Go With a Purpose.
A blog about connecting through places that matter.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Heritage Travel: Connecting Through Places That Matter

When I spend even a few minutes perusing the list of places on the Save America’s Treasures Web site I’m reminded of the sheer breadth and diversity of heritage- and culture-rich destinations and sites in the U.S. alone. I find myself reflecting that, from sea to shining sea, such sites comprise a mosaic of heritage and culture that shapes our collective experience and gives greater meaning to our lives every time we visit.

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness."

President Barack Obama
Inaugural Address
January 20, 2009

Heritage Travel, Inc. was created recently by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to provide a unique and new service: helping people find and explore the places that matter to them. Our mission is to help people who are curious about the world enrich their lives through heritage and cultural experiences.

Now, the task of creating this online community is humbling, perhaps even a bit daunting, as “heritage” and “culture” are broad terms indeed! Yet, our mission could not be more inspiring because in exploring the diversity of our heritage and culture we discover what we have in common and what brings us together.

The new Heritage Travel Web site will be launched soon. Its powerful search engine and extensive catalog of destinations and sites will help us all discover heritage- and culture-rich experiences that we never knew existed – both across town and around the world. We will have a place online to review the destination photos and recommendations of others who, like Lewis and Clark, have paved the way. Then, we’ll be able to pay it forward by contributing our own trip journals so others may trace our steps and share the joys that result from our unique heritage travel experiences. The hundreds of reviews already contributed to this prelaunch, mini-site – GoWithaPurpose.com – are just the beginning. As we engage with one another online, we will find ourselves connecting more and more through places that matter and re-discovering the common denominators that shape our shared heritage.

Heritage Travel is a global idea. Any place that people have ever lived, toiled, explored the wilderness, waged war, yearned for peace, erected great monuments, created art forms or aspired to bring meaning to life is a part of this rich landscape. Our heritage journey drives us always to follow our truth, wherever it may lead, and to discover more about ourselves and how we relate to those around us.

All of us at Heritage Travel are thrilled to contribute to this collective journey. We look forward to connecting with you as we embark together on this never-ending exploration of heritage and culture.

John I. Williams, Jr., is President and CEO of Heritage Travel, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

photo credit: Eric Purcell (ep_jhu) from Flickr.com

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