Teaching Traveling: Have you ever wondered how to travel to dozens of countries around the world cheaply as a teacher?
Have you wondered if there was an age limit to travel?
Read this interview with American teacher Marilyn Cook and be inspired and educated! Marilyn, tell us about yourself.
Marilyn: I am a small-town Mississippian, transported to metropolitan Jacksonville, Florida, kind of with two lives.
The first year out of college I taught in Nome, Alaska, after that Las Vegas, Nevada, 18 years in Mississippi, then 21 years in Florida.
I have traveled to Europe with a Cosmos tour, to England and Colorado with Friendship Force, to England again volunteering at a YWAM mission base, to Austria and Germany, then to the Caribbean, Valley Forge, Grand Canyon, along with volunteer work at Ridgecrest, NC.
I worked with a restoration project in France.
I’ve also traveled through New England, Virginia, Israel, taught in China, Hawaii, Turkey, and worked at a YWAM base in Switzerland.
TT: Wowza! Tell us more about these travels.
M: A very interesting travel opportunity was two years ago in Turkey on the Mediterranean.
I home schooled for a YWAM couple for one year.
I taught middle schoolers Ancient History in the land where it all started.
It was more than awesome.
The family was a model Christian family. The team was extraordinary, the international church runs a busy program, and the country is beautiful. I lived out in a village with the sheep and goats passing by every day with a 2,000 year old settlement just over the ridge behind the house. It really fit me.
TT: Amazing! How did you find this teaching traveling opportunity?
M: I found this advertisement in a YWAM Scotland newsletter.
TT: How did you fund your travels?
M: My host family paid my flight, my apartment rent, and I ate with them. I only had expenses of my own to Istanbul, Pamukkale, and Cappadocia.
TT: Fantastic. Tell us a travel moment that was particularly powerful.
M: When I lived in Alaska, Paul Green, an Eskimo, taught some of us 9 single teachers from “outside” to Eskimo dance. That was just one fun thing we did in that very social year in the wild beautiful Arctic.
TT: Ooo, sounds spicy! How have your travels impacted you as a teacher?
M: My travels have given me stories to tell to students and well as friends.
I also have beautiful photo albums to share and DVD’s I make on my movie maker program on my computer.
TT: How has travel impacted you as a person?
M: Yes, traveling is something I am addicted to as a person.
I love reminiscing, staying in touch with people I have met, and dreaming up another adventure.
TT: What words of advice do you have for teachers dreaming of travel?
M: I have done volunteer jobs with room and board covered.
So many of my trips have been economical.
For instance, when I volunteer at YWAM bases, I trade my services for room and board and then am able to sight-see as well.
In England, my job was cooking. Then every weekend I went down to Victoria Station and went sightseeing out of London. I saw so many really neat places.
In Lausanne, Switzerland, I was near Lake Geneva, and saw many places in that area as well as the Alps. At that base I mostly did laundry and made beds.
At Ridgecrest Baptist Campground, I volunteered, and worked in the Starbucks coffee shop. In China, our room and board was a trade off for our teaching.
Also, I am a member of the Educators Bed and Breakfast.
You only pay $40 a night for two when you stay in teachers’ homes.
I did that on the New England and Virginia trip.
And some of those trips I stayed with relatives, so my traveling opportunities have been divine appointments almost a lot of the time.
TT: Marilyn, thank you for sharing your fascinating, highly useful experiences!
You make SUCH a good point: That when you volunteer during travel, you not only save a huge amount of money, but you also make a big difference for others…
…and have a great time, yourself!
I found this to be true during my travels in Ghana, that volunteering was the key to affordable, enjoyable travel.
Readers, what questions do you have?