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Message From The Founder The Vacation Reinvented Sojourn Variety

Tallien at Pentre Ifan, Wales

A Scholarly Sojourns group chatting with tour leader Michael Drout

Enjoying the view from Tintagel Castle in Cornwall

A Chat with a Sojourner

Tallien Perry, from Santa Monica, CA, took her first tour with Scholarly Sojourns in October 2015— Uncovering Camelot: A Journey Through Arthurian Britain. The following year, she chose Anglo-Saxon Britain. We recently asked her a few questions about her travel experience and what brings her back to Scholarly Sojourns each year.

What drew you to Scholarly Sojourns and what keeps you coming back?
I spent many years traveling in the U.S. then starting looking into travel to other countries. Since I have a strong interest in history, literature, and art, I was drawn to the options at Scholarly Sojourns. From my first trip, I was hooked. The lectures by the professors who accompany the tours cover the history, literature, and cultural aspects of the places we visit, and we come away with a truly rich experience that is far more than merely site-seeing. Also, the tours maximize our appreciation of the particular subject by taking us not only to the well-known historic and archaeological sites, but also to important sites that are off the beaten path, where tourists seldom go. I haven’t found another academic tour that has the level of expertise and educational content that Scholarly Sojourners offers, not to mention the camaraderie.

What was the most memorable experience on the tour?
There are so many, but I will say that one highlight of my Uncovering Camelot trip was the visit to Camlann Battlefield and Slaughterbridge, where the archaeologist working at the site gave us a tour and detailed explanations of the excavations and evidence showing that this was indeed where a war leader, thought to be the source of the King Arthur legend, fell. I would point out to those who are considering traveling with Scholarly Sojourns that this is the type of “extra” that they provide—a private tour by a local expert that complements the Sojourn leader’s expertise; a look at a cave or archaeological dig that most tours would never include. Scholarly Sojourns goes that extra mile to include the full experience.

How did you find the lodging/accommodations?
The hotel accommodations are always very comfortable and we have most of our dinners together where the food is great and we are treated to after-dinner lectures and discussions.

Did you enjoy the signature picnic?
Yes. The picnics are at a historic site, where we can eat and also explore. And there is always too much delicious food.

Did you enjoy traveling with a small group?
Yes, the size of this group forms an excellent environment. People come on these trips solo or with a friend, parent, anyone. Everyone connects very quickly over interest in the subjects/topics and fits in well. And there’s always a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and knowledge.

Did you find traveling with a tour leader useful?
Definitely. Michael Drout, the leader for the Anglo Saxon Britain tour, is fascinating. He teaches Anglo Saxon history, language, and medieval literature at Wheaton College, and taught us some Anglo Saxon on the trip. He’s also an expert on J.R.R. Tolkien and science fiction, and our group had many spirited discussions about how Tolkien drew from Anglo Saxon and Nordic myths to create the Lord of the Rings and how modern science fiction books draw from those myths. The professors who accompany the tours are always available for chats. They don’t just give a few lectures and disappear. Often after dinner they would sit with us for hours and go into more detail about the history and background of what we saw that day.

How has this tour inspired your life once you returned home?
I enjoy always learning, and on these trips, the learning never stops. Every tour has historical and literary components, and the readings complement each tour so very nicely. The trips are just fantastic, well organized and extremely interesting. After taking two trips with Scholarly Sojourns, I’m inspired to take some of their other tours which explore subjects where I do not currently have an interest. That’s because I know I will be immersed in an experience that will be new and exciting.

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