Today we set out for our study-travel to the UK and Portugal. I’m so glad this day has arrived! The last days of packing and travelling to meet at the Vancouver airport are all about getting it right–making the right arrangements, not forgetting anything, thinking ahead and planning well. Once we gather and set out, the focus shifts to doing our very best with what we have. That’s where the real adventure begins! That’s where we start to “experience the world”!
This trip is well-organized: Georgia-Hardy is an excellent tour company, Mr. Hughes and Mr. Waterhouse are fabulous principals, we teachers are skilled at what we do (a modest blush for such bragging!), and the students are ready and eager to learn. It’s a great way to start because we will certainly encounter the unexpected. Some of our great plans will not work exactly as we hoped. Some of the things we packed will appear ludicrous when we open our suitcases. Sometimes we end up having classes in executive suites in a high rise hotel in Barcelona rather than meeting in classrooms on campus as planned. Imagine our group last year strolling in 40+ degree morning heat, arms and backpacks loaded with books, to the cool, darkened, black and shiny chrome air-conditioned comfort of a 7th floor boardroom table. We were grateful for the refrigerator full of cold water, we discussed our lessons executive-style around the table, I used the flipchart like a real pro, and the students retired to read and write while lounging in our private living room or on the balcony overlooking the city if they could take the heat. The place itself provided another whole subtext to the stories we were studying. It could have been a problem; instead, it was an adventure!
I look forward to the experiences this trip will bring. We will surely return home with stories of people and places we couldn’t have imagined as well a month of solid study completed in fine style, whatever the details of that style might turn out to be.