One Year Trip: A Teacher's Journey Around the World

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Aug 12, 2009 / 0 comments

I am so very happy to share a COOL new site - and journey - with our Wandering Educators. Mike Barltrop is setting off on a one year trip - and has created a site to share his journey with readers, entitled one teacher's around the world travel blog. Mike is a teacher that will educate much more than a classroom, all year - he'll share his adventures with millions of readers. I am so excited! Mike will also post here, on Wandering Educators, a monthly column about his travels - I am extremely pleased to announce that he's our new One Year Trip Editor!

We were lucky enough to sit down and talk with Mike before he heads off - here's what he had to say...



WE:  Please tell us about your site,

MB: one.year.trip was originally created under the title of previously.bitten (as in, once you've been bitten by the travel bug, there's no escape.) I started it as a way for my friends and family to keep up with me on my travels, but it quickly became something more than that. Aside from allowing people around the world to follow my travels, and read my articles, it also acts as a convenient place for me to store and organize my travelogues.



WE: What inspired you to start your one year trip?

MB: What inspired me? I was sitting at home one day and my house-mate turned on a show called Departures. It's about three Canadians who travel the world, and it's quite possibly the best travel show I'd ever seen. After a few weeks of watching I said, if they can travel the world for a year – so can I. And thus, the trip was born.



WE: What is your overriding goal for this year?

MB: I am a high school teacher from Toronto, Ontario, Canada - a very multicultural part of the world. And as such, it's important to know about the backgrounds, lifestyles, and cultures of your students. The personal education gained through travel is second to none. My main goal is to become more aware of the world around me.



WE: What will determine your travel plans?

MB: Some of my travel plans are determined by tours (I'm taking a tour with Gap Adventures through Antarctica, Africa, and South America.) Those dates, and experiences, will be mostly scheduled except for the odd excursion. Aside from that, my first three months in Europe will be mostly determined on the fly based on suggestions from fellow travellers, and personal research along the way.



WE: How have you budgeted for a whole year off work? Or will you pick up
work while you travel?

MB: I do not like the idea of working on the road - even with so much time to explore, a day hardly seems long enough. Couple that with an eight hour work day, and it's so much shorter. I have saved nearly every penny I've made over the last three years to afford this trip. Some people want to put a down payment on a house, and move to '€œthe next stage of their lives.' Me? I figure houses will be there later. But the time to travel? It may not.



WE: What is your travel background? What are you most excited about seeing?

MB: When I finished University I took a road trip across Canada (I feel it's important to see your own country, before you see othes) - I'd never done any travelling before then, but I had always wanted to. Travel just seemed like something other people did -€“ that would be impossible for me to do. But after spending two months on the road, with many ups and downs along the way - including one van lost up a mountain - I realized that there was nothing foreign about travel; i realized there was nothing impossible about it. I've been travelling every since.



WE: How are you preparing for interacting with so many different cultures?

MB: How am I preparing for interacting with so many different cultures? That's an excellent question -€“ I don't really think I am. Be polite, be humble, and understand that if someone doesn't understand me speaking louder, yelling the same words at them, will not make me any clearer. Even within one's own country we adapt all the time. It's no different 'out there.'€



WE: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

MB: I'd just like to say that travel isn't impossible. If you've been thinking about travelling and just haven't got around to it, or you assume you can't do it - stop. Just take the proverbial plunge and get out there. There's always a reason not to do something; find your reason to do it.



WE: Thanks so very much, Mike! We are looking forward to following your journey. And, welcome aboard the Wandering Educators Team!


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