Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic ~ October 1946

This magazine, like the other two that I purchased at a library, has fascinating stories and photos from another era. WWII has ended and ads now feature travel to other parts of the globe. Below are some of the ads, followed by a recap of a few of the captivating narratives.

One of the stories, “Americans Stand Guard in Greenland” is about the US Army-weather station. The author recounts how US Coast Guard and infantry troops captured German weather stations during WWII. The weather stations in Greenland were vital for North Atlantic battle planning, including submarine activity. The scenery is desolate, yet spectacular.

Another story, “Palestine Today,” is very absorbing as this is several years before Israel became a nation. To the author, many parts of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem reminded him of parts of Europe, including central European coffee houses and the streets of Paris. Southern Palestine reminds the author of California, especially in the area of agriculture. The photos and story capture a Palestine of more than 70 years ago.


Another article, “Back to Afghanistan,” really is back to this exotic area as the author had visited Afghanistan in 1931 as part of an expedition across Asia that summer. The story is eye-opening as he writes of a country, ruled by a European educated king. A country educating its youth, building roads, showing western movies in Kabul and being very hospitable to the author and his companions. The map is fascinating as in 1946 Afghanistan was a buffer between the USSR and India (Pakistan was not yet a country).

All of the stories capture the mystique of the areas making me want to discover more of the history of each country. Journeys need not be physical; reading magazines or books is a marvelous way to take a journey. You can go back in time and imagine what it was like and then, if intrigued, get some history books. Discover what the intervening years have brought to areas that interest you.  

Savor your journeys … past, present and future … real and imagined.

Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic Magazine ~ January 1943

Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic Magazines ~ Jan 1941

Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic Magazine ~ January 1943

On a recent visit to Boise, Idaho, I purchased three old National Geographic Magazines at the Main Library. The January 1943 issue has 6 articles, including 16 pages of illustrations in color. As it was published during World War II, five of the six articles pertain to the War. Two articles specifically stood out to me.

The first, “American Bombers Attacking from Australia” contains a lot of information about U.S airmen at an active war base. The correspondent spent time with the airmen, including going on several dangerous missions. The 20 page article takes the reader into the heroic lives  of these airmen. The photos are a fascinating look book at history.

As I read the article, I was thinking of how this and similar articles would be eagerly read by the families and friends of military who were stationed in the South Pacific. There is a terrific two page map and I bet it was the first time that many people saw where the Gilbert Islands, Solomon Islands, etc. were located.

The second article, “Your Dog Joins Up” is on a slightly lighter note. But again, it brings the war home to the reader. Any owner of a dog would relate to the article and learn a lot about canine training. The author spent time at a K-9 training center in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It was the first time the US trained dogs to use in a war.

Dogs were trained as messengers, carrying medical supplies, dragging telephone wires to the front lines plus guarding and patrolling. The author points out that by day, a dog could be friendly but at night, on patrol, that dog would become a suspicious, watchful beast.


Check out your library or used book stores for ideas for your journeys. The articles and photos will conjure up future journeys and/or have you reminiscing about previous journeys. And, they are also great history lessons — which is a fabulous part of taking a journey.


Savor your journeys, near or far, real or imagined.

Armchair Traveler ~ Classic National Geographic Magazines ~ Jan 1941

On a recent visit to Boise, Idaho a friend suggested that we visit the main library as it has a room where they sell donated books and magazines. In addition to some very good books, they had the most marvelous old magazine selection. I immediately spotted several National Geographic Magazines from the 1940’s (Jan 1941, Jan 1943 and Oct 1946) and purchased them.


Each is a fascinating look not only at travel but also at history. The January 1941 magazine has 7 articles, including stories about Winchester, England’s Early Capital, a British West Indian Interlude and the Flame-Feathered Flamingos of Florida. Two of the articles feature color photos. It’s fascinating comparing these magazines to a current National Geographic. 

A favorite article is “Turning Back Time in the South Seas” by Thor Heyerdahl, of Kon-Tiki fame. He and his wife spent several months living on the sparsely inhabited island of Fatu-Hiva, in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia. The black and white photos and captivating story transported me to a different time and place.

I’ve visited both Tahiti and Fiji and love the South Pacific. It was eye-opening seeing it through their perspective and I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in their exotic adventures in this remote part of our world. 

Another article, “Classic Greece Merges Into 1941 News” has 19 illustrations of Greece.  The photos show ancient Greece merging with the Greece of 1941, which was under attack by Italy. I studied Greek history and it was the first European country I visited. It holds many marvelous memories (especially Athens and Delphi), made more so after seeing these incredible photos of a beautiful country. 



Check out your library or used book stores for ideas for your journeys, both real and armchair. The articles and photos that you find will conjure up future travels and/or have you reminiscing about previous journeys. Plus they are a gateway to exploring the history of an area you wish to visit. 


Savor your journeys … past, present and future …