Posts Tagged With: world travel

The Road to Agra

Heading southward from Delhi to Agra, we first pushed though the bustling commotion of Gurgaon, the southern most reaches of the Delhi metro. Typical Indian street scenes include countless people making their way to work and attending to their daily affairs amid the innumerable roadside stands selling snacks and wares under tangles of power lines.

On the road we encountered many Hindu pilgrims dressed in orange and carrying shoulder baskets decorated with religious symbols. These pilgrims were making their way home on foot, walking hundreds of kilometers from Haridwar in the north where they collected water from the Ganga to bring home with them.

The city streets eventually give way to rural scenes. Roaming livestock along the roadsides and throughout the villages become frequent, and cars must be careful to avoid the cattle, goats, and water buffalo, else risk the wrath of the inhabitants. Agricultural fields, workers, and field quarter made of mud and manure dot the landscape. Colorfully dressed workers dot the green of the rice fields, a enormous cash crop for India.

Drivers race ahead in the clear, even stretches of road, but these segments of the journey are punctuated by the many steel gates cars must zig-zag through, designed as speed controls. The many toll gates and numerous potholes are equally effective yet, Indian drivers press on at breakneck speeds.

Tax collection points, of which there are many, provide ample opportunity for hawkers to sell their goods. Jewelry, bottled water, illustrated tourist books, and food items are common, especially when tourists are waiting in their car while their driver goes into the office to pay the tax. At one location, a teenage boy approached our car with a basket. Fortunately, the door was locked and the window rolled up because the boy opened his basket to reveal a cobra flaring his hood! He was seeking payment for photographs of his cobra. My wife recoiled at the sight of the cobra, and the boy soon left when he understood I was not interested in paying for a photo. No sooner did he leave than we were startled by a langur on a leash which suddenly hopped up on the edge of the car door and pressed his face against the glass, fogging the window with is breath. His owner was also looking for payment for photos.

Colorfully painted trucks dot the roadway. Truck horns offer a somewhat musical phrase while various cars announce their presence or intentions with an array of sharp tones, from beeps to blasts.

Traveling the highway to Agra is tiring; the surging speeds, fast lane changes, and frequent breaking wears on you, even as a passenger. It must be exhausting for a driver. After a few hours, we welcomed a washroom break (where a tip to the attendant for paper towels is expected), and lunch. The rest-stop owners know they have a captive tourist audience headed to Agra — the charge for a cold can of Coca Cola is 160 Rupees, or about $3.00!

Eventually the roadway reaches Agra, another busy city with clogged roadways, and home to a Mughal Empire stronghold, and one of the seven wonders of the modern world — the Taj Mahal.

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Categories: Travel | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Made it!

After a loooong 26 hours of travel by planes, trains, and automobiles, I made it to Delhi! I can tell you this: driving through the streets of Delhi at 2AM to get to the B&B was definitely a cultural experience unlike any I have ever had! I will try to find the words to describe it later, but I need to try and convince my body to sleep.

Categories: Culture | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Next Stop: Frankfurt

Next stop: 5039 miles to Frankfurt! #HHTeacherTreks

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Categories: World Travel | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

India Trek by the Numbers

1.2 billion people.
18,000 travel miles
22 official languages
19 days
5 major religions
3 cities
2 rural stops
1 amazingly enriching trip.

My classes will never be the same.

Thank you, Hilton HHonors and Institute of International Education.

Categories: Overview | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Talk to Me About World Travel

 An historical map of the world by Ortelius, 1570 A.D.


An historical map of the world by Ortelius, 1570 A.D.

A wise man once said only a fool doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. I’m no fool. Traveling to India this summer on a Hilton HHonors Teacher Trek travel grant will be a completely new experience for me. There is much I do not know about world travel today.  I would welcome need the advice of savvy world travelers out there willing to share their experiences.

Nothing is too small or mundane. Got a tip? A suggestion? A funny or scary story?  I would love to hear from you! If you would like to share something with me directly, submit the form below. If the prompt inspires you to post, then link back to me here and use the  tag, “Talk to me about World Travel”  so I can find your post and share with others.

Thank you in advance for the benefit of sharing your experiences!

(Email address not required unless you want me to be able to respond to you; I will never share it.)

Categories: World Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Stop, INDIA!

Courtesy Trey Ratcliff, stuckincustoms.com

Courtesy Trey Ratcliff, stuckincustoms.com

I am absolutely thrilled to tell you I received the Teacher Trek grant!!!

I am so thankful to everyone who took the time and trouble to offer your support — this wouldn’t be possible without you! To the Hilton HHonors program and the Institute of International Education, I really appreciate this amazing opportunity to share the world with students; I intend to make the most of it.  THANK YOU!!

Categories: Proposal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Teacher Trek Awards Announced 5/16!

Courtesy Trey Ratcliff, stuckincustoms.com

Courtesy Trey Ratcliff, stuckincustoms.com

The voting phase of the Hilton HHonors Teacher Trek  travel grant competition is over.  Fifteen lucky teachers with the most public votes will have their proposals funded.  These treks will be the trip-of-a-lifetime for each teacher involved. World travel  can broaden views, break down barriers, and enrich classrooms through firsthand experiences. I am so appreciative of Hilton HHonors for supporting education generally, and cultural education specifically.  Their financial support makes these enriching experiences possible.

I am also so VERY thankful of everyone who took the time to register and to vote on my behalf. Regardless of the outcome, it has been a wonderful experience.  Equally thrilling is that being selected as a finalist by the Institute of International Education has secured a $2,500 cash award to enrich students’ experiences in my department.

Now the hard part… waiting until awards are announced May 16th!   The announcement will be made at www.hhonors.com/teachertreks

Categories: Proposal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vote to Enrich my Classroom!

Courtesy Ranvieg, Wikimedia Commons.

Courtesy Ranvieg, Wikimedia Commons.

I am a finalist for the 2013  @HHTeacherTreks travel grant and I NEED YOUR VOTE!  Fifteen teachers will have their proposals for world travel funded to enrich their classroom by @HiltonHHonors

Please support of my proposal: a case study of India to share with students and colleagues for a Human Geography course. Voting ends 4/30 and some voters will win $250 Hilton Gift Cards,

Please scroll down and vote for ScottW  here! www.tinyurl.com/VoteScottW

Scott

Categories: Proposal | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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