An Educator’s Formative Travel Experiences
Travelling around the world can be so adventurous. Getting to experience new cultures, lifestyles, and foods can allow your perception on a country to change. Taking a trip abroad can certainly have an impact on your life afterwards - for instance seeing the world differently or being more grateful for what you have. In the case of my teacher Miss Knight, she never thought that her travel experience to Eastern Europe would lead her to become the future Mrs. Croft. I interviewed Miss Knight and she was able to tell me about her journey to Eastern Europe and how she met her Fiancée.
Eastern Europe 1871 - Photo courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/cod_gabriel/2491945915
Miss Knight was around 19 or 20 when her University (Warwick) offered a travel Grant to students studying English or Creative Writing. The travel grant (£1000 per person) required the students to travel and research fairy tales of Eastern Europe during the summer holidays. Miss Knight definitely didn’t allow this offer to go to waste; she and her friend chose to embark on this adventure. They started off in the Czech Republic and from there went to Poland, Hungry, Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy by using their inter-railing passes. As university students they were on a budget, so they stayed in youth hostels and met a lot of people - either natives or students from abroad that were taking a gap year. They were able to go sightseeing and experience different cultures. For instance, in the Czech Republic they went to Olomouc where there was an old Soviet airplane that was converted into a bar. Miss Knight described Cesky Krumlov as a beautiful little town, surrounded by river. In the Czech Republic they were able to get information about their research on fairy tales, but after this, their research came to gradual stop.
First Auschwitz Concentration Camp - Poland - photo courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/rhodesj/4406349291
Auschwitz Concentration camp
When they went to Poland, they saw a lot of historical landmarks like the Auschwitz concentration camp, and although this terrible event happened to this country, the people were still very lovely and friendly. It got Miss Knight thinking of how we should appreciate how things can change very quickly and how negative events are differently carried on through the citizens attitudes. In Poland they stayed at a place called Nathan’s Hostel; there were quite a few university students there and in the midst of the people Miss Knight met was the person that would later become her fiancée, David Croft. They got to taking whilst everybody was playing card games and afterwards a group of them went to a jazz bar. This was the start of their friendship which would later flourish. They agreed to meet back up with each other in Croatia as Miss Knight and her friend already had seen Poland and David and his friend had just gotten there.
Dubrovnik, Croatia. Photo courtesy and copyright flickr creative commons: flickr.com/photos/edkohler/510517417/
They met back up in Dubrovnik, Croatia, where the scenery was very beautiful. They went around the island and saw old towns. They were able to go to the beach, and experience Croatian seafood. The obvious impact on Miss Knight’s life after she travelled was her meeting her fiancée; however this wasn’t the only thing that changed. In Poland at Auschwitz, Miss Knight was able to meet a concentration camp survivor that changed her opinion on the event. He talked about how he wasn’t angry anymore but was sad it happened. He didn’t think they fully knew what they were doing and he was the only one to survive out of his 8 siblings. He came to Auschwitz Concentration camp with his Granddaughter to show her their family’s historical background. This was an eye opener for Miss Knight, as her opinion on the event changed. Speaking to the man was enlightening - and showed her how if he is able let go of that anger toward this terrible event, then all the petty things in life we hold grudges for, we can let them go.
Nadia Adusei-Boateng is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.