Sunday, 12 August 2012

Get Out There...Explore!

Some postcards made by my class during the 'Tourism' topic!

I am a Geography teacher in a secondary school, here in the UK.  I mention my travels, and the experiences I have had on them, a fair bit in my lessons, whenever it is relevant to do so.  Occasionally a student will suggest I am "always going on about my holidays"; bragging about my trips to other countries, cultures and environments.  As I aim to do in my posts on this blog, I am very conscious that I do not tell my students these travel stories as a way of showing off either a) my wealth (which for any prospective golddiggers out there, is pretty small, by the way) or b) to somehow seem to beat someone else's equally exciting travel experiences into submission with my heavily stamped passport.  I tell the students my money does not go on attending expensive Premiership Football matches, buying Playstation and XBox games, boozing every weekend in Leeds city centre or a fast car.  I save my hard-earned pennies to spend on travel.  As previous readers are well aware, I hunt down the cheapest flight possible within a time I am free to travel to ensure that I get the best value for money from my journeys and take as many as possible within the holidays I have.  Like the readers here, I want to inspire the students I teach to travel when they are older.  To take themselves off on journeys that make them more rounded individuals; exposed to all the amazing sights and experiences this magnificent world has to offer, as well as a developing awareness of the world's problems and what impact we humans have on the planet and the environments in which we live.  My 'Henry Rollin's post' a few week's back highlights this.  To travel is not to just simply get a better understanding of the world, but I believe it is vital in helping you understand yourself better.  It is this that philosophy I am trying to get across to the students I teach.

As 'The Rough Guide to a Lonely Planet' reaches almost 1000 page views, I want to thank all the visitors to my rather self-indulgent travel blog, but hope that it has and will continue to prove to be a great source of help, advice and inspiration to all visitors.


  1. Hey Mike! I thoroughly enjoy your posts!
    It is really cool to read about like minded travellers. Keep on motivating the students to travel as much as possible and as soon as possible!!!! =)
    I can relate to the whole "travel for bragging rights" misunderstanding It is extremely frustrating.... I guess my next post on my blog should be about that too....

  2. Martin! Many thanks for your kind comments. They are much appreciated. I look forward to reading your future posts, mate! :D

  3. I will definitely keep you updated :)
    hope you can help me improve my own blog! I will appreciate some advice! enjoy your travels and send my greetings to your geography class- all the way from south africa!!
    ps: Geography was my fav subject in school :)

  4. Hey, this comment is a bit late but I have only just stumbled across your blog via a link you left on HostelBookers Facebook page...
    This post just spoke out to me as you were trying to inspire your students to be interested in travel. I didn't have the most awesome time at home when I was younger, but one good thing my mum did instill in me was a huge desire to travel and see the world. The bad start meant that I was a bit behind the curve, and I didn't do my first travel until I was in my late 20s, but I'm so glad that I did it - even if it's just when plenty of people would be starting to settle down! I can honestly, with no exaggeration, say that the happiest time in my life ever was the anticipation of that trip, and then actually doing it (the trip was backpacking around Malaysia). I'm now in my 30s, and married to the person I did that trip with (it was our 2nd date!) and we still travel at every opportunity and we're always planning our 'next trip'. Travel - the planning and organising, things you see and experience, the people you meet, the lessons you learn - definitely enriches my life and I only wish I could have started sooner. From experience, the inspiration to travel is a wonderful gift to impart on someone, even if there are obstacles to overcome before they can get started. So hooray for you!
    p.s. Geography was my favourite at school too - well, that and science ;o)

  5. Thanks for your great comment, Debbie! I'm thrilled to hear travel has had such a positive impact on your life. I just love how your 'second date' was a backpacking trip, too! They say you don't really know a person until you either live with them or travel with them.

    As for getting the students I teach into travel, it's great trying to inspire them to visit places; especially to far flung or more unusual destinations that they might not automatically consider to be 'holiday' places. I'm hoping to post a bit more about how I try to get the children inspired by travel and experiences offered by seeing other places and cultures in a few posts time. As for you loving Geography at school - I bet you would have been a dream to teach! :D Sat there eyes full of wonder at all the amazing things we show to the students that go on in our World.

    Where's your next trip taking you?

    Again, thank you for your lovely comment. I'm trying to spread the word about my relatively new blog, so if you like my other posts too, could I please ask that you let your other travel-minded friends know about me and my blog via your Twitter and Facebook?

    Hope to see you here again!

    Happy travels! :D

    1. Thanks for your reply Mike! Yes, the backpacking for an early date was definitely a leap of faith for us both, but like you say we really got to know each other, and also it showed how much we trusted each other!

      I love it when we have plans to go to a place that is not a usual 'holiday' destination, and makes other people look at you as if you're crazy. Lebanon was a good example of that - such a fantastic country, but lots of people just associate it with trouble and can't understand why you would go there (although, very sadly, trouble did flair up again just a few months after we visited - not our fault I promise!)

      That sounds like a reasonable description of me in my Geography class at school... I got an A so I guess I did ok!

      As for next trips, I'm going to be working abroad for a few months soon, saving money for a bigger trip. For that one I'm considering South America, but I think a return to SE Asia might win as I'd love to see Burma, and I think that will change really quickly, so I'd like to visit as soon as possible. I have a friend who lives and teaches English in Ho Chi Minh City too, so I could make use of the local knowledge if we make it that far.

      In the meantime, before I head off for work, I have a weekend in Edinburgh to look forward to next week as I have never been there before, and I'm considering a long weekend to Copenhagen if I can get the time, as the flights are currently pretty cheap. These will be my first solo trips, as my husband's job away starts before mine, so I'm getting braver! How about your next plans?

      I don't have Twitter, but more than happy to share on Facebook.

      Happy travels to you too! :o)