Open Letter: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Stop Me, a Teacher, From Traveling | rich'nritch.com

Open Letter: 5 Reasons Why You Should Not Stop Me, a Teacher, From Traveling

Reading a book story to one of the Aberling Tribe families in Sitio Baag, San Jose, Tarlac.
Reading a book story to one of the Aberling Tribe families in Sitio Baag, San Jose, Tarlac.

Dear you, yes you. 

Don't stop me (a teacher) from traveling. Why? Because wherever I go, I never forget I'm a teacher. "I will share this to my students," is a common line people I meet in my travels hear from me. The road has taught me more functional lessons than my degree, certificates, seminars, and training. Outside my usual environment, every place is a new experience, every moment is a learning opportunity, every person is a channel of new ideas, and every journey is a window to a new world. It seems to me that every time I decide to go out, I become a better person when I come home.

Watching the towering buildings at Victoria Peak, Hongkong.
Watching the towering buildings at Victoria Peak, Hongkong.
Before taking an entrance to Hongkong Disneyland Resort
Before taking an entrance to Hongkong Disneyland Resort
At Santa Casa Da Misericordia, one of the famous landmarks in Macau.
At Santa Casa Da Misericordia, one of the famous landmarks in Macau.
At a hidden beach in El Nido, Palawan
At a hidden beach in El Nido, Palawan
Taking a relaxing pose during my island hopping in El Nido, Palawan.
Taking a relaxing pose during my island hopping in El Nido, Palawan.
Praising God for the beauty of Mag-aso Falls in Kabankalan City.
Praising God for the beauty of Mag-aso Falls in Kabankalan City.
 In one of the pink beaches of Jomalig Island, Quezon
In one of the pink beaches of Jomalig Island, Quezon.
Posing like a queen of sea stars in Hinugtan Beach, Bel-is, Buruanga, Aklan.
Posing like a queen of sea stars in Hinugtan Beach, Bel-is, Buruanga, Aklan.
Lake Holon, T'boli, South Cotabato via Kule Trail.
Lake Holon, T'boli, South Cotabato via Kule Trail
Taking a pose before dipping into the cold water of Asik-asik falls in Alamada, North, Cotabato.
Taking a pose before dipping into the cold water of Asik-asik falls in Alamada, North, Cotabato.

1. The road teaches me more than school

I learned more about sociology from exposing myself to different cultures and immersing with different communities and tribes. I learned more about geography from transit routes, GPS, and map reading. I learned better English from speaking with native Americans and Brits. I learned practical Math from managing my budget and expenses. I learned more about Science from observing the wilderness. I learned more about literature from the stories of the folks and watching their plays. I learned more about music and arts from visiting schools of living traditions, museums, and cultural centers. I learned more about physical education and health from hiking and reaching out remote communities for a medical mission. I learned volunteerism, tourism, diplomacy, survival skills, environmental protection and conservation, disaster preparedness and the long list goes on.

Driving my scooter from Malay, Aklan to Valderrama, Antique for a quick weekend hike.
Driving my scooter from Malay, Aklan to Valderrama, Antique for a quick weekend hike.
Crossing the sea on my own via a banca in Tatlong Pulo, Guimaras Island.
Crossing the sea on my own via a banca in Tatlong Pulo, Guimaras Island.
Making a stop on trail to drink a buko juice freshly picked by my guide in Mt. Atog, Barbaza, Antique.
Making a stop on trail to drink a buko juice freshly picked by my guide in Mt. Atog, Barbaza, Antique.
Taking a selfie with a rafflesia I spotted on the trail of Mt. Opao, Igbaras, Iloilo.
Taking a selfie with a rafflesia I spotted on the trail of Mt. Opao, Igbaras, Iloilo.
Watching tamaraws with the use of a telescope at Mt. Magawang viewdeck.
Watching tamaraws with the use of a telescope at Mt. Magawang viewdeck.
Taking a solo tour in Siliman University Campus, Dumaguete City.
Taking a solo tour in Siliman University Campus, Dumaguete City.
Working as a liaison officer during APEC 2015 at Shangri-la Resorts and Spa, Boracay Island.
Working as a liaison officer during APEC 2015 at Shangri-la Resorts and Spa, Boracay Island.
Enjoying the view of Banyugan Beach from one of the verandas of Shangri-la Resorts and Spa, Boracay Island.
Enjoying the view of Banyugan Beach from one of the verandas of Shangri-la Resorts and Spa, Boracay Island.
A photo opportunity with the Ambassador of Chile and his lovely wife in Boracay Island before they depart for their flight in the mainland of Malay, Aklan.
A photo opportunity with the Ambassador of Chile and his lovely wife in Boracay Island before they depart for their flight in the mainland of Malay, Aklan.
Huge tuna in GenSan Fish Port, General Santos City
Huge tuna in GenSan Fish Port, General Santos City.

2. I teach life not just lessons

What excite me when I go back to school and face my students are my experiences and reflections. Never had the time I ran out of real stories to substantiate the lessons that I teach. I always give them the up-to-date knowledge about places, people, and systems that aren’t published on textbooks yet. I can always testify if facts are fake and rumors are true. I share to them situations that they never thought happen and show them places they never thought exist. I set myself as a model that every child can go to his/her dream places. If only travel is not that expensive, I will encourage my students to include it in their priorities. Traveling allows a person to see the world in an exquisite perspective different from what is lectured inside the classroom.

Trying out this basket which locals use when carrying a load of products from their community to the public market in Calintaan, Oriental Mindoro.
Trying out this basket which locals use when carrying a load of products from their community to the public market in Calintaan, Oriental Mindoro.
Enjoying the company of these kids on the trail of Mt. Igmatongtong, Laua-an, Antique
Enjoying the company of these kids on the trail of Mt. Igmatongtong, Laua-an, Antique.
Taking ready for a carabao ride in Sitio Baag, San Jose, Tarlac.
Taking ready for a carabao ride in Sitio Baag, San Jose, Tarlac.
Gazing at the nature's wonder in front of me in General Fullon, San Remigio, Antique.
Gazing at the nature's wonder in front of me in General Fullon, San Remigio, Antique.
Talking to the kids after dinner in Gen. Fullon, San Remigio, Antique.
Talking to the kids after dinner in Gen. Fullon, San Remigio, Antique.
Spending noche buena with a family in Tatlong Pulo, Guimaras Island
Spending noche buena with a family in Tatlong Pulo, Guimaras Island.

3. I seek opportunities for myself and my students

While I invest on experiences that enrich my soul, I still have my teaching profession’s interest at heart. Spending time in new places sparks new ideas. The people I meet turn out to be new partners in my career. Often, they offer me something I never expect to gain. And in one way or another, it boosts my morale as a teacher and makes me more productive as I share them to my students and colleagues. Let me share to you four of them. Ten years ago, I met a Norwegian engineer who later on, became my business partner. Seven years ago, I met a French world traveler who came to visit for the second time last year and voluntarily served as a resource person in my tourism promotion services NCII classes and sponsored a Cebu trip for one of my students. Four years ago, I met a British expat who offered me an English tutorial job with Russians as my students. Two years ago, I met a fellow Akeanon traveler who helped me start blogging which I now use for generating up-to-date contents and interactive materials for my classes.

At my back is the gate to the Buddha attraction in Ngong Ping 360 Village, Lantau Island, Hongkong
At my back is the gate to the Buddha attraction in Ngong Ping 360 Village, Lantau Island, Hongkong.
Touring around Ngong Ping 360 Village, Lantau Island, Hongkong
Touring around Ngong Ping 360 Village, Lantau Island, Hongkong.
At Saint Paul Ruins, San Malo, Macau
At Saint Paul Ruins, San Malo, Macau
A treat from Myanmar diplomats after the ASEAN summit in Boracay Island
A treat from Myanmar diplomats after the ASEAN summit in Boracay Island.
Onboard a yacht owned by a relative who traveled with her family all the way from Norway.
Onboard a yacht owned by a relative who traveled with her family all the way from Norway.
Walking around Venice Piazza, Mckinley Hill in Metro Manila.
Walking around Venice Piazza, Mckinley Hill in Metro Manila.
Experiencing parasail for the first time courtesy of my french friend, Yael, in Boracay Island.
Experiencing parasail for the first time courtesy of my french friend, Yael, in Boracay Island.
Yael Pericard doing a lecture in one of my Tourism Promotion Services NCII classes.
Yael Pericard doing a lecture in one of my Tourism Promotion Services NCII classes.
Atop Malalison Island with Mr. and Mrs. Scothtron and my Russian student.
Atop Malalison Island with Mr. and Mrs. Scothtron and my Russian student
Zipline experience with Rich in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
Zipline experience with Rich in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.

4. I do extraordinary things; I take risks

Through travel, I learn more about the world, the people around me, and most importantly, myself. I get wiser in my days and richer in more ways. When people ask me how do I do so many things, I often answer them, without meaning to be cruel, “how do you do so few?” Traveling made me realize that I have a vast potential. I can do extraordinary things with my confidence and courage. I don’t treat life as if it goes on forever. I don’t have all the answers but I know that it doesn’t involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up. I take risks in pursuing the things I love doing and not letting the dread and failure of others be my own.

Hiking the highest point of El Nido, Palawan
Hiking the highest point of El Nido, Palawan.
Sailing like a boss via a sailboat locally known as 'paraw' from my beach hut to the front beach of Boracay Island.
Sailing like a boss via a sailboat locally known as 'paraw' from my beach hut to the front beach of Boracay Island.
Driving a jetski for the second time in Bolabog beach, Boracay Island.
Driving a jetski for the second time in Bolabog beach, Boracay Island.
Touring Boracay Island via a helicopter.
Touring Boracay Island via a helicopter
Test driving an owner-type jeep in San Jose, Tarlac.
Test driving an owner-type jeep in San Jose, Tarlac.
Waiting for sunrise in Mt. Binicayan, Rizal
Waiting for sunrise in Mt. Binicayan, Rizal.
Having a sip, the local way, while on the trail of Mt. Opao, Igbaras, Iloilo.
Having a sip, the local way, while on the trail of Mt. Opao, Igbaras, Iloilo.
Sleeping overnight on a cave in the jungle of Madalag
Sleeping overnight on a cave in the jungle of Madalag.

5. I travel with a great purpose

My goal is to discover and explore hidden treasures and uncover the best and unique stories about the places I visit. And yes, I’ve been able to do it. I generate local contents and interactive materials in order to contribute to the development and promotion of community-based tourism coupled with advocacy on environmental protection and conservation as well as reaching out remote and indigenous communities. I also contribute to cultural preservation and enrichment through engaging to voluntary works for the indigenous people and educating them of their rights.

Going back to Malalison Island to visit the children's choir for the 5th time.
Going back to Malalison Island to visit the children's choir for the 5th time.
Supporting a medical mission as one of the volunteers in Alapasco, Batad, Iloilo.
Supporting a medical mission as one of the volunteers in Alapasco, Batad, Iloilo.
Teaching the Mangyan kids in Baco, Calintaan, Mindoro.
Teaching the Mangyan kids in Baco, Calintaan, Mindoro.
Talking to the pupils of Buri Elementary School in Ilin Island, Occidental Mindoro.
Talking to the pupils of Buri Elementary School in Ilin Island, Occidental Mindoro.
Playing with the children of Ilin Island, Occidental Mindoro
Playing with the children of Ilin Island, Occidental Mindoro.
Playing hulahoop with the kids of Ambulong Island, Occidental Mindoro.
Playing hulahoop with the kids of Ambulong Island, Occidental Mindoro.
Meeting the kids of Jomalig Island, Real, Quezon.
Meeting the kids of Jomalig Island, Real, Quezon.

Hence, no matter what others say, I am proud to be a teacher-traveler who is living a less-taken path. I might be not typical but I am definitely functional. I have a purpose which only few can fathom and appreciate. I don’t let people’s judgments affect my decisions and choices. In fact, I understand them for there is a bigger world out there which they fail or yet to experience.

Parade of Lights Show in Hongkong
Parade of Lights Show in Hongkong
At the enchanting balete tree in Nogas Island, Anini-y, Antique.
At the enchanting balete tree in Nogas Island, Anini-y, Antique.
Camping overnight at Alapasco Lake, Batad, Iloilo.
Camping overnight at Alapasco Lake, Batad, Iloilo.
Enjoying the fish spa at the Enchanting Balete Tree water pool in Siquijor.
Enjoying the fish spa at the Enchanting Balete Tree water pool in Siquijor.
Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor
Cambugahay Falls in Siquijor
Jumping out for joy at Kamalasag Falls, Sebaste, Antique.
Jumping out for joy at Kamalasag Falls, Sebaste, Antique.
Waiting for the sunrise at the summit of Mt. Taripis, Igbaras, Iloilo.
Waiting for the sunrise at the summit of Mt. Taripis, Igbaras, Iloilo.
Savouring the coldness of Mt. Mandalagan crater popularly known as Tinagong Dagat.
Savouring the coldness of Mt. Mandalagan crater popularly known as Tinagong Dagat.
A group photo with the Chilean diplomats whom I served during the APEC Summit in Boracay Island
A group photo with the Chilean diplomats whom I served during the APEC Summit in Boracay Island.
With my former colleagues and bosses in ASU-Ibajay when I was invited as a guest speaker during the Pagkilaea 2017.
With my former colleagues and bosses in ASU-Ibajay when I was invited as a guest speaker during the Pagkilaea 2017.

Traveling broadens one’s understanding of every person’s way of life. It makes one’s dreams bigger and teaches life’s lessons with depth and impact. And If pursuing a master's degree or a doctor's degree is an investment, so is traveling. 

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