The Scattering


#sol17- Day 20/31- March 20, 2017

There is a phenomenon at international schools where the vast majority of people scatter once break starts (truth be told, some students usually disappear a day or more early and may return late as well, but we teachers generally keep to the calendared dates).

There are a few kinds of travelers- the end to end travelers- those who leave as soon as school ends and return the night before school starts again are the most hard core. There are those who travel for most of the break, and then there are the cushioners, those who like to have a few days “at home” on either end to cushion the back to school frenzy.

We travel so much because we are not “home”, so we have no extended family we need to catch up with. We know that our time in our present location is not unlimited, so we travel so that we will leave with no travel regrets.

This morning my taxi picked me up at 4:15 AM to take me to the airport. Mr. Y. is an unofficial school driver- the one many call to take them on the long rides to or from the airport. He knows lots about the general goings on at school and was “casually” asking questions about various people. He then commented that this break not as many people as usual left on Friday or Saturday. After taking me to the airport he had 3 or 4 more teachers to take later in the day. To me this kind of cushioning makes sense- nobody wants to go back to work feeling exhausted from traveling, even those who are trying to squeeze in as much travel as possible.

My Facebook feed shows that many of my colleagues are settled in their holiday spot. Those that are not traveling have friends/family visiting or have family situations that make travel more challenging (newborns, a spouse who does not have time off, etc.)

One week from today the last of the scattered will return to Kuala Lumpur to gather again in this place we call home for now. As for me, I have thoroughly enjoyed my first day in Luang Prabang and look forward to sleeping past 3:30 tomorrow in my “home” for the next 4 days.

7 thoughts on “The Scattering

  1. aggiekesler

    I know the feeling! I’m an international educator as well, and I travel every break…trying to see as much of this world as possible! Our Spring break is in 3 weeks, and I am looking forward to traveling. I’m the pack it all in type, not the cushioning type. Enjoy Luang Prabang! I have yet to go, but I’ve heard from friends that it’s amazing. 🙂

  2. lindabaie

    Wishing you a wonderful travel trip with some cushioning in your new place! I love hearing about the way things work where you are, Erika!

  3. Anne Donnelly

    I think I’m definitely the “cushioning” kind of traveller. I like to see as much as possible, but I don’t want to be exhausted and unable to enjoy! I hope you have a lovely, relaxing, and enriching break!


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