Youth Mobility and the Making of Europe, 1945–60

  • Richard Ivan Jobs
Part of the The Palgrave Macmillan Transnational History Series book series (PMSTH)


Odette Lesley, a young Londoner, marveled at all the people she had met from around the world during World War II. She found that these encounters gave her a profound desire to travel when the conflict was over, and this was something she felt she shared with others her age. ‘We realized that there was a very big new world out there, that we knew nothing about at all. All I knew, for instance, was my little bit of north London, where I’d been brought up: the local streets, my neighbors, and the local dance hall. But I was hearing these marvelous stories, and they opened up horizons to such an extent that I thought I might even see those places one day. I might go there. And I felt a strong sense of independence as a girl that I’d never felt before. It was so exciting, I felt anything was possible’.1 Lesley’s enthusiastic expression of liberation and autonomy tied to mobility and international travel was typical for the period and for her age as young Europeans began to travel on an unprecedented scale in the years following the war.


European Economic Community International Travel Postwar Period Interwar Period Foreign Travel 
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