Through the Eyes of an Educator: Travel and Spring–a Symbiotic Relationship

by Stacey Ebert / Apr 02, 2019 /
Stacey Ebert's picture

When I was living in New York, the arrival of spring meant puffy eyes, air conditioning instead of windows down, running away from grass and trees, an itchy palate, pollen everywhere you looked, and the beginning of the countdown to the end of the school year. Since we’ve moved to San Diego, the arrival of spring has a more varied meaning. Sure, there are still some of those allergy symptoms and no longer the countdown till the end of school, but the start of the season seems to have a broader meaning now.

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Travel and Spring–a Symbiotic Relationship

This year, with the increased southern Californian rains, heaps of people headed to the desert to witness a wildflower super bloom. Needless to say, the unfavorable reaction my body has to histamine has kept me away, but the images and the hoards of humans haven’t gone unnoticed. India’s Holi welcomes spring in a festive, bright, and colorful way each year. Yoga instructors around the globe practice 108 sun salutations on the equinox. We decided to try to grow an herb garden, and for the first time ever have brought some of those NASA-rated asthma and allergen friendly tropical plants into our home. What did you do to welcome the new season?

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Travel and Spring–a Symbiotic Relationship

Heaps of students around the US know the arrival of spring means the impending arrival of spring break. Some families know that Passover and Easter are on approach, while others bank their credit card points to take their family on a seasonal adventure. Some families ‘Marie Kondo’ their entire home to cleanse the spirit as well as the brick and mortar dwelling, and still others fight that seasonal shift when Mercury hits retrograde.

In the world of travel and education, the arrival of spring signifies the end to the first quarter of the calendar year, the planning time for upcoming summer travel, and, for many teenagers, it ticks away at the looming space for college visits, applications, acceptances, or GAP year adventures. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Travel and Spring–a Symbiotic Relationship

The familiar touch of spring is often in the awakening. The awakening of flowers, the awakening of winter bodies to spring/summer transformations, the awakening of creatures coming out of hibernation and minds, bodies and souls flinging open doors to breath life anew again. It’s the arrival of time when the light remains a little later and we can all go play outside again. Spring reemerges that feverish desire to run, jump, sing, and twirl and returns that sparling twinkle in the eye to many.

That awakening, that twinkle, that desire to breathe deeper and take it all in…it may be the in magic of spring, but it’s without question, in the magic of travel. 

Each season, each new school year, each new addition of curriculum offers the same possibilities. Teachers aim to raise students’ cultural awareness, increase students’ abilities to see from various perspectives, challenge the status quo, and welcome in all who come to learn. A meal of a different cuisine might spark an interest in culture, a documentary might rekindle a desire to learn more about climate change, a hike outdoors might encourage naturalist leanings, and a passionate teacher could urge the next generation of educators onto the scene.

Open doors lead to open minds. Spring, like travel does exactly that. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Travel and Spring–a Symbiotic Relationship

Travel matches that vision, that cleansing, that deeper breath, and that desire to see farther beyond our initial perspective. Travel introduces us to more of ‘other’– allowing what we once thought as ‘other’ to become ‘us’. Travel invites a clarity, encourages us to delve deeper into meaning and understand, opens windows to the soul, and quite literally wipes away the pent up dust from our eyes. Each portion of travel elevates.

As travelers on a journey, we encounter discomfort. like spring’s pollen; disappointment, like when the weather shifts and it feels like winter again; joy, like that first day of uninterrupted sunshine; hope, like at the first sight of blooming flowers and soaring butterflies; compassion, like at the sight of a family of bunny rabbits; and a welcoming, like the first time we fling open those shuttered winter windows. Our students have the same voyage throughout their educational tenure.

It’s our job to help facilitate the ride, guide along the way, and hope, that at upon graduation, they still feel the lure to pursue a further journey. 

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Travel and Spring–a Symbiotic Relationship

Each year, we have the possibility to begin again and ignite that spring-like spark in our students and ourselves. With each year and with each adventure, there is a chance to fling off the previous muck and live like someone left the gate open.

Travel inspires us to do better, to live more freely, and to seek something greater than ourselves.

Whether it’s the dream of travel, the planning stages, the adventuring itself, or the memories and debrief after the journey, it all makes a difference. It all has the ability to put a ‘spring’ in our step and a smile on our face. Travel opens doors, invites others in, and spreads that welcoming vibe. Join us on our wandering journey and leap into the season.

Through the Eyes of an Educator: Travel and Spring–a Symbiotic Relationship

Stacey Ebert, our Educational Travels Editor, is a traveler at heart who met her Australian-born husband while on a trip in New Zealand. Stacey was an extracurricular advisor and taught history in a Long Island public high school for over fifteen years, enjoying both the formal and informal educational practices. After a one year 'round the world honeymoon, travel and its many gifts changed her perspective. She has since left the educational world to focus on writing and travel. She is energetic and enthusiastic about long term travel, finding what makes you happy and making the leap. In her spare time she is an event planner, yogi, dark chocolate lover, and spends as much time as possible with her toes in the sand.

Check out her website at thegiftoftravel.wordpress.com for more of her travel musings.

 

 

Share