I’m in Vienna right now, right next to the Albertina Museum, the Hofburg Palace, and the Opera House. I’m having a lot of fun, but I’m also traveling thoughtfully. And here at Albertinaplatz, where several hundred people are entombed below my feet, I’m pondering the value of history.
I got a history degree accidentally. (Because my parents had taken me to Europe as a kid, taking history classes was simply fun — and the next thing I knew, I was a history major.) Now, decades later, history is as compelling and inspiring to me as ever.
One reason I love Vienna so much is because of its rich history. Watching this clip, I hope you get a sense of the power of that history and the lessons that come with it. The wind is buffeting my mic, and there’s a stir in the air…just as the rain is about to hit. And I can’t help but think of the storms European society has weathered.
Travel can and should be fun. But if you want your children and their children to live in a world where travel is even possible, travel should be educational — and political. When you travel, consider the importance of having information to give meaning to your sightseeing. The typical tourist walks by the Monument Against War and Fascism, knowing nothing of its meaning or of the hundreds who were buried alive below their feet. It could happen again.