We’ve now been in San Diego for ten months. We’ve had more random connections in those ten months than in the ten years I lived in Long Beach, NY thirty minutes from the town in which I grew up. Former students popped by when visiting friends. Friends we met traveling passed through on their way from here to there and we met in person. Mat’s high school friend now lives an hour away. Teenage youth group connections rekindled with those passing through for conferences. University friends grabbed coffee together en route to meetings. One of my San Diego yoga teachers grew up a few blocks away from me and went to the same high school. And virtual travel connections became a reality. When shifting gears or geography stations, people who are in your outer circles resurface – maybe it’s to teach you something or maybe it’s only for an afternoon. Life is beautiful and strange. Read the rest of this entry
I’ve always known there is more than one way to live but it’s in the last five years that I’ve actively searched for those who choose, thrive and flourish in whatever ‘their’ way is and I crave learning more. As a public school educator in New York, my school was a traditional setting. I always knew there were many who chose an alternate route, but until searching there weren’t too many people in my everyday life who did. With a minimal look, I’ve found a community of travelers who have chosen other ways to educate their children and many use the world as their classroom. While teaching, I often tried to weave my travels into the curriculum. For ninth graders, pictures of the pyramids and stories of what the Acropolis looks like up close fit perfectly and for eleventh graders, sharing information of how students in northern Vietnam view the war worked well. But, I have always felt there was so much more to learn from world travel if only we were exposed. Stories and photos travel well, but others, like the tactic of bargaining at a market, the smells and experience of talking with vendors and eating street food in well anywhere, discussing economic and social policy with locals or even how the toilets in Australia don’t really flush ‘backwards’ are better viewed and learned in person.
I met Lainie and Miro online. In conversations and posts about world and unschooling, I became interested to see how her son (the same age to many of my high school students who sat in my classroom in New York) was experiencing and learning through their travels. Here she shares her story of a shift in values, looking fear in the eye and seeing the world as a classroom. Read the rest of this entry
Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. Here she shares her story and advice: ‘stop making excuses’; she believes you’ll find the many gifts of travel if you just leap. Read the rest of this entry