What's in a Name?

Among the many random thoughts I pondered with all the unexpected free time provided by the recent (and - alas - still lingering) pandemic, was What am I? (I told you it was random). Despite the effort and love poured into my travel business since 1978, I have always primarily thought of myself as a historian. And even in my brief bio on our website, “historian” is listed first. While it took years to develop - this obsession started out in childhood as simply devouring every biography and history book I could get my hands on (aided by library cards from two different libraries). It has easily become a major part of my life, and it conveniently fits our slogan, “Journeys of Exploration and Discovery” like a glove! Studying history makes me happy, and stimulates my brain to find out more.

But my activities include much more. In this digital age, I probably qualify as a blogger. (You’re reading one right now.) But there is also “essayist”. I rather like that one. Henry Adams was an essayist. So was Ralph Waldo Emerson. Many of my readers refer to my “essay” or “article” when commenting on an entry.

I suppose I could be deemed a chronicler, when referencing history (which is nearly everything I write). I am also an observer and expert in some areas. And lastly, there is a new title on the digital scene known as an influencer, which I find intriguing. While it implies expertise in a certain field of interest, it also suggests the power to teach or move the reader in a new direction of thought. I’m still pondering that one. I’m not sure I want the responsibility of moving people in one direction or another. And have my doubts that I could even do it.

As a tour director, I see my role primarily as a teacher. There is so much to learn about this great country and its past, and I think that travelers enjoy a much higher level of appreciation when armed with this additional information (what I have always called, “lending insights to the sights”). There is so much more to travel than just moving around! These insights can reveal new truths about a region that - even if you have visited the area before - can open up a new and deeper understanding of the people who live in the region and the events that occurred there.

I heard a new title recently that struck me as a possibility: content creator. While this smacks suspiciously of merchandising, it may still have possibilities.

So, by now I’m sure many (if not most) of you are wondering, what difference does it make what I’m called?

You’re right; it doesn’t matter.