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Teaching South Side Chicago Children about Travel

It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. I’ve been busy been working with students in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side teaching travel lessons from my book. We concluded the “Msomaji’s Magic Carpet” session, and the final project was to write an essay (like Msomaji did) titled “What Travel Means to Me.” After the kids finished, they told me that I should write an essay too! So, here’s a short piece that I wrote to read to the class:

What travel means to me…

For the longest time, for me travel meant freedom—the freedom to go anywhere around the globe workout anything holding me back. Today though, it’s taken on a new meaning. Now as I get older, travel means courage.

What is there to say about a woman who didn’t begin to see the world until the age of 30? Who fell so in love with the concept of visiting new places and trying new foods that she decided to start a business, write a book and teach children? 

I remember doubting myself—wondering if my book would be successful, if children would enjoy my lessons, if I could travel alone even when I didn’t have a friend to join me. But I looked fear in the eyes and overcame.

On the way to Paris, I sat next to a 71-year-old retired woman on the plane who planned to stay in Paris for a month. She said to me “I’ve worked hard and I’m old now. It’s time to see the world.” That’s courage.

I hadn’t taken an international trip since the pandemic began and I’d always dreamt of seeing Paris. My plans were cancelled the first time I tried to visit. But I decided to give it another try. Here I was all alone, heading to a place over four thousand miles from home to make a childhood dream of mine come true, not even realizing at the time that this too is a display of courage.

I guess this is why I love travel so much. Because it forces you to learn more about yourself and pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Through travel, I’ve learned that the fear we initially have isn’t real at all—all we need is the courage to move forward. CLICK THE LINK BELOW:

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