Friday, October 21, 2016

upcoming trips and random thoughts

I am excited for my upcoming trip to OZ (the land of Oz not Australia) to celebrate travel and hopefully, inspire, 12 yr-old kids, to see the beauty of others, culture and travel.
One of my grade school friends is a sixth grade teacher.  She posted something on social media about her desire to bring in people to her classroom in Wamego, Kansas, to discuss living abroad and/or travel.  She even suggested skyping or facetiming as a way to achieve this goal.  I saw her post and commented.  I think I had had one too many glasses of wine.  I said something like--I have traveled some....
She liked my response and I saw that she had commented on others about their time abroad.  She messaged me later asking if I would like to participate.  She suggested skype and I told her that, no, I will be there in person.  I can do this!  I can combine trips to see Jasmin, Emma and meet her new addition, have lunch with another childhood friend and teach about travel.  I spent 36 hours with Jasmin and Emma in July and had a blast.  My little niece is a hoot!  She kept referring me to as her cousin.  I loved that.  Seeing that I am older than her mom...haha.  And, surprisingly, I enjoyed spending time in Manhattan.  I wouldn't mind returning to Tall Grass brewery or having another meal at the chef.  I am my new nephew's god mother as well.  I will be meeting him for the first time.  I hope to see my mom at some point too.
I contacted Tami about arranging lunch.  Last time I swung through town, I did not give her enough notice.  I am committed to having lunch in S Town at a local brewery.  I was a little anxious about where Tami would suggest.  It's been years since I have spent any time there.  I know of a few truck stops, fast food, and casual dining (applebee's, chili's, carlos O'Kelly's).  I was hoping for something new and unfranchised.  Thankfully, Tami knew of a place.
Regarding the teaching, there is something to it.  I have been told that I am a teacher just never pursued it in the traditional realm.  I have been doing more yoga teaching and feel more natural with it.  My language sounds more like me and not as stilted. 
I know that I am unconventional and so I am curious as to how her students will relate to me.  I figure I can overwhelm them with photos and stories of my time in Vietnam.  Since it is my most recent passport stamp, it makes sense.  I can also speak to Cambodia, Laos and Bangkok.  I might bring up the Khmer Rouge but I didn't visit the Killing Fields or any of that part of the history.  I spent time in Angkor Wat and had a human experience.  I can speak to the food and spending a day with a tuk tuk driver. 
I can speak to the language barrier and being in the Capitol but outside of that, I spent more time meeting people and dining.  I hope these kids like to hear about food.  I don't know if they understand the significance of me being in Vietnam.  I don't know if school teaches of the Vietnam War.  They didn't when I was in school. 
I am excited and wonder how I could do more of this.  And, what upcoming travel I could do.  There is a trip to Portugal in my future.  As much as I love Narcos (and I do), I put my trip to Columbia on hold.  Robert and his wife will be in Portugal until next June or July.  Honestly, I have always wanted to go to Spain and Portugal.  Why not go?
Especially when I have friends there that can give me the local perspective.  They have lived there since 2007 or 2008.  They will be concluding their time next summer.  I would love to see them before they depart.
Columbia will be there and perhaps I can see another season of Narcos before I depart.  It is in my thoughts and I keep meeting people that have visited.  It will happen.

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