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Shane: From Teacher to RV Traveler and Europe Bargain Hunter

One of Shane's photos from his travels to Venice, Italy.
One of Shane’s photos from his travels to Venice, Italy.

Teaching Traveling: Welcome to Shane, former teacher and current RV travel advocate!

Shane, tell us a bit about your background.

Shane: I am a native Rhode Islander. I attended Hope High School from 1963-1966 and I received my Bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Rhode Island in 1971. In 1974, after a brief career in automotive sales, I procured a teaching position at a small parochial school in Rhode Island. I taught 7th and 8th grade social science and English from 1974-1980.

TT: Fabulous! I started my own teaching career at Hope High, volunteering during college, and I am currently teaching grade 7 Humanities!

So, please explain some of your interesting recent travels.

S: I have recently completed a tour of northern Italy, including visits to Milan, Florence, and Venice. Venice is quite interesting and intriguing: an entire city built on top of water is a wonder in its breathtaking beauty and single uniqueness. Milan is a vibrant, modern, active metropolis rivaling any of the big cities of the U.S., Yet, it has the old world charm of ancient Italy. It balances these contradictory vibes quite well. One can gaze incredulously at DaVinci’s 15th century masterpiece, the”Last Supper” and then walk into a booming financial center within minutes. Florence is Italy’s cultural center, and, as such, one can visit the incredible works of the great Italian masters like DaVinci, Michaelangelo, Botticelli, Raffaello, and others.

How romantic the sun looks, glinting on the canals of Venice!
How romantic the sun looks, glinting on the canals of Venice!

I have traveled extensively to many domestic destinations. It has always been a mantra of mine to “see America first”. We live in a vast, interesting , diverse land that has so much to see and experience. I’m proud to say that I have seen mostly all of our country, from East to West. Memorable trips have included cities like Miami and Orlando as well as private and remote areas of Key West and Captiva Island. Northern destinations like Maine, Cape Cod, and the green mountains state Vermont have always provided scenic landscapes that defy description.

My west coast travel has included San Francisco, San Diego, Carmel, Napa valley, and lively Las Vegas. Hawaii was memorable and is a must see even if it is a bit pricey.

TT: Those are wonderful places! Tell us how you found your Italy travel opportunity.

S: This Italy trip was prompted by a great opportunity offered by the Hyatt Hotel group. Upon successful acceptance into their rewards program, my wife and I were offered 4 complimentary nights to any property the Hyatt Hotel Group owned in the world. Naturally, we took advantage of their $850 per night property in Milan, Italy. I highly recommend pursuing this offer.

Now all we need is a good gelato to eat.
Now all we need is a good gelato to eat.

Getting more for your money is a great motivating factor for me when I chose a destination. If I cannot get an outstanding value for a destination, I just DO NOT go there.

TT: Nice! Tell us one moment from your travels that was particularly funny.

S: Because I speak rudimentary Italian, I took it upon myself to converse in the native tongue whenever ordering food or asking questions. One particular time, when asking for cane sugar for my cappuccino, I mistakenly asked for a dog with my drink: “cane” instead of “canna“! This generated uproarious laughter among the locals at the restaurant, and kind of put me in my places concerning my mastery of the Italian language.

TT: Hah! :) So, how have your travels impacted you as a person?

S: It is always an fun and exciting to observe the cultural differences among various peoples. One gets an appreciation for how others view their lives and what things are important to them when visiting other areas of the world.

Where will your travels take YOU? Will the roads be water?
Where will your travels take YOU? Will the roads be water?

TT: What advice do you have for other educators who are dreaming of travel?

S: The travel industry right now is presenting great value. The industry is suffering through a recession like the rest of our economy. Therefore, now is a great time to take that put-off trip. Go and visit that exotic island, that vibrant city, those European holidays, or that relaxing beach. Values have never been better.

Traveling by recreational vehicles is a super way to see the country. It allows for you to pace yourself and go where you want and when you want. I run my site, National RV Parks, to provide extensive, comprehensive, and useful info about campgrounds in various areas of the country. I strongly suggest, if you are an RVer to visit and become informed.

TT: Thanks, Shane! Indeed, whether you rent an RV or opt for an old standby like renting a car, there is so much out there to explore! Readers, what comments or questions do you have for Shane?


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