Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Our Muse

In 2008, a fellow teacher at El Diamante High School asked me if I wanted to help chaperone her 30 students on a 21 day trip to Greece, Italy, Switzerland, France, and England.  Being a lot more broke than I am today, I was hesitant to go for two reasons; I didn't think I would stay married if I went without my wife and I was pretty sure I couldn't afford the cost for both of us to go.

When I posed the problem to a different friend of mine, he simply asked me if this was the summer that I would save money or the summer that I would take my wife to Europe.  Off to Europe we went!  This blog is the highlight of those moments.

Looking back, I never knew how much that simple gesture by that incredible English teacher, Robyn Ziessler, would change our lives.  You see, traveling with relative strangers can create tricky situations.  You either bond for life or you'll never speak to them again.
"I have found out there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." -Tom Sawyer Abroad
I have seen kids go on the trip as best friends and return home strangers.  A lot happens to your view of the world over there.  In the case of our friendship with Robyn, we bonded for life.  It just so happens that she and her husband knew how to travel AND they really knew how to have fun.  They knew when to turn up the heat and when to cool things down.  We laughed, loved, cried and itched our way around that continent.  In the short time we had together, we traveled to 7 different countries that summer.  Each stop gave us memories that will impact us forever.

Now five years later, my wife and I will lead fifth and last trip with students.  Like Robyn did for us, we are bringing along future tour leaders.  I hope their experience will be as amazing as ours was in 2008.  I hope even more that we can make an impact on the kids like she did on every tour.  We leave in just a few hours from now.  We are ready and totally excited!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
Jim Sill

1 comment:

  1. Wow really awesome work, I’ve enjoyed reading this. Make your educational trip to France super exciting with RocknRoll Adventures Ltd