In my view, Heritage Tourism trips should be undertaken on a clear-minded, pleasurable basis or we should have second thoughts about the trip all together. To achieve this, flexibility is the key ingredient in the planning process. Be prepared to add items, be prepared to delete items from your planned itinerary. If you do the proper planning, you will have learned much about your subject in the planning stage. If you have to cancel or postpone activities or the whole trip, you are still be ahead based on what you learned already. If you are able to add activities, you are that much better off in the long run as well.
As I like to say, ‘life happens’ – and it sometimes gets in the way of what we planned to do. This can revolve around kids and family, it can revolve around the aches and pains of growing older, or job commitments can even mess up the best of plans. We must always be able to be flexible in order to get the most out of life.
Late this spring, my wife and I were planning our semi-annual visit to the home of our oldest daughter and her husband (Annette and Larry) on Boulder Mountain in south-central Utah. Our minimum expectations were a quiet two weeks in the mountains. Then we got the ‘agenda’ of items they (Annette and Larry) had on their local community activities schedule, and I realized we were in for a true Heritage Tourism visit. They are very active in cultural heritage activities in their local community which is located in a spectacular natural setting. It just happened that these two weeks were filled with activities we would enjoy as well.
I will share more of these specific activities in next week’s The Heritage Tourism column here at The In-Depth Genealogist. Needless to say, family and local history and genealogy is at the heart of these experiences in this rural Utah setting.
Dr. Bill Smith is the author of The Heritage Tourist, a monthly column in The In-Depth Genealogist which focuses on the social context of travel and history when applied to our genealogy. He can be found blogging at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories. Dr. Smith is also author of the family saga novel, “Back to the Homeplace,” set in a rural community in the southern Missouri Ozarks, drawn from his family history and genealogy passions and life experiences.