Talking travel moments with teacher Annie T.

Group Leader coffee break

Talking travel moments big and small, comfort zones, and bucket lists with Annie T.

As an EF Group Leader, you’re part of a community of educators dedicated to connecting students with the world around them. As awesome people (with a shared awesome mission) it only makes sense for you to connect with one another, too. So, whether you’re sipping a cappuccino in Italy, a hot cafezinho in Brazil, or a to-go cup o’ Joe in the USA, use this well-deserved coffee break as a chance to get to know one of your fellow leaders even better and learn about their favorite travel moments. 

This month, we chatted with Annie T., a middle school reading and physical education teacher from Colorado who describes her travel style as minimalistic and budgeted.


3 quick sips from your first tour, Literature in England

Best thing you ate:

A savory meat pie in Oxford.

Favorite person you met:

Our Tour Director, Gavin.

Top memorable activity:

Taking the Tube in London.

Travel moments from Annie's trip to England

Top big travel moment from tour?

Stepping into Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre—that has been on my bucket list for a long time. I’ve seen several videos of productions performed on that stage, but to physically be wrapped in the magic of that space gave me goosebumps. I admittedly shed some happy tears with a fellow Group Leader from the other school we traveled with. It was such a special, shared moment.


Top small travel moment from tour?

In York, while walking to meet up with the group at the bus, I passed by a cute tea shop with a table outside full of beautiful china with unfinished crêpes and cakes from customers who had just left. I captured a picture and when I returned to the bus and shared it with my daughter, she exclaimed that that was where she and her group had lunch, and it was actually their table setting! When asked what their favorite small moment was from tour, it was having lunch at this tea shop.


How did your training tour help prepare you for your student tour?

First of all, thank you EF for the gift of a training tour!!! The way it was set up to mimic a student tour eased my mind and instilled some confidence for traveling with students. The morning classroom sessions were very informative on the inner workings of EF and provided a more personal and trusted connection to the company.

Travel moments in England

Three ways travel has helped you grow as an educator?

1. Gaining perspective of students outside the classroom on a more personal level.

2. Experiencing travel through students’ eyes, which I can circle back to in future lessons.

3. Bringing awareness to how important it is to get out of my own comfort zone. I have facilitated and led trips in the backcountry with students for 20 years, but to take them to another country and through the cities humbled me.

Your favorite tour planning advice for first-time Group Leaders?

Include Global Travel Protection and at least one optional excursion in the initial price presented to maximize your itinerary.

Have rooming groups made ahead of time for each night and switch roomies up at different hotels to mix up the dynamics.

Ensure everyone sets up international phone plans ahead of time and create a group text (on Whatsapp or Snapchat) to communicate information throughout the tour.

Travel moments from Annie's trip to London

Any student feedback from your tour?

Yes! Here are some things they said—they’re exactly what I had hoped for:

It was good to get out of my comfort zone and go places I probably wouldn’t have with my family.


Traveling has made me more confident in new situations.

It was a chance to get to know new people I wouldn’t otherwise hang out with at home.


Traveling opened my eyes to new history, architecture, and stories.

Has planning this tour helped fuel your passion for teaching in any way?

There is no question that teaching has been tough the last few years. But traveling is a great way to open the walls of the classroom and provide students with more opportunities to learn and grow, and that’s something to feel good about and keep teachers going (and growing), themselves.


Since this is a coffee break, where in the world have you had the best coffee?

The best coffee I’ve had is brewed with magic by my very own two teen baristas and enjoyed with them on our back porch—a little slice of heaven in Aspen, Colorado.

Create travel moments in London

Feeling energized after your Group Leader coffee break?

Take that energy to-go on one of our educational adventures.

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Maddie Poulin

Maddie is a copywriter at EF. She loves dissecting movies and TV shows, making playlists for every mood, staying active, and dreaming about her next trip.