Get Out and See the World!

Sra. Flaherty Recommends that Students Travel

Sra. Flaherty makes friends with an elephant during one of her many trips abroad, this one to Thailand.


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Señora Flaherty, a Spanish teacher at the Abington Middle School, always makes sure to talk about her travels to her seventh and eighth grade classes.  “Travel changes you in a profound way and I am both proud and grateful to share the experience with many Abington students.”

In the last four years she has traveled on some of the high school educational trips to places like Iceland, Costa Rica, and soon will travel to Peru in April of 2020. Joining her on these trips have been fellow Abington teachers Mrs. Daisy (Health and Wellness), Mrs. Casey (Director of Health and Wellness), and Mr. DiRado (Art Teacher and Department Head).

Of those trips, Sra. Flaherty said, “It was a great experience to travel with students and see the world through their eyes.” The first trip she went on with the school was to Iceland a few years ago when Mrs. Daisy asked her to join the trip. For the 2018 Costa Rica trip last year, she says she “planned the trip just as I would if I were taking my family–I wanted Abington students to see, do and experience all they could in their week there–we took cooking lessons, snorkeled, zip-lined, visited a local school, went white-water rafting, and, of course, spoke Spanish.”

Sra. Flaherty added that the students she travels with “impress me with their desire to travel, commitment to saving for the trip, acceptance of all they meet and those they travel with, and their general attitude and behavior both before, during and after the trips.”

Travel changes you in a profound way and I am both proud and grateful to share the experience with many Abington students.

— Sra. Flaherty

The first time Sra. Flaherty visited a foreign country, other than the Bahamas and Canada, was as a student in college. She went to Spain as an exchange student. Señora absolutely recommends studying abroad and “to THINK AHEAD about how to make this happen.” If you aren’t fluent in another language, countries like England, Scotland, Ireland and Australia have classes in English. Señora says, “The experience of attending school in another country is incredible–you get to meet new people, experience new cultures first-hand, and see new parts of the world.” Many Massachusetts colleges offer a study abroad experience. Be sure to inquire during a college visit. This article highlights some out of state colleges that focus on studying abroad.

Another essential part of travel is embracing the culture, and the different varieties of food. “I always make sure to try different foods wherever I go like kangaroo, crocodile, and alpaca.”  She said that “a couple of the most memorable foods were Mofongo in Puerto Rico and the pretzels in Germany.” Mofongo is a Spanish dish made of fried plantains and served mashed with salt, garlic, and oil in a wooden pilón.

In addition to school trips, Sra. Flaherty has also traveled on her own to six Spanish-speaking countries or territories: Spain, Peru, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and Puerto Rico.  Besides these, she has traveled to Asia where she explored Thailand, China and Turkey. Turkey actually lies primarily in Asia, with about 5% of it in Europe.

But her travels do not end there. When she traveled to Australia, she visited Sydney and and was able to see the Great Barrier Reef. In all, she has been to six continents, every continent except Antarctica.

In addition to being a traveler, she also lived in Germany from 2007 to 2009. While there she was able to explore a ton of Europe, including Iceland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, England, Ireland, Croatia, Greece, Luxembourg, Austria, The Czech Republic, and Switzerland.

Her favorite countries that she’s visited were Egypt, Thailand, Turkey, and China, because she “loves seeing places that have completely different cultures than what we see here.” In Egypt, she enjoyed “riding camels around the pyramids, snorkeling in the Red Sea, and taking a felucca ride down the Nile.” In Thailand, she “loved the elephants.” Sra. Flaherty said that a couple of places she wants to see are Vietnam, Singapore, Cape Town, and the beaches of France.

Next year, dozens of Abington High School students will be participating in the Global Educational Tours. Señora said “it is important to know how to save money for traveling” and “having a plan is important as well.” She recommends using for planning trips.