One reason (read: excuse) for the pathetic lack of consistency in my upkeep of this little blog project over the past year or so has been my other (or more aptly, actual) job. I spend much of my time pretending to be an upstanding member of society – one who learns young men their words and such!
While this may make it challenging to maintain a regular stream of travel stories and reflections, it does afford me certain opportunities that would otherwise elude me. On one end of the spectrum, there are opportunities to join camps to remote areas of Western Australia that – without a camp to join – would otherwise remain unexplored, or even unknown. At the other end, there is the rare opportunity to take a school tour much further afield. Through my day job, I’ve been able to visit Vietnam, Thailand, Cocos Islands, and most recently, The United States of America.
As a scholar, or at least while posing as such, I took a small bunch of students to an academic competition at Yale’s New Haven campus in Connecticut. The trip took us to New York where I was able to walk the streets of one of the more amazing built environments I’ve ever seen, but the educational context of the trip also offered a slightly different opportunity. We took a few days away from the competition and made a quick stop at a few of the more world renowned educational institutions in the vicinity. All told, we visited, Princeton, MIT, Harvard, and Yale.
Princeton in New Jersey was an excellent outing from New York by bus. The campus blended old and new seamlessly and we wandered unhindered around the grounds making stops at the Rowing facility and the impressive Tigers’ College football stadium. I am grieved to report that we missed the derby between Yale and Princeton by a day!
Yale, as the centre of our trip and the location of the competition for which we crossed the globe was a sight to behold. The campus is inexorably entwined in the town of New Haven, which exudes the air of scholarship. Unwilling to bring out my tweed jacket too soon, I made sure to stop in at the hockey arena to catch the Bulldogs win on the ice, however, just walking around the town in the November chill was amazing.
MIT and Harvard in Boston was a very different experience, although this was less about the amazing institutions themselves (which were equally spectacular) and more about the links between Boston and one of my favoured video games – Fallout 4. Our trip to Boston was surreal for me, having sunk more hours than I care to admit into the game, and it was the first time I’ve experienced such a multimedia travel experience.
All said, having to work for a living can be tough, but the likelihood of hearing too many complaints from me could not be lower while I’m sent about the globe in the name of education!