If you know anything about teenagers you can easily imagine that I am the definition of “most annoying mom ever.” My poor children never get to just take a vacation. I torture them with natural wonders, cultural experiences, and – the most important part of any trip – “local cuisine of the day.” My kids have visited 42 states, set foot in 24 National Parks, and eaten conch, haggis, and buffalo. I’m a monster. Yet I truly believe that Mark Twain was spot on when he said, “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” The more I travel the more I see the wonders of cultural diversity. I can appreciate differences without classifying them as better or worse than my own personal experiences. The more I travel the more I see the similarities of the human experience. I encounter kindness, generosity, appreciation of the land, and a strong sense of pride. I want my children to experience this, too.
Last week my family visited Alaska. Our trip reinforced what we already knew; Alaska is magnificent – the landscape, the culture, the history, and the people. Over the next week I will share daily posts about our adventures: what we saw, who we met, and maybe even what we ate! I hope to give a broader sense of the landscape and communities that are home to the Iditarod.
Back from Alaska…and into a sleeping bag? My next “official” post will have all the details of an amazing meet-up with Teacher on the Trail 2021/2022 Jim Deprez and the exchange of the most important gear I’ll need this year!
Library Learnings: How can your class “travel” without going anywhere? Many students do not have the ability to experience communities and cultures outside their own due to financial, time, or family constraints. As educators we can facilitate world exploration through literature, virtual field trips, and penpal projects – assign a “read around the world” book report or “map your reads” bulletin board. Want to explore further? Check out the Iditarod™EDU Postcard Challenge to connect your students with classrooms across the US!