I’ve always loved to travel, and one of my favorite parts is getting to have a connection to the place that in our classrooms we refer to in the abstract. It makes the history more tangible, real, and often provides perspective that we don’t get from secondary sources. While travelling in Scotland last summer, I did one of those seemingly cheesy bus tours that carts you around to different scenic and historic locations.
The legacy of English rule and colonization is still very present and visceral to the Scottish people. Hearing the stories being told about the breaking of the clans, the violence towards rebels, and seeing some of those monuments lent a viewpoint that I hadn’t really been privy to. This was a topic that I had learned mostly from an English perspective, minus a movie or TV show here and there. Watching “Braveheart” is one thing, but hearing a descendant of a Scottish rebel speak of the events as though he were there is another. Standing in Glencoe valley and hearing of the skirmishes that occurred adds another layer of understanding. To this day, the experience makes me reconsider the phrase “History is written by the victor.” What other perspectives are we missing by staying in one place?