About Jessica Voigts

Director and founder, Wandering Educators Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program Publisher, http://www.WanderingEducators.com and http://ww.JourneytoScotland.com

What Can a Teen Learn from Traveling?

Lars Wagoner, a student in our Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program, interviewed a fellow teen traveler about – yes – teen travel. It’s quite informative, this interview…

 

Until recently, Africa was one of the continents that I hadn’t visited. In January, I finally got to step foot in Africa. We were taking a week long break from Spain and visiting Morocco. We had brilliant plans: sleep in the Sahara Desert, go to a traditional cooking school, visit Marrakech…

In Marrakech we went to the cooking school and were making our way to the Sahara, but our plans suddenly changed. There was a freak snowstorm in the mountains, blocking our way into the vast desert.

Not letting snow dampen our mood, we decided to change plans. Instead of the desert, we went to the beach, to a town called Essaouira. While there, we met the Taylors, a Scottish family of 5 who live in France. It turns out they are taking a year break to travel around in their Campervan and explore the world.

The Taylor family has 3 kids (Adam, Matt, and Katie). I only got to meet Katie and Matt and their mom, Jennifer. Matt and I hit it off immediately – I knew we would be good friends! After spending some time with them, we found out that they would be passing through Spain in a few months’ time. We made plans to meet up.

 

Matt in Morocco. From What Can a Teen Learn from Traveling?

Matt in Morocco

 

Read more at:

What Can a Teen Learn from Traveling?

A Sporting Life – Football and Travel

Lars Wagoner, one of the students in our teen writing program, recently wrote an assignment about jobs and international experience. I was quite pleased to read that he’d chosen a job that many kids dream of – that of a professional athlete. Here, take a look at Lars’ ideas about football (soccer), international experience, and more…

 

Most people as a kid wanted to be an astronaut, a firefighter, some kind of sports player, a celebrity… But I’m focused on a career that most boys from 7 to 12 want to have: to be a footballer (soccer player).

While many people would love to be some famous athlete, most don’t have the athletic ability to do so. Right now, some famous footballer is probably making millions by just wearing a brand or from his salary. The money isn’t the only thing that makes playing football such a cool career – the travel is, too… think about it: many times a month, professional football teams go to a different stadium, city, country, or even continent.

 

Famous footballer Lionel Messi, FIFA 2014

Lionel Messi, FIFA 2014. Flickr cc: Calcio Streaming

 

Read more at: http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/traveling/why-footballers-should-love-their-job.html

Sea Shepherds and Marine Conservation

One of our students in the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program, Carleigh Pierce, recently wrote an article about whaling and the work of the Sea Shepherds organization in Australia. It was enlightening, to say the least. Here’s what she had to say…

By throwing grenades and shooting harpoons, whaling boats hope to hit whales enough to make a traumatic blow. Unfortunately when you’re on a swaying boat trying to hit a moving target, more often than not your aim won’t be exact, leaving the whales to die a slow agonizing death. Every year, nearly 2,000 whales are brutally murdered for commercial whaling. Although many laws have been put into place to stop this horrendous event, many countries continue to whale today including Finland, Norway, and Japan.

 

SSS Bob Barker finds the Nisshin Maru in Mackenzie Bay. photo credit: Glenn Lockitch, Sea Shepherds Australia

SSS Bob Barker finds the Nisshin Maru in Mackenzie Bay. photo credit: Glenn Lockitch, Sea Shepherds Australia

 

The bloodied deck of the Nisshin Maru stained from the butchering of a whale. Photo credit: Tim Watters, Sea Shepherds Australia

The bloodied deck of the Nisshin Maru stained from the butchering of a whale. Photo credit: Tim Watters, Sea Shepherds Australia

Read more of Carleigh’s article at: http://www.wanderingeducators.com/global-citizenship/environmental-education/traumatic-blow.html

Roadschooling

Dylan DeMichiel recently wrote a post for our You Travel Blogging Mentorship Program. Great interview regarding his mother’s travels. Have a look:

 

Over the past six years, my mom has traveled across America in an RV and visited all 50 states. She has been to major cities all over the world, including London, New York, Dublin, Los Angeles, Miami, and Paris. She has taken several backpacking trips through Europe, visiting Italy, France, England, Ireland, Germany, Budapest, Czech Republic, Austria, and Croatia. Oh, and did I mention that I was with her on all those trips? Yeah, my mom is pretty cool!

 

Rita DeMichiel - Taking Education on the Road

 

Read on at http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/traveling/taking-education-road.html

Watch the Peacocks

William Wellman recently wrote a post for our Wandering Educators Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program. I love his pictures. Take a look!

 

Apparently gardens make really good zoos, though that’s no excuse to let the neighbor’s pets run through your flowerbeds. In the case of the Wilhelma Zoological Botanical Garden inStuttgart, Germany (we just call it Wilhelma), it’s very true! The place was originally a park for the rich and privileged back in the day when royal families still ruled over Germany. Over the years since, it’s become a zoo of the highest quality, still retaining the lush greenery and care for nature that the original park possessed; oddly personified by the peacocks who range the park freely.

 

Peacock, Wilhelma Zoo, Germany

 

Continue reading at http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/traveling/wilhelma-zoo-where-peacocks-run-free.html

The Camera or the Teacher’s Desk

Christian DeMichiel recently wrote a post for our Wandering Educators Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Programs about potentials careers oversees. He does a great job comparing the two. Have a look:

 

I’ve always been interested in a career with an international focus. At the moment, two  jobs interest me. The first is teaching English abroad, and the other is working as an international photographer. Both careers involve traveling, which is something I truly enjoy. Here’s why these two career paths intrigue me:

 

The world is your oyster!

 

Continue Reading at http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/people-pictures-and-places-opportunities-abound.html

Meeting Blackbeard

Great post by Dylan DeMichiel on our Youth Blogging Mentorship Program. Love how he wrapped everything together at the end. Look for yourself:

 

After a long day of exploring Ocracoke Island and scanning the gift shops, my family and I decided to head back to the campground we were staying at. As soon as we returned to our tent, I crawled inside and fell asleep. When I woke up, the sun glinting in my eyes, I could hear waves crashing instead of my parents talking. Startled and scared, I sat up and tried to figure out where I was. I realized that I was no longer in my tent, but lying on a beach! I saw the ocean waves crashing upon a shore of brown sand, cluttered with broken shells and split apart logs. How did I get here?

 

As I walked with trepidation down the coastline, I came upon a long-bearded man, dressed in torn clothes, washed up on shore. I ran up to him, wondering if he was okay. In an attempt to offer my assistance, I got down on my knees and pulled gently on his long black, tangled hair.  As I lifted the man’s sopping wet head, he sat up and coughed out what seemed like gallons of salty sea water. Stunned, I scrambled away from him. When I turned to look back, I noticed a shiny steel sword hanging from his side. The man looked over, pulled out his sword – brandishing it toward me – and slowly stood up.

 

“What be yer name?” the man questioned.

 

Blackbeard

 

Keep reading at http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/blackbeard’s-final-fight.html

Heading the Global Term Abroad program

Christoph Hodel wrote a post in our Youth Travel Blogging mentorship program. He does a great job at introducing the Geneva area. Read on!

 

After my sophomore year in high school, I didn’t think I could handle another year of small-town life in Minnesota…spending time with the same people and going to the same places that I’ve been staying with my whole life. I don’t want to give an impression of hating my home, because I love Northfield! I simply needed a break. Someone apparently answered my silent pleas, and my family was chosen to lead the Global Term Abroad program with St. Olaf College. My father teaches music theory at St. Olaf, which is a great connection. My sister, my parents, and I joined fourteen college students on a seven-country journey across the world:India, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece, China, Korea, and Thailand.

 

Our first stop was Geneva, Switzerland. This city lies right on the border between France and Switzerland. Although the city is technically in Switzerland, about 95 percent of the inhabitants speak French because of its close proximity to France. So, unfortunately, my knowledge of German was often useless.

 

Geneva is centered around a lake. Lake Geneva is very beautiful, and features a huge fountain that shoots water one hundred and fifty feet straight up into the air. We all took a swim in it at one point, and the water was cloudy and extremely cold. I honestly didn’t care about that because I love swimming, and it’s not every day that I get to swim in a place like Switzerland!

 

Fountain on Lake Geneva

 

Continue reading at http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/traveling/geneva-global-term-abroad.html

Avoid the Monkeys

Jackson Duckworth, a writer for our Youth Travel Blog Mentorship Program, wrote a post on his visit to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. I love the way he brings the monkeys into every part of the post. Have a look!

 

I woke up in a muggy hotel room in Kathmandu, sweating from the heat. We would have slept with the windows open if it hadn’t been for the monkeys. Yes, I said monkeys. On our way through the streets of Kathmandu the day before I had witnessed a rather large monkey climb a building, go through an open window and out again with a piece of cake clutched in its hand. I began to notice monkeys everywhere. They swung across power lines, and walked among people and grocery stalls, stealing food and taking various other things. The people seemed to take no notice of them. I swear there should be monkey police with the authority to arrest monkeys for shoplifting! So we slept with the windows tightly shut.
Although a bit jet-lagged, I was famished. We—being me, my sister, my parents, and my grandparents—sat down to a wonderful, “American” breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast, with tasty mango juice.
After breakfast, my grandparents informed us that they had planned to take us toSwayambhunath, otherwise known as the Monkey Temple. The Monkey Temple is a giant temple where monkeys thrive and are worshiped. I suddenly realized why the monkeys on the streets are never bothered; to the Nepalese, they are holy. I had decided I didn’t like monkeys, so I voted against it. But my parents and grandparents agreed to go, and so I tagged along with them.

Monkey Temple, Kathmandu

 

Read more at http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/no-monkey-business.html

Paul Bunyan in the Woods

Harrison Boyink, one of the writers for our Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship program, recently wrote a post of a dream-like meeting with Paul Bunyan. I love how he makes Paul come alive. Have a look!

 

I walked through the woods in Michigan, as I love doing. I love woods, so green and… woody. I wandered around, taking it all in – the smell of earth, the sounds of leaves and birds, the feel of the cool breeze, the almost-unpleasant taste of rotting leaves in the air. I stared, wondering how I could put it into words or even capture the entire thing in a photo. I pulled out my camera as I walked, not watching where I was going. I must have tripped on a root or something, because I suddenly fell and smashed my head into a tree trunk. I blacked out.

 

Looking up through the leaves

Photo courtesy flickr creative commons: A. Blight

 

Read the rest at http://www.wanderingeducators.com/best/stories/chance-meeting-paul-bunyan.html