Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein: How I Caught the Travel Bug (a.k.a the AwayBug)
I just found out that my all time favorite teacher is retiring. Ms. Kelley Walker was my high school Advanced Placement European History teacher my senior year and she truly inspired me and shaped my future in ways she probably doesn’t even realize. If you’ve read my “About Us” section then you already know this. She was so incredibly passionate about European History that she took a subject that I previous considered boring and made it fascinating. I even (briefly) considered majoring in history after I took her class but decided on a much more useful degree…Theater. To this day my favorite genre of novels to read are historical fictions. On a side note if you haven’t read Katherine by Anya Seton go out and buy it now! A recommendation of Ms. Walker’s that is still my all time favorite book.
Every year in June Ms. Walker took her AP European History students to Europe. When I was a senior the trip was to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. This would be my first time ever leaving the United States and I really didn’t know what to expect. We flew into Frankfurt and visited Heidelberg, Wuerzburg, Rothenburg, Nuremberg, Salzburg, Munich (and Dachau), Neuschwanstein, Liechtenstein, Lucerne, Freiburg, & Worms. Whew, that was a lot in 10 days! It was on this trip that I was officially bitten by the travel bug. One thing that Ms. Walker said to our class that always stuck with me was that her biggest regret of college was that she didn’t study abroad. She encouraged all of us to study abroad and I really took this advice to heart. I ended up spending a semester in London my junior year and if it weren’t for Ms. Walker I don’t think I would have had the courage to do this. At the time it was a really hard thing to do. When you are 19 it is difficult to leave all of your friends, your activities, your apartment, your family…you feel like you are going to miss out on something but I always had Ms. Walker’s voice in the back of my head pushing me to take that leap of faith. Studying abroad in London was hands down the most profound experience of my college career and gave me the confidence I needed to go volunteer in South Africa and all of the other travel I did after college. And without all of these experiences AwayBug Travel would not have been born! So you see she really did shape my future and I wouldn’t be where I am today without her. Have you had someone in your life that encouraged you to take a leap of faith? Who was your most inspiring teacher?