Kay is a Middle School Spanish World Cultures Teacher. She first traveled with EF to Costa Rica in 2009 and has been leading student groups every summer since. Kay believes that students should experience travel to help broaden their perspectives and allow them to see firsthand how tolerant, global and open-minded we should all strive to become.
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve kept a travel journal. I remember my first one like it was yesterday—Bugs Bunny was on the cover and it was filled with notes about a road trip I took with my parents.
I often go back and dig out old journals to share with my students once I have a group of enrolled travelers. They laugh at some of my adventures and funny stories, but it makes for a great group meeting activity! Each time I look back on them I am reminded of how much every experience has helped me to grow as an individual. Students are always impressed that I have saved my travel journals over the years, which in turn helps them buy into the importance of keeping their own!
As a Group Leader, I strongly encourage all of my travelers to keep a journal while on tour to help minimize downtime and maximize engagement. I want to make sure they always have something to look back on after our experience. In order to help with the process, I typically facilitate journal writing meetings at night, where we recount the events of the day and discuss what we need in order to be prepared for the next day of tour. I always remind students that I will never read their journals and all that matters is that they are writing in them – even if it is just a list of the day’s activities. It always turns into a positive experience for the students and often becomes their most prized keepsake from the trip as it helps them to remember their experiences. Plus, I always remind my students that their journal will be very helpful for sharing trip highlights with their loved ones upon return! It works every time.
With the holidays approaching, I would encourage you to consider gifting a travel journal to anyone you know who may be preparing to head out on a trip of a lifetime. No matter where a student is going, or what your budget may be, a journal will serve as a lasting keepsake and source of inspiration for your beloved traveler!
Explore the world with your students on an EF Educational Tour. Browse itineraries here.