The Value of Travel:
Education

In all the years of writing essays for my website, I have discussed about the importance of traveling outside North America.  It is imperative if being educated and informed is something that you wish to be.  I have traveled in America and in Canada.  However, Canada essentially is an extension of the US.  Overseas travel is critical.  It is where learning occurs...on steroids.  The British aristocrats went on the Grand Tour of Europe after completing their university education in the 19th century.  It was the capstone to that educational experience.  After I graduated from graduate school, I did a year at New College at the University of Edinburgh.  The summers before and after that year, I traveled throughout Europe. 

Interestingly, during the next several decades I have been to Africa, the Middle East, Indochina, Tibet, China, the South Pacific, and India.  Some of those trips were tours that I took, some were tours that I conducted, some were for classes that I took, and I have taught overseas. 

However, while not traveling, I have taught various humanity classes in the past two decades.  This semester, I am teaching two world religion survey classes.  One of the requirements was to attend worship outside their own religious background or their community.  Christians had to pick religions like Islam or Buddhism.  Muslims had to pick religions like Sikhism or Hinduism.  In that way, they get exposed to another world.  Of all the assignments in which they will participate during the semester, this is the one that they enjoy the most.  This has been true over many years.  This is my reply to them after reading about their experience. 

Dear Class,

I especially enjoyed reading about your field trips.  However, we have been together for months.  I thought that you all would trust anything and everything that I say.  So, you were tentative about going to some place where you were unfamiliar and left excited, informed, impressed, understanding more, etc., etc.  Hmmm.

Now, I'll try again.  Think of where your parents, grandparents, or great grandparents came from.  Name the country.  When you graduate, promise me you will make plans to go to that country for two weeks.  What you learned on your field trip wasn't book learning.  You learned things that no one could learn from a book.

The first thing that I did after finishing grad school was to go to Scotland.  During the summer before and after, I traveled throughout Eastern and Western Europe.  Over the next four decades, I have taught a class overseas and traveled in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific islands.

Go to http://wolverton-mountain.com/travel/index.html.  You will see about 20-different places that I have been in the past dozen years.  Then click on http://wolverton-mountain.com/articles/index.html and scroll down that index page for 2016.  You will find over 150-essays.  Interestingly, nearly every one, in some manner, relates to what I learned and experienced overseas.  I'd be a one-dimensional person had it not been for those trips outside North America. 

In all my travels, I never returned to that country on my next trip.  I was in Myanmar (Burma) three year ago.  However, that will be the one exception.  I am working on plans to be there very soon.  http://wolverton-mountain.com/articles/the-lady-bobby-and-bagan.html 

As for grades, 72% aced the regular week's discussion and 90% the field trip.

Also, make sure you clear your term paper topic with me.  It is due at the end of week 15.

Al

Of all the places that I have been, Burma is the one country that had the most positive and profound experience on me.  Aside from wanting to interview Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Lady, I truly enjoyed the people and the places in Burma. 

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While I spent a month there, I was not able to interview the Lady.  I plan to return to Myanmar.  I want to see some friends and try again to interview the most important world leader working for human rights for the people in her country. 

This song by Elton John encapsulates me today.



Burma flag

Burmese independence flag

Visit the Burma Independence page to read more about this topic.



On Seeing the Light

On Seeing the Light

Visit the On Seeing the Light page to read more about this topic.



Connecting The Dots

Connecting the Dots

Visit the Connecting the Dots page to read more about this topic.

01/13/17