“Lots of people say they’re going to travel,” says Group Leader Tim E. “But then they never pull the trigger.” That’s why he encourages students, fellow teachers, and even friends to commit to traveling. “Once you make that first trip, you’re going to be hooked.”
He certainly knows what he’s talking about: Ever since leading his students on his first tour in 2002, he’s led 15 other student tours, traveled on six Teacher Convention Tours and one Go Ahead tour, and helped out on 15 training tours. (Talk about impressive!)
Tim always takes his literature students to the United Kingdom. However, he uses his Global Rewards Points to travel all over the world on Teacher Convention Tours, where he can connect and collaborate with other like-minded educators. Through these experiences, he’s developed strong friendships with people from all around the world, and gained tips on how he can better lead his own student tours.
“So far, I’ve been to six Conventions in places like Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Portugal, and I’m going to Argentina and Uruguay next. They’re always a blast,” he says. “Plus, I promise anyone who goes on a Convention will be so much better at leading their student tour because you get to meet and learn from so many teachers from all around the world who each bring their own unique ideas.”
Back home, Tim returns the favor by sharing advice with other potential Group Leaders. His goal is to get as many teachers as possible to lead tours, so in turn, as many students as possible can see the world. After this year, he will have led over 530 students abroad. However, it’s impossible to say how many people have had the opportunity to travel due to the support he’s given other teachers.
His passion for helping others travel also extends beyond the school system. After all, he knows it’s an experience that changes everyone’s lives. One time, a friend explained that one of his biggest regrets was not traveling to Scotland with his dad before he passed away. They had talked about the trip for ages—and had even traced their heritage back to a Scottish castle—but they never ended up going.
“I pulled out my phone and realized I had enough Global Points to cover flights to Scotland,” Tim says. “I told my friend, ‘Screw it, we’re going,’ and we went and we did everything he and his dad would have done.”
Whether Tim’s helping his friends, his students, or fellow teachers travel, Tim is always ready for the next adventure. “I just want my kids to get out of their shell,” he explains. “It’s okay if they come back to our small town and settle down, there’s nothing wrong with that. But they need to go out and see things, experience things.” With his 16th student tour and seventh Convention already in the books, Tim is proving to his students that once you make the leap to travel on your first trip, you’ll be hooked for life.