Crazy lady travels free

I was just thinking about when my coworker and I took a group of kids to England and France a few summers ago, and things associated with that.  At the end of the trip, I stayed in France to go visit my old stomping grounds down south, and so I left the group to go home on a flight with my coworker (per our own full agreement and arrangement ahead of time).  I waited too long to decide to do that, so I had to pay $350 for the flight change (Ugh).  We also each had to pay $937.50 for the trip in the first place (Meh).  Therefore, I had to pay a total of $1287.50 for a 10-day trip that included all accommodations, food, tours, and transport, and another ten days on location at my own expense, which is really not bad at all.  At all.

However – and this is a BIG however – as part of our arranging and hosting this trip in the first place, the tour company gave us each a training trip.

Mine, as I selected it, was a long weekend trip, with food, housing, tours, and transportation included, to downtown Rome, Italy.  Therefore, my just-under 1300 dollars actually got me two separate trips to Europe, with almost all expenses paid for most of the time on the trips.

I really do come up with the craziest stuff to have happen in my life.  And – what is possibly the best part of this all – I don’t even seem to notice how absurd it all is, until I find myself ruminating on this and thats one afternoon, years later, and it suddenly hits me that, say, taking a free trip to Europe is not a normal thing in life.  I take this moment to nod my head to my cousin for the question she exasperatedly declared one evening at my apartment a few years ago: “Hannah, do you even know what real life is like?”

Indeed, fair cousin, it seems I do not know that most of the time – reality bites, so I live somewhere else, and I love it.  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

Words worth more than gold

After a discussion over the phone with a college student calling to ask for my monetary donation to the study abroad scholarships at her school, – which I exchanged for encouragement to the girl and for sharing with her various specialties related to where she would be studying abroad this coming spring semester (for which she continuously thanked me delightedly, and which she declared was a million times better for her life than a monetary donation to the fund would have been, anyway) – I wrote a sort of poem.

You see, she recommended I write it, because what I was sharing with her, she said, sounded like poetry.

So, find in the following photo the first draft of the poem we discussed today, which I said I would write for my weblog tonight, and which I tapped out on a typewriter(!!!) this afternoon.

Post-a-day 2018

The Goofy Tour Guide(?)

One of my favorite things recently was the time I got to take some of my students around London and Paris.  They literally chased after me at times, as I wound them through the buzz and hub of the cities and their transit systems.  And, from what I understood during and after the trip, they totally loved it.  As did I.

In all the photos, of course, my friend and I looked like two of the kids on the trip, instead of the adult chaperones, but that was okay – it wasn’t like we acted much differently than the kids, anyway. 😛  Sure, we were responsible and all, but also totally silly and fun like kids.  And, while I loved getting to be with a group of people who could be fun and goofy with me, that wasn’t the best part.  

What I loved most was what I was able to give to the kids, what Inwas able to share with them, impart to them.

Everywhere we went, I kept buying them snacks of all sorts (all local favorites, of course).  I was sure to take them to do the silly things you don’t usually get to do on an organized travel tour (like experiencing a grocery store, taking time to sit and enjoy street music, discreetly convincing a pub to let you use their bathroom without having bought anything, finding your favorite books for half the price and in the language you’re learning – things like that, and much more).  I literally spread joy and enhanced people’s world views just by sharing my own knowledge and experiences with them.

Ever since then, I have wanted to do more and more of that.  Sure, I get to do it every time someone visits me, wherever I happen to be at the time, but it just isn’t the same as that trip… perhaps discovering the difference will lead me to a way to make it happen on a consistent basis… That would be awesome.  😀

Post-a-day 2017