Spring is Here! Get out Into the World - Or Bring It Home
Spring is here, and your body and mind know it. Eager to get outside, moving, seeing new things, traveling? I hear you - road trips are much more fun when the sun is shining and the roads are clear. Flying is easier when you don't have to worry about weather delays and de-icing planes.
Spring is also fickle - snow this morning, alas.
What do you do when you're stuck in the snow and feeling the urge to travel, learn about new cultures and places, explore new cuisines? When your spring break doesn't include any travel except to head to the grocery store?
Bring the world home!
It's easy to bring the world home, whether it is for a day or a week. Talk with your family and see WHERE you'd like to learn about. Plan meals, languages, activities, games, and more. It will enhance your lives, and give your kids something to remember (and learn). You will raise an intercultural child!
Here are some great ideas for bringing the world home:
We LOVE Monica Wellington's children's book, Crepes by Suzette. Not only does it explore a day in the life of a crepe-maker in Paris, but it also shows famous monuments and neighborhoods - AND incorporates famous works of art. Bonus: Crepes recipe, in the back. Make crepes for lunch - stuff them with sliced ham and steamed asparagus and a little bit of gruyere. For dessert, spread the crepes with jam, or Nutella. Bon Appetit!
We also love to get out the Fun travel board game, 10 days in Europe. It's made by Out of the Box Games - and you can learn geography and transportation options, while "touring" Europe.
You can practice your French with Mango Passport -Mango makes learning languages easy!
There's nothing like movies to make a country come to life. Our favorite French animated movies include The Triplets of Belleville and The Secret of Kells. We're can't wait to see The Illusionist!
We've all been watching the news carefully, with all the developments in the Arab World. Want to learn more? A Traveler's Library has a great list of Books and Movies About the Arab World in Troubled Times. The intercultural implications of all this change is astounding - and we should learn as much as we can, about these countries and peoples.
If your kids are as fascinated about ancient Egypt as mine is, then you'll want to give a listen to Iconic Guides' Audio Travel guides. We LOVE the one on The Great Pyramid of Khufu, Giza.
Want to be inspired by an insider's glimpse into a different culture? Our chief Editor, Joel Carillet, has shared dozens of extraordinary photo essays of life and travel. One of my favorites - the Egyptian Woman who saw my Thirst.
Learn more about history - and culture - with the Abraham Path. The Abraham Path is an incredible resource for exploring global citizenship, through a walking path that promotes deep learning of culture, people, and place. It's is a long distance walking and traveling route that follows the path that Abraham took some 4000 years ago. Whether you go in person, or read about it online, this is a great way to learn history - and the world today.
Interested in restoring 1500 year old mosaics? Learn more about the Institute of Mosaic Art and Restoration in Madaba, Jordan. It could be an invaluable learning abroad experience, whether you go as a student or as a tourist.
One of our VERY favorite online resources for learning about the world is ProjectExplorer. They teach about cultures all around the world - but their Jordan videos are special.
India & Nepal:
India is a complex country, teeming with people, languages, culture. Of course, you will want to start with the food!
We love the cookbook, Modern Spice. Whether Monica Bhide is explaining how to make pomegranate chutney, clueing you in as to what spices make up garam masala, or sharing a memory about getting her young son interested in learning to speak Hindi, she’s telling stories. In her most recent book, Modern Spice, these stories might have to do with traditional customs of India, unexpected combinations of Indian and western foods and spices, or tales set in family and culture. All of these are seasoned with Bhide’s lively curiosity, gentle humor, and spirit of creative exploration.
Interested in tea? Glenburn Tea Estate – Darjeeling District, India: History and the World’s Best Tea in the Himalayan Foothills is a great place to visit.
More interested in hiking? There's always the Great Himalaya Trail. For more information about the Great Himalaya Trail, you might want to consult one of Robin Boustead's two new books. In late 2009, Robin published a large format lavishly illustrated volume titled The Great Himalayan Trail: A Pictorial Guide.
You might also want to read about Shimla - A British Himalayan Town. It's an extraordinary glimpse into the town of Shimla, India - in the Himalayas. Author Sumit Vashisht is also our Astounding Himalayas Editor - you can read his essays on Wandering Educators. One of my favorites is Banjar Valley - The Seraj Region.
We've also got monthly columns from the Viewspaper, a student-run newspaper in India. One of my favorites is learning about travel holidays in India.
Our Nepal Editor, Seth Sicroff, writes monthly about important issues (and sustainable tourism) in Nepal. You can learn about Important Events This May in Nepal: Join the Khumjung Celebration! or about Kathmandu’s Kumaris. His columns always teach me much about a part of the world I can't wait to explore.
Seth Sicroff also explores the tale (is it a myth?) of the Yeti, in Nepal.
You know we love games - don't forget the travel board game, 10 Days in Asia. Out of the Box has games for Europe, the USA, Africa, and more. It's a great way to learn about the world!
Other general ideas to explore the world at home:
A picture is worth a thousand words - yes? Check out travel photography books. And, yes, we've shared the work of many extraordinary global photographers - click for inspiration!
Create a travel playlist and sing songs! Here are my top ten Travel Songs:
On Wandering Educators, we've got global stories, photos, books, recipes, and videos. Dig into our site and explore the world! Where will you go next? How will you explore the world?
Every month a group of expert, independent travel bloggers converge on a single topic in a Travel Blog Mob. Our topic for this month? Think Spring! Check back for links and GREAT articles!
* Travel Green with Kids! Tips to Make Family Vacations Eco-Friendly from Ciao Bambino
* Spring Ahead on Planning Your Summer Trips from BootsnAll
* Spring Break Travel Questions from Kids from Traveling with MJ
* Go Skiing (But Not On Snow) from Spot Cool Stuff
* It Might as Well Be Spring from Nerd's Eye View
* Celebrate Earth Day with Free Admission at a US National Park from the Vacation Gals
* from Sharing Travel Experiences