Thursday, 22 September 2016

Master's Decision

History is one long, epic adventure with battles to be fought, royal scandals to be gossiped about, wars to be waged, politics to be discussed, human rights to be protected, and stories to tell. It can be comic and tragic, and it exhibits the very best and the very worst of human nature. History is all about seemingly ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and that is why we all want to be remembered by it. And I think, one day history will remember them as well. History is one of the most fantastic things in this world. Everyone has a history and everything has a history. It is us historians who must look at these people and these items and find out what their history is and to write it down and bring it to light.

So, I have begun a new academic journey this year. I graduated last year with an HBA in History and this year I have taken on the daunting task of doing my masters. A lot of people have asked "what are you looking at?" or "what will your specialization be?" and for a majority of the time I really had no idea. I would always tell them I was interested in European history because a majority my family is from Europe and it's history spans a majority of the world. They have been everywhere and done everything imaginable. At first I was curious about monarchies, how they run, their institution, how they continue, why people may/may not like them. Granted I am still interested in monarchies, but not to the point where I would study them. But, I have recently watched a few documentaries on Netflix about British and Irish castles, and a new show called 'Outlander' that deals with Scotland. I have become increasingly interested with the history of all three of these countries and how they have continuously throughout history interconnected. Another issue that sparked my interest in furthering this study is that my grandmother's, on my father's side, family came from Ireland. They were farmers that moved from Ireland between 1847 and 1858 and moved to Canada. They moved because of persecution because of their Protestant faith and because Ireland did not have the land that the family needed to continue to farm. Obviously there were other reasons, but this is all I have found as of late. But now that I have this foundation in my studies, my trip to Ireland and Scotland in May has become even more important to me, because now I really get to see my roots.

I hope to one day find the original villages that my ancestors came from and see where they really came from. I find it to be the one thing I really want to do in the near future. I have found where some members of my grandmother's family have originally come from, but now the search must start for my grandfather's family. His family was from England and I know we have a family tree and I'm sure on it it states the village in which they first came from. I hope to go there one day and see exactly where they came from and maybe see the homes they might have lived in. One day I will find my family history, and my journey begins now.

Friday, 9 September 2016

On The Road Again

They say once you go on one trip to somewhere new, the travel bug bites and the urge to travel again never leaves you. For me, this is so true. The second I came home from Europe I began planning another trip back. I had a few choices on where I wanted to go. I knew I wanted to go back to Europe and travel the whole continent, but there are so many choices and places I have yet to be it made it difficult to try and narrow it down. There was Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark, and Spain and Portugal and Greece. The places are endless, but I eventually decided on Ireland and Scotland. My family is from Ireland so it is a way of me getting back to my roots but also I wanted to see what this beautiful country had to offer.

I've had friends and a couple of cousins go to both countries and every single one of them have said those were two of the countries they would 100% go back and visit. Not just because of the beautiful scenery but because of the people, the locals were so friendly and amazing to be around. They told stories about the history of Ireland and I have heard nothing about good things. I cannot wait to experience these two beautiful countries and of course to come back and visit again.

I feel like the photos you see online everywhere of both countries, of course they are beautiful, but they just do not do the countries justice. It's also very different to experience it yourself rather than just seeing the photos. As I realized earlier this year, its the emotions you feel when you are there and the way you see it through your own eyes. It's the stories you come back with and the experience and the memories and the photos you took yourself. That is what travelling is for and I cannot wait to continue my travels through Europe!