Teaching Traveling: What are innovative and economical ways for teachers to travel during school vacations? Learn from Grace Persico how she saw China cheaply over the summer!
Grace, tell us about your background.
Grace: I am a 32 year old Long Island (NY state) native but now live and teach in the Binghamton, NY area. I have only been teaching for two years, and I teach in a very non-traditional school. Since completing my first degree in ‘02 have done everything from swimming instruction to working for State Farm Insurance.
TT: Tell us about your recent travels as a teacher during vacation.
G: This summer I was in Beijing, China, visiting a friend who lives in the Chaoyang District and doing touristy things. It was such a lively, interesting place!
TT: Awesome! I also visited a friend in Beijing during a teacher vacation. So, how did you find this travel opportunity?
G: A good friend of mine from upstate New York has been living and working in Beijing for more than a year now.
TT: How did you find the money to fund this travel?
G: Savings… and because I was lucky enough to have a friend to stay with and bought my plane tickets months in advance, it was not an expensive trip. In addition, the exchange rate is good right now with China.
TT: Nice! Tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly powerful.
G: I made dinner for eight people one of the evenings! Going to the different markets to buy food, spices, etc was wonderful. Navigating the expat neighborhood on my own was so much fun. And of course, the Great Wall was awe-inspiring. There are too many great memories to choose from.
TT: I bet! How have your travels impacted you as a teacher?
G: The more interesting your life is, the more inspiring you are to those impressionable young people who sit and look up at you day after day.
TT: So true. How have your travels impacted you as a person?
G: In so many positive ways. I am never satisfied or content unless I know that in the relatively near future I will be able to get on a plane or a boat and go somewhere far away (maybe too romantic an outlook, but there you have it). And travelling so far from my friends and family members strengthens my love for them!
TT: What advice do you have for other teachers who are dreaming of travel?
Check out CDC site and US Embassy, Beijing sites as well. Don’t forget about the potentially long process of obtaining a travel visa for certain countries.
That said, if you’re dreaming of travelling and pining for an adventure, by all means make it happen!
TT: Thanks so much, Grace! Readers, what questions or comments do you have for this traveling Binghamton teacher?