Good day, fine reader! This is coming to you very much not live from my very own secret bunker, of which I have been residing in for almost a year now. Nothing like a pandemic to make even the most obstinate introvert a victim of their own consciousness! I am perpetually confused as to what day it is, no longer don makeup from the nose down, and my quarters have begun to reek of despair and antibacterial wipes. Quite the time to be alive, indeed!
That being said, I find one of the most detrimental aspects of living during a pandemic to be the crippling amount of isolation from the outside world. Purchasing groceries before the pandemic? I absolutely despised it. Purchasing groceries now? I would give anything to buy my own food, as I am forced to take up residence with a band of deranged madmen who are repulsed by Nutella (who can even taste the hazelnut?) and have declared mini M and Ms to be inferior to the original.
Most of all, however, I lament the fact that this accursed pandemic has all but shattered my dreams of international travel. I have found that to be a fascinating mental dilemma that has arisen amidst this quarantine (since the heightened anxiety and crushing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder were expected). How can I miss a dream that I had barely even begun pursuing? As I asserted, I can be quite a (depressingly) anxious and easily intimidated individual; one wouldn’t expect someone who has to engage in correspondence with her mother every single time she must purchase detergent to be able to handle the enormous task of travel. Despite that, however, I am still quite an avid reader and explorer of history. I suppose I was at least hoping of one day being able to leave my despair-ridden bunker and explore those histories and cultures. After all, there is truly nothing more dangerous than an introverted soul whose own will to one day die alone amidst their books, twenty pet dogs, and beloved Netflix has begun to fray at the seams…
It is this fear of my own slowly encroaching insanity, dear reader, that has led me to combine my worry of impending doom and my love of history and travel into this blog! Throughout my seemingly endless captivity, I will recount the historical foundations of the cultures and traditions of the most captivating places in the world. My primary intention — as a woman of history first and foremost — is to explore how much of the cultural traditions of the past have persisted to the modern-day and their role in shaping current events and global issues (The History Blog). I’ll be changing my topic every week, as I attempt to explore everything from gender roles (Morse and Gupta) and architecture, to stances on climate change to the actual importance of a monarchy (as my knowledge of what the dear Queen of England does with her time is limited to episodes of the Crown and her delectable chocolate cake recipe on Youtube) (Feedspot). It will be a smattering of all historical fields of study — political, economic, intellectual, diplomatic, cultural, and social — using multiple areas of evidence, from archaeology to modern-day documents. What were the cultural foundations of the Scottish seeking independence in 2014? What makes Japanese society so much more health-conscious than any other place on Earth? (Parr) Why do ideal body types differ in Fiji compared to the toxic beauty standards of Western society? Is the delectable gyro pronounced yeer-o or jI-ro?
In light of the trying and tumultuous times we find ourselves in, I feel an inclination to better understand these cultures and places as a way to not only encourage exploration and celebration of our cultural differences, but also to feel better connected to the outside world than I have since this pandemic started. I do hope you, dear reader, will join me as I virtually explore the world in a sad attempt of international travel that one may only find during a 21st-century pandemic, and perhaps even be inspired to pursue your own!