happened. Episode 49 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast is all about understanding history through travel, and I talk with three history-lovers who have had great experiences learning about history while they travel.

Zoë Dawes inherited a love of history from her father, and today when she travels she is always on the lookout for an opportunity to explore some interesting aspects of her destination’s history.

Historical novelist Kate Forsyth has a clear need to travel to learn more about the history of the places she sets her books in, and describes her experiences in Venice as a great example. Finally, novelist Sarah Ridout also explains how her experiences living in historically significant places have shaped both her knowledge and how she writes her novels.

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