Q&A: Lillie Marshall of Around the World L

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For this week’s Girls that Go! we talked to Lillie Marshall, of Around the World L and TeachingTraveling.com.

Lillie does so many things, it’s a wonder how she even manages to sleep, let alone fit in a full-time schedule of being a teacher, a world traveler and writer. Read on to find out what Lillie Marshall has learned on the road, what it’s like to travel with high schoolers and where she’s headed for her honeymoon.

GGG: Where are you from and how were you first started traveling?

I began “exploring the world” during college, when I started traveling to Latin America each summer to take Spanish classes and volunteer. It was challenging and exciting in a way unlike anything I’d experienced, and I wanted more!

GGG: One of the most unique angles to your travels and writing is that you’re a passionate teacher. How do you think that changes your perspective while abroad?

Because my students actively read and comment on my blog (in addition to international adult readers), I’m always seeing the world through the lens of interesting, entertaining, and useful lessons to teach. For example, on a recent tour of Delphi, Greece, I was really excited to learn a bunch of scandalous facts about the Oracle of Delphi that I couldn’t wait to share with readers.

lillie marshall

GGG: Speaking of your students, you recently traveled to China with a number of students. What was the most exciting part of that experience as a teacher-traveler?

It was unbelievably enjoyable, entertaining, and inspirational to see China travel through the eyes of 42 Boston teens.

During and after our trip, I helped a bunch of the students create first person narratives of their China tour, which let you see how refreshing it is to see travel from a kid’s perspective.

Terry, for example, wrote about the CRAZY sculptures in the 798 Art Zone in Beijing, Candace gushed about becoming a celebrity in China because of her blond hair, Toan ate a bunch of spiders and scorpions in the Night Market, and Stephane mused about the contrast between living in her native Haiti and climbing the Great Wall of China.

Do check out the articles and leave comments, if you get a chance. The students get a big kick out of being cyber-famous!

GGG: What an invaluable experience for them! You naturally do a lot of learning on all your jaunts overseas; what are three of the most surprising things you’ve learned from your journeying?

Oooh man… I have written 470 articles on AroundTheWorldL.com and each has at least one new thing I learned, so I have to take a lighter interpretation of this question. Click each fact for the full story.
1. Mannequin bodies vary in a hilarious manner from country to country. (You will laugh aloud at the photo demonstration of this in the article.)
2. Your food cravings change depending on where you travel to. (A LOT.)
3. It is very rude in Ghana to open a wrapped present in front of the person who gave it to you. (I learned this the haaaard way.)

Lillie Marshall

GGG: You manage to squeeze travel into nearly all of your school breaks! How can you afford to travel so much, and do you have any tips for ladies who want to try the same?

There are a ridiculous amount of ways for educators to travel for cheap or free. My site, www.TeachingTraveling.com profiles educators who travel in order to demonstrate their funding sources so others can replicate their strategies.

Also, check out this list of 9 great international travel scholarships for teachers. Personally, my Spain and China trips this year were funded by EF Tours (in return for chaperoning the kids to Beijing), and my April teacher tour to Greece was funded by a grant I won for being a “Literacy Champion.” There are so many ways to get funded, but…

Even if you don’t get funding, it’s actually SHOCKINGLY cheap to travel if you know a few tricks. I spent less than $30 a day during my 9 month around the world travels, including all food, housing, transportation, and entertainment. Browse the article: “Why Travel Doesn’t Need to Be a Rich, White Thing” for a bunch of cheap travel tricks!

GGG: Big congrats on your upcoming wedding! This question is kind of silly, but I’m curious: for someone who has gone all over the world, was it difficult figuring out where you guys would go for your honeymoon? And what’s the final destination?

Thanks, and YES! As you may know, travel played a big and surprising part in helping us find love, and we both have a zillion places we desire to see together now, so YES, at first we freaked out about how to pick a Honeymoon destination.

Luckily, we came up with a brilliant plan: We will have a MYSTERY Honeymoon travel destination! I’m in negotiations now to get part or all of our Honeymoon sponsored in return for write-ups on my website, so we’re being very flexible about where we go. 🙂

We’re planning a big trip to India in December, so in a year with that destination, any other place is icing on the cake!

Don’t forget to check out Lillie’s sites, Around the World L and TeachingTraveling.com, and find her on Facebook and at her twitter feed.

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About Author

Sara learned the value of travel at an early age, on annual family trips in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Not to be relegated to the North American continent, she made her first trip overseas at the age of 13 and has been finding ways to travel ever since. She has explored Etruscan tombs in Italy, made hostel beds in Ireland, and hiked volcanoes in Costa Rica. Follow her travels near and far at www.saramelanie.com

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