Interview with The Beautiful Teacher & Traveler Lyssie

1. Tell Me About Yourself, A Little About Your Country And Your Work?
Currently, I am working in the American education system about halfway between New York City and the capital, Washington, D.C. To get here, I spent a year teaching English in Spain. During that time, I traveled to 13 different countries over 3 different continents. My current employment combines my knowledge of the American and Hispanic culture with the skills I learned in respecting different cultures as an outsider.
2. What Is Your Favourite Tourist Place In The World?
When I travel, I prefer local travel. I try to go off the beaten path.. But tourist destinations are popular for a reason, and I am no stranger to visiting as a tourist. My favorite tourist place is probably Disney World, the most touristy you can get. But it’s a worldwide organization that really runs well to show tourists a good time! My goal is to visit Disney World/Disneyland in every worldwide location.
3. What Kind of Tour Do You Prefer?
I prefer the kind of tour that isn’t on any list, not rated by TripAdvisor, and that doesn’t exist unless you create it. I took a tour in Colombia from a local and asked for a little extra; I wanted to see what his home village looked like, meet some of his friends, and see what life is really like, not what the big corporations want tourists to see. It was one of the most memorable tours I’ve ever experienced.
4. Your Scariest Travel Experience?
The only time I ever cried while traveling was when my rental car got broken into while parked in what I thought was a secure parking garage. I left it in the garage while I explored the city for 3 days and when I went to leave, I saw the windows broken and the contents of my suitcases (which were many because I was in the process of moving abroad) strewn across the front and back seat. I lost a lot that day, and I realized that travel might not be as safe as I expected. It could have been much worse, and I was able to take my rose colored glasses off and put on my realistic shades. I didn’t let the situation stop me from traveling though, I just used it as a learning experience to be a smarter traveler in the future.
5. What Was Your Most Rewarding Trip?
My most rewarding trip would be my entire year living abroad. I lived in Spain and taught English in a local high school. The students were excited to see a new, unfamiliar face who didn’t look like them and didn’t speak like them. The parents were grateful to have a native English speaker teaching their kids English, a skill that could make them a lot of money in the touristy towns of SPain. The teachers were happy to have someone to practice their English with. And the people I became friends with were happy to help me live in the town like a local: grocery shopping, going to the gym, and ordering food at a restaurant (Spanish-style). I was able to give kids a reason to learn English and relate why it was important in a way they might not have thought about before. Seeing the kids grow from their fears, take more risks, and finally speak English freely and without fear by the end of the school year was so incredibly rewarding. It’s something everyone should have the experience to do!
6. What Are You Favourite Modes Of Transport?
I like unique and unusual. So my favorite mode of transportation that I’ve ever tried is by CAMEL! Camels won’t get you very far very fast, but they can take you places no other mode of transportation can take you, they make for an exciting experience, and you’ll get some great pictures. I also enjoy planes because you get a view of the world that you can’t see from anywhere else. Finally, I prefer cars because travel by car is unstructured and spontaneous. I’ve had some of my best adventures getting lost and finding amazing new things!
7. Would You Visit India? Would You Like To Say Something About India?
I would love to visit India and it is on my bucket list! My Spanish neighbor lived for 6 months in Spain and 6 months in India. Her pictures looked beautiful. She lives in one of India’s tourist cities. I would love to dive deep into the Indian culture, speak to the locals, and see the wonders India has to offer. I believe the Indian culture, based on religions, is to work hard, be kind to all, and help others when asked or needed. First and foremost, I want to meet the local people and speak with them, but I would also love to see some of the famous sights in India!
8. Which Top 3 Places You Want To Visit In The World?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just 3 places, there are so many places I haven’t been yet! I guess I would have to say Machu PIcchu is high on my list. I love history, beauty, and nature. I want to visit Machu PIcchu before it becomes even more popular with tourists. I would also like to visit Antarctica because I want to wake up to whales, seals, and penguins. Finally, I would like to see the Serengeti in Africa. I’m an animal lover and to see animals in their natural habitat would be incredible to me. If I had a lucky fourth place to visit, I would chose New Zealand because of so many different climates and land formations all so close to each other!
9. What Are Your Plans For The Future?
My plan for the future is to continue to travel part time while working full time. Every chance I get I hope to travel somewhere new, whether in my own backyard or across the world. I want to visit every country in the world! I travel with the hope of inspiring others to travel, see new things, and understand other cultures. I hope that, with more travel, more people will start understanding each other and people will be less afraid of what they don’t know. Eventually, I hope that by traveling, understanding, and getting out of your comfort zone, wars might decrease and people might dislike each other a little bit less. I hope to inspire people to travel and create more peace among all.
10. What Message Would You Like To Give Us?
To add to my answer for Question #9, I know religion and politics are sensitive subjects to speak about and I am always cautious about having an opinion around others, and speaking about it. In my current school in America, I had three young students come visit me one day. One was a Hindu girl from Bangladesh. One was a Muslim girl from Bangladesh. And one was a Catholic girl from Mexico. For 40 minutes, we sat in a circle and had a very matter-of-fact, opinion-less conversation about each of their religions, cultures, and heritage. They talked about what was appropriate in each of their cultures and religions; why they celebrate certain holidays and what they mean; why their parents were strict with them on certain topics; and what was expected of them according to their culture. It was the most real, calm, and informative conversation about a controversial topic I’ve ever been a part of. This is why I want people to inspire everyone to travel. I want people to be able to speak freely and not feel like they will be insulted or attacked. I want people to understand each other and want to learn from each other. I want people to get along and respect each other, no matter their differences. I think travel can be the bridge that creates peace among everyone.

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