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Having a Blast with the Past

"On the road again Just can't wait to get on the road again The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again"

If you ask anyone who knows me personally, they will readily share that I love going on road trips to historical sites! Maybe it was my parents' fault who read me books about American historical figures for history class in homeschool, or my grandparents who took me to history museums on summer vacation, or most likely a combination of both - but by the end of high school I was a proper history buff. I started visiting so many historical sites with my family, many times while geocaching (a 21st century scavenger hunt game), that I decided to start recording my adventures on YouTube in the spring of 2012.

The videos were downright cringy, but I was having fun and that's about all I cared about. Summer came bringing a trip to Michigan to visit my grandparents, and suddenly I had a whole slew of videos ready to publish. That's when the idea of weekly postings came to mind. So I started...and somehow just kept up. Two years in, and after 100 videos I finally started feeling like my editing was getting better. I entered college and signed up for just about every field trip I could - my mother even teased calling me a "field trip major"! College trips to New England and New Mexico were especially productive in the video department. Then there were spring break trips to Florida to see my grandparents, and one out to California to visit my aunt and uncle. And in the process I discovered that my own home town of Chattanooga was choke-full of Cherokee Indian and Civil War history!

So without particularly trying to do it, I kept going weekly all throughout five years of undergrad, two years of a master's, and the first year of my Ph.D. program. This past spring when I ran out of new videos to publish, I found myself having a channel having with 500 videos on it and 200,000 total views. My thoughts on the channel were transformed from just a place to make cringy vlog videos to creating a platform for people to enjoy virtually visiting historical sites all across America while having "a blast with the past"! This can include homeschoolers, history buffs like myself, or even just folks who enjoy travel videos and don't mind a story or two thrown in now and then.

I strongly believe that history can be a fascinating subject if you learn the real stories behind the real people that lived in time gone by. For example, it could be boring to learn that the Civil War was from 1861-1865, but what if you got to see the actual Confederate train engine that Union spy James Andrews hijacked in 1862? You start identifying with a person, learning about them, caring about them. Seeing the sites and learning the stories makes history come alive for me, and more fascinating overall.

Even though I stopped publishing new videos this spring, I continued shooting them as I had opportunity. Now as I reflect on the year, I actually had the chance to visit some pretty cool locations! I'm excited to share that I've put together a trailer of my 2020 footage and will be resuming weekly postings starting next month. You can watch the trailer below:

If you are interested in keeping up with my videos, feel free to check out the "Historical Geocaching" tab on this website. Each Wednesday I publish a new video, and it will show up there for you to watch. Or, if you are more of the YouTube type, feel free to subscribe to my channel on YouTube so it will show up in your subscription list.

I hope that my Historical Geocaching channel will help people get more excited about American history through learning the stories and virtually visiting the sites. Whether you're a bonafide history buff (me), a parent who wants to show their kid some educational content, or even just someone who's tired of COVID (definitely me!) and wants to watch a travel video, I'm confident that I can help all of you have "a blast with the past!"

On the road again

Goin' places that I've never been

Seein' things that I may never see again

And I can't wait to get on the road again

Willie Nelson


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