Travel to Understand History

My go to tourist location is always a historical spot or a museum. Maybe its a habit I’ve gotten from my parents who have dragged me to everything educational, from  old battle fields to Winston Churchill museums. Or maybe my love of history in general has made me fond of these experiences.

Travel can be eyeopening, it is my favourite way of learning about the world. And from my experiences of learning over the years, my knowledge of history has expanded greatly. I have eaten lunch in Place of Versailles, pretended to throw tea into the Boston harbour, and have walked along Juno beach (one of the five D-Day beaches). When you visit some where, you have a chance to discover the current culture and appearance, you can also learn about some of the reasons on why its like that today.

I have so many memories from visiting museums and historical sites. Depending on where you go, you will experience shock, awe or pure interest. Walking around old gold mine towns like Barkerville, Canada or Ballarat, Australia. Visiting the monument on Vimy ridge. There is so much to experience, and every little thing counts. I’ve seen one of Napoleons hats in person, and Laura Seacord’s house, which I consider to be two special experiences.

History provides a sense of reason when looking at todays world, and explaining why its like this today. It can expand your world view. In class, I always have more historical events to reference because of all the traveling I’ve done. Knowledge is always a good thing.

Historical sites are also a great activity, even if you aren’t interested in the learning aspect. Old buildings can be beautiful and the tours make you feel like you are truly visiting your destination. My suggestion is to always make room for these experiences when you are away.

house of seven gables 

Traveling with School Groups (the how to)

Schools can offer great opportunities to travel. I was given opportunities in elementary and high school and took advantage of them. It was a nice chance to travel with people who wasn’t family, and also gave me experience with traveling with people I don’t know very well. If you get a chance to travel with school, there are some travel tips you should keep in mind to have the best experience possible.

Tour at Harvard 
  • Rooming with friends and/or classmates

    Accommodation is a must with every trip and no matter what form of shelter your trip offers you will have to share with your friends or classmates. This can be quite fun as you get the chance to share a room or a tent with people you usually don’t travel with, creating an unique experience or a great memory. However, there are a few downsides. All your friends may not fit in one room or tent, forcing you to split up. You may not have enough friends to fill a room, meaning you have to share with someone your are not close to. Do not fear if this happens. If you have too many friends you can have a civil conversation where you all decide how to split up. If you have to share with some classmates the best way to handle the situation is to just accept it. This can be a good way to make a friend or just to know someone better.

    New York

    Now if you do have to share a room with an unknown classmate one of the best ways to co exist is to communicate. Talk about preferences, for an example say if you want a system to keep your living spaced organized or if you want to set up an alarm to wake the room in the morning. Try to be courteous. simply gestures like keeping all your stuff together instead of all over the place can help the atmosphere be a little less crazy. If you and your temporary roommates have reached a point where you don’t get along remember that this arrangement isn’t for long. You just have to survive until the end of the trip and you will never have to share a room with that person again. Keep in mind these are only sleeping arrangements. Most of the time you barely get anytime to sleep much less to socialize.

  • Keeping up with group

    When traveling with a large group there will be a lot of attendance checks in order not to lose anyone. First tip is if your teacher decides to do count offs, write your number on your hand. This way you won’t become “that person” who always forgets their number. Also always have a watch on hand, even if it is just a phone. On most school trips will give you free time to explore, and give you a time and a place to meet up after. Always arrive on time or earlier, this will help the group avoid delays. In my experience there have been many times where everyone is waiting for a small group of students who arrive late, making us all late to the next event and it is frustrating. Always keep up with the group.

  • Talk to the teachers/ tour guides

    Your school group is a team on this adventure and everyone should have a say on how to make the experience more enjoyable. On my school trips I have talked to the teachers with preferences about the schedule and have changed the plan on the fly. This is great when the whole group is involved, too. When I was on a school trip in New York we were supposed to have lunch in a train station, which was crowded with rushing people and seemed to be a perfect place for pick pockets. We all convinced the tour guide to take us directly to the hotel as we were all tired and grumpy from the travel and we were happy just to eat lunch at the fast food places down the street of the hotel. Communication is good!

  • Experience everything

    One of my favourite expressions for traveling is “You can sleep when your dead”. I live by this with every trip. When an extra opportunity arises, say an optional outing, I agree to it no matter what I’m feeling, whether I’m tired or sore. Travel is time limited and you are there to experience. The smallest weirdest outings can sometimes be the most memorable, and regardless you will regret missing it later.

  •  remember to have fun!

    It’s your trip too. Save up and prepare since a trip like this, good or bad, is a trip you will be talking about years from now.IMG_6922