Educator profile

Taking a page from Tim’s “just go” mentality

“Lots of people say they’re going to travel,” says Group Leader Tim R. “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 17 other student tours and helped as an experienced Group Leader on 15 training tours. On top of that, he’s traveled on two EF Go Ahead tours (expertly crafted guided trips for travelers of all ages), and seven EF tours specifically designed for Group Leaders and their guests. Talk about being a jet-setter!

Tim’s student tours have always focused on taking his literature students to the United Kingdom. However, he uses his Global Rewards Points to travel all over the world on the Group leader trips mentioned above, 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.

I promise anyone who goes on one of these Group Leader trips will be so much better at leading their student tour.

“So far, I’ve been on seven Global Rewards trips in places like Scandinavia, New Zealand, and Portugal. They’re always a blast,” he says. “Plus, I promise anyone who goes on one of these Group Leader trips 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. So far, he’s led a whopping 736 students abroad. However, it’s impossible to say how many people have had the opportunity to see the world thanks to the support he’s given other teachers.

Tim’s passion for helping others explore 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 20th and 21st student tours already in the books, plus another two Go Ahead tours planned for 2022 and 2023, Tim is absolutely proving to his students that once you make the leap to travel on one trip, you’ll be hooked for life.

Editor’s note (2022): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.

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Sarah McLaughlin

Sarah is a senior copywriter at EF Education First. When she isn’t writing, you can find her browsing through bookshops, trying to cook, or going to improv class (which is basically just an excuse for adults to play make-believe).