“Collect moments, not things”

Our love of travel began quite accidentally.  With a small budget and four children, our vacations usually meant driving across the country to visit family in Texas and New Mexico.   I cherish those memories as a family, but our world expanded when our oldest child was a senior in high school.  We were planning a trip to Colorado to ski during spring break, but costs for lodging and skiing had dramatically increased.  

Our second son found an amazing deal for air fare and lodging at an alpine lodge in the southern Alps mountains in France.  We thought that since we would probably never go back overseas, we would tack on a train tour of Italy.   It was a little intimidating because we don’t speak other languages, we had no experience with jet lag, different monetary systems, and train travel.  

But, we fell in love!   The food, the history, the cultural experience, and the art captured our imaginations.   We had to do it again, we had to introduce our students to this amazing adventure.

Mark Twain was a world traveler and one of his more famous quips makes a lot of sense, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrowmindeness and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.   Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating  in one little corner of the earth all ones lifetime.”   

We began to expand trips to Washington DC, Dauphin Island, New York, Chicago, Boston, and the southwest US with students and parents.  

In 1999 Dan took a group of ACA students and parents on a whirlwind trip to several European countries,  we saw how the trip brought the students together, made the history they studied in a classroom come alive, and created in  them a hunger to ‘see the world’.  

We have taken groups to Greece, Israel, Italy, Argentina, France, Austria, Andorra, Spain, Germany, China, and the Netherlands.  

We began to say, “The World is Our Classroom” and we watched as many graduates choose to study abroad, master a foreign language, or take their own families on educational and mission trips.   Two of our children lived in Paris for two years and received a masters degree from university there.   Now we are introducing our grandchildren to the experience of travel, and find that taking them  one or two at a time develops a deep relationship, but is also a longer-lasting gift than a toy an electronic gadget, or money.  

We have also found that travel with a group, especially one where you already have some connection is the perfect way to begin.  

The itinerary, transportation, touring and museum direction, and some meals give you freedom and confidence to ‘branch out on your own’.