The Suitcase Lady


May 14, 2019, 8:21 pm

I had an interesting conversation with a second grader the other day. He had just gotten back from spring break and was wearing a T-shirt that said “Morocco”.

“Did you go to Morocco over break?” I asked.

“Yes”, he replied, “and we visited Portugal, too.”

I then asked my favorite travel question, “What was the best and the worst thing about your trip?”

His answer came immediately. “We camped in the Sahara and that was great, but the beetle we saw there was really, really big and scary. I also liked Lisbon very much.”

“How lucky you are to have such wonderful adventures,” I said, and his reply was gratifying.

“I know I am. My parents want me to know there are many different kinds of people and places in the world.”

I know that foreign travel probably isn’t high on the wish list of most of the second graders I teach. Many kids cannot even stand long car rides in their native country without the bribe of multiple electronic devices. I found it delightful to chat with a young person who wants to see all the continents. He hopes to get to South America next.

Over decades of teaching, I have learned that kids are curious to learn about places different from their own. And I know from being a parent that it is possible to raise children that love to travel. Our son has been to Katmandu and Vietnam this year and our daughter is planning a trip to Newfoundland. We continue to explore as well, having driven to both coasts in the last two months.

We showed our kids a large part of America before turning them out in the world. Of all the money we have spent in our lifetime, those trips were some of the best investments we have ever made…..both for them and us.

Here are my favorite quotes from famous travelers:

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” Susan Sontag

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep rolling under the stars.” Jack Kerouac

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness.” Mark Twain

On the road


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