February/March 2000 | Volume 51, Issue 1
On day fifty-one, February 9, 1930, Miss Emilie Sandsten’s around-the-world cruise arrived in China, and she found it the most interesting of all the countries she and her mother visited. Because of the unstable political atmosphere, she noted in her daily journal, they were accompanied on their journey to the wall from Beijing (then known as Peiping) by “twenty guards with rapid-fire guns.” That evening, the Sandstens “declined to go to the duck dinner as we were too tired after the all-day trip.” The hotel they stayed in “was comfortable but no style and no effort made to locate guests when they had callers,” Emilie mildly complained.
In all, Emilie viewed the 117-day cruise as wonderful fun, but it had a serious purpose, according to her daughter, Pepita Huddleston, who sent us the photograph: “Emilie’s father, Dr. Sandsten, firmly believed that exposure to foreign lands and different cultures was essential for a teaching career. I have no idea of the cost of the journey, but I do know that my grandparents had no source of income beyond his professor’s salary at Colorado State College. This highlights the importance they placed on travel as education rather than entertainment. And it was successful. My mother retained a lasting interest in foreign cultures, especially Asian ones, and, to the extent that her income as an educator permitted, traveled almost to the day her health placed her in a nursing home.”