I’ve moved and traveled all my life. Once you get a taste for traveling, staying put in one place is difficult. As a child, we moved and experienced different states like Illinois and Wisconsin and California. I worked full-time at sixteen and paid for my first trip to London and the countryside when a teacher offered the trip. At eighteen, I enlisted in the U.S. Navy and trained in Orlando and San Diego before stationed at the northern tip of Scotland for four years. From there, as a dependent wife (Is there a more deplorable phrase invented by a man?) we were assigned to a communication station on the coast of Maine.
I became a teacher at 38 and continued on with graduate school. I moved from Illinois to Virginia to teach, and now I live in Arizona fully vested in my career. What’s the best thing about teaching? The opportunity to woo my students and inspire them all, every day, about history? Close.
I vowed when I became a teacher that I would offer trips to students such as my old teacher had. It really changed my life. In 1979, the global village wasn’t a term yet, but I learned then that experiencing other cultures fosters open-mindedness, and that’s sure better than the alternative. Because I am a teacher, I travel internationally for free. How? Educational traveling. Maybe you went on a trip in high school? I recruit students and their families and their friends to join me on trips during the summer break for 10 days. Over the years, single adults, entire families, college students, and high school students sign up for these trips. Departure cities vary; we connect at the destination. They are glitch-free and inclusive, except for lunches. We stay in 3 and 4-star hotels at the center of the city. We are transferred from here to there safely. Free time is mandatory for personal exploring and culture-soaking. If I want one, a courier who speaks the native language escorts us around and makes sure we are happy. Otherwise, I’m the courier. Passports.com is the traveling company, and I’ve been working with them since 2000.
Strangers become friends because differing perspectives enhance the experience. Learning new things, respecting your space, admission to the popular venues, free time, and no worries–that’s a vacation. Next June we travel to Spain, and in 2018, southern Italy. Have you ever wanted to visit there? Join me! Email me and let’s talk. firstname.lastname@example.org. Okay, that’s the end of the pitch. Thanks for reading.
This Friday, July 8, sixteen of us are going to Athens, Greece and island hop the Aegean Sea. Stay tuned for future Five Shots posts and a report about the EU situation. The Lucky 13 Film Club will happen when I’m on the cruise ship. That should be interesting. Literally, Michael will respond to you from California and I will discuss from Greece. When Michael and I look up at the stars, they will be in different spots in the sky. What a world!