Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Engage Students with Tales of Travel

Twenty-one years ago I was living as a young expatriate and English teacher in Taipei, Taiwan, and for the first time I became caught up in the wonderful world of travel writing when someone handed me a copy of newly published expat author Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence.  Captivated by Mayle's whimsical tales of southern France, I imagined the life of an expat author, and I spent several years trying to craft similar magic set in Southeast Asia.  Alas, it was not meant to be, and I never became the Hemingway - or even Mayle - of Formosa.  But I always maintained my love of travel writing.

Now, as an English teacher, I try to foster a similar love of great genre writing by recommending travelogues whenever I can.  In addition to inspiring an interest in reading, I am also hoping to encourage a travel bug in my students.  There is nothing more important for many of our kids than to "get out of your country for a while" - get a fresh perspective, try new foods, look through different eyes, challenge yourself to be uncomfortable, learn a new language ... or a new lifestyle.

Some of my favorites for travel writing are:

Travels - Michael Crichton

Video Night in Katmandu Pico Iyer

A Wolverine is Eating My Leg - Tim Cahill

Notes from a Small Island - Bill Bryson

A Year in Provence - Peter Mayle

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