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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Different focus on travels nowadays?

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It seems to me that I recall asking a question about how different your travels are now than when you first began traveling or when you were younger, but I'm going to ask again. When I was younger, I guess I was interested in seeing "stuff"--architecture, different landscapes and cultures, but also in having a good time--drinkiing the local beers and wines, meeting people, partying, etc.

I'm getting ready for a trip to eastern Germany beginning May 15. My focus will be on WWII sites (ones that I haven't seen in past trips) in Berlin and also Cold War sites in Berlin, Dresden and Leipzig. I became especially interested in the Cold War in the DDR after reading several books recommended by Fodorites.

I'm still interested in seeing the architecture and landscapes and experiencing different cultures, but now I focus much more on the history of the area. I don't recall wanting to walk for miles just taking it all in or on sitting in a sidewalk cafe having a coffee the way I do now. Nowadays I try to learn about the history of an area before visiting it.

Recently I've been reading spy novels by Alan Furst, which have inspired me to see more of eastern Europe than the few large cities I've seen in the past. I can hardly wait to see more of these countries, and to see them in as much depth as I can.

I feel like I'm running out of time. I need to see Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuanian, especially after reading Gertie's trip report about them, and of course the Balkans. I traveled through Yugoslavia during the 60's but I was so clueless that I didn't absorb very much. Three of us were camping, and we seemed to focus more on finding a campground, setting up the tent and the cooking apparatus, and finding a shower than on anything like architecture.

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