Come Fly with Me
Henry Miller once said, “One’s destination is never a place, but always a new way of seeing things.” I’ve traveled to England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Costa Rica, back to England, and Canada. Next summer, I’m going to help lead a trip to Ireland and hopefully travel to even more places after that. However, I’ve got to tell you: I never get tired of traveling. Sure, we all grow weary of long TSA lines, bumpy airplane rides, only receiving one tiny bag of complementary pretzels, and wondering how every single arm rest in the plane can be covered in the same mysterious sticky residue.
Traveling minitua aside, traveling changes us. As Miller so poignantly put it, traveling isn’t about a destination or place; it’s about a change in perspective. When we travel overseas (and oftentimes even within our own country), we experience various cultures, meet new people who differ from us, and sample foods we’ve never had the opportunity to try. I’ve got a story from my first trip with BookBag Tours to illustrate just how a simple walk can give you a new way of seeing things if you let it.
After our second day in the classroom, my trusty roommate Paige and I had to meet Ken George (whom I lovingly call KG) and the rest of our group in the middle of London. We got on the London Underground (all by ourselves for the first time) and made it to the correct train station. Once we arrived in the station, however, we weren’t sure how to get to the restaurant. So, naturally, we began to walk in the direction we thought we needed to go and we started talking in our best British accents so that we didn’t appear to be lost American tourists. We made it (I’m not entirely sure how) to the Nando’s (which is a chicken restaurant/institution in England) and even went to see a Shakespeare play at the Globe afterward. (I’ve already warned you guys that I’m an English nerd.)
My point is this: it wasn’t important where exactly we were going (although we did appreciate not being lost forever on the streets of London). It was about the incredible things we got to experience on the way. We gawked at architecture, explore a street market, practiced our terrible British accents, tried Nando’s spiciest jerk chicken, and saw Romeo and Juliet in the reconstructed Globe. To me, these experiences are priceless and they expanded my horizons as a cultured teacher and person.
To be completely honest with you, I’m so jealous about some of the 2019 trips. In particular, I wish I could simultaneously be on the Ireland trip and the Egypt trip. Seeing the ancient wonders of Egypt is definitely on my bucket list, and I can only imagine how much I would learn by experiencing the vastly different Egyptian culture. Sadly, I cannot be in two places at once, but I am told there are still spots available on our trips. Perhaps it’s time for you to expand your cultural horizons and learn from teachers and people with vastly different backgrounds. On this fine July Friday, I ask you to come fly with me. Maybe it’s time to pick your next international destination, but remain open to how it will give you “a new way of seeing things.”