Hey, when I was young, four billion years ago and counting, I went to Europe.
I found a bright green flier on a bulletin board in the basement of my school while waiting to do lab class. Nothing exploded, even though I had no idea what I was doing in lab, but the idea of travel, that exploded everything!
The flier said, in old fashioned type, I could go to England, France and Italy if I paid about $900. in moola. (Yes, you see, four billion years ago.) Anyway, I worked, saved my pennies and went with a bus load of students and several teachers just like what I will be doing now. Two Ancient Studies teachers and my English Professor, who I later had play Didi in “Waiting for Godot”.
See, this is what happens to someone who should be a Medical Doctor (lab) but has talents in other areas (Theatre).
So flying, my first time, I was utterly overwhelmed with the beauty of everything, because as you know when you travel your eyes get bigger. They look, and actually see things, just for the shear aliveness of it. Everything is different, because you expect it to be, and if it’s not different, then you are amazed it’s the same. As in, they, whomever they are, also have or do, what ever we do or have! How can this be?
Just flying over Ireland and looking down at an emerald green splotch, as the sun rose, all red and orange over an entire continent, I think, hey these are Irish people!!! Spectacular! I’m moved to tears. I write in my travel diary, this is a religious experience! There are Irish people on a green island and I am flying over them, like Mercury with winged feet!
But of course when you are that young, you should not be so demonstrative or people make fun of you. At least anytime I showed overt happiness in my family of origin I was made to feel like an idiot. It didn’t stop joy from happening, but did teach me to always guard against the onslaught of sibling squash downs.
So, it’s very hard to be cool and ecstatic simultaneously, but look at any high schooler and you will see that combination all the time. The boredom and the ecstasy bursting out everywhere in simultaneous profusion.
Like hey, I’m alive, and this is my most unaware, but very alive self, plus a thin veneer of pretending I’ve seen everything, been everywhere, so lets not get too out there. A totally bored kind of face, and underneath, the agony, the ecstasy, the everything all at once!
I want to give other kids that experience, but I can’t. I can only provide the possibility. I was changed forever by travel. There are all these different ways to be, in different countries, different time periods.
I got drift of that most dangerous and rebellious of all ideas, it’s all choice. Seeing differences made me question everything about how I lived, and what I assumed to be the only way to be in the world. Every time I travel, I still do that, I question everything.
This itself is worth the price of admission. But it’s not like I expect the kids who go with me to express that. They may not even consciously know that, or what to know that. No. My job is to butt out completely and let them come to their own conclusions. They have to have their own explosions.
But I am sure I will say with joy, not withstanding, isn't that the most fantastic what ever, you’ve ever seen? Then of course I will melt into my more cooled down version of a four billion year old adult self.
Yet, the kid me is still alive inside, more real now than ever before. Can’t wait to pack, can’t wait to go to the airport, hey, can’t wait period. No matter how many times I go, it’s always a joy! I’m going to Europe!
Kids/young adults 11 to 20 can come with me and get college credit for it. Any adults brave enough are welcome too. You get credit in the school of life for remembering who you really are! Lol.
Carol Hall PhD Come to Europe with Me! email me at email@example.com