So the next new country that I visit will be my 50th, and it’s fun to sit back once and awhile and reflect on all of the amazing experiences that I’ve had over the years exploring either by myself, or with my amazing wife, or now as a complete family. It’s also inspiring because I know that if all goes well it’s just the beginning, and that my travels have only just begun. I fell in love with the idea of traveling and seeing the world early on, and it didn’t take long for it to turn into a full blown passion honestly. I remember being absolutely enthralled with my father’s stories about his many adventures from around the world as a pilot in the Canadian military, and I remember being a teenager forever looking up at the airplanes flying overhead just desperate to be on them…to be heading off on some crazy adventure, making our amazing world smaller and smaller. It’s fair to say that now, after almost 30 years of traveling, the wanderlust has got me, as Robert Service says…by the belly-aching fire!
I believe that it’s this love of travel and adventure, this wanderlust, that is one of the things that binds us together tightly as an international school community, and connects us at the core. The desire to see the world and to experience new cultures, the desire to chase experience and to push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and the desire to make our world a smaller place burns brightly in most of us if not all of us, and the power in all of that in my opinion is that we can pass it on to our students!
Seeking out new experiences in life, and experiencing new countries and cultures provides incredibly rich learning opportunities which make us better people. It connects us to people that are at first glance different from us, and it teaches us that below the surface we are all the same in so many ways…wanting the same things, dreaming the same dreams, and chasing love, happiness, and acceptance. We learn to embrace diversity, we learn to face our fears of the unknown, we discover more about ourselves with each new experience, and it breaks down prejudice and pre-conceived notions and stereotypes about any particular race, religion, or community. I’m not sure we, as educators, can give a better gift to our kids than to instil a love of travel and adventure in them early on, and to open up their eyes to the immense power of seeing the world first hand…turn them on to this sense of wanderlust and change their lives, and our world forever for the better.
I’m not sure that there is a better feeling in the world than watching the arrival doors open up in front of you at any particular airport and smelling the smells, hearing the sounds, seeing the smiling faces looking you over, and knowing that this new adventure is about to disrupt, change, and shape you as a person. It’s exciting, it’s scary, it’s inspiring, and it’s courageous and just thinking about it as I write this makes me want to go book our next family adventure. The feeling that you get when heading out on a road trip, or exploring a new area of the city or country, or taking off in a plane, or even just looking at photos of a trip that you took in the past…that feeling is the essence of wanderlust and it’s something that we should all continue to chase throughout our lives.
Have a wonderful week everyone, and take a moment over the next few days to go through old photos, or journals, and remind yourself of the incredible experiences that you’ve had while traveling around…then, think about where you’re going to go next and commit to other adventure in the near future. It’s the best gift that you can give to yourself, and your to kids, and to your family. Feel that belly-aching fire and make our world a smaller place.
Quote of the Week…
The Wanderlust has got me… by the belly-aching fire – Robert W. Service
Related TED Talks –
Inspiring Videos about Travel/Wanderlust –
Great Articles –