The Adventures of Mr. Tyler

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By now, everyone should know who Mr. Tyler is around campus: a chicken owner and one of ACP’s Social Studies teacher. However, not everyone may know that Mr. Tyler an avid traveler. He has ventured into numerous areas across the globe. This year alone Mr. Tyler has visited Prague, Germany, and Austin, Texas. Luckily, I was able to interview Mr. Tyler regarding his passion for travel and some of his most interesting travel experiences.

Mr. Tyler’s Motto:

“A big part of travel is how you grow in the process,” remarked Mr. Tyler when asked about his best trip.

“The most effective travel I’ve been on was going to Moscow, Russia. I was on my own, and it was terrifying! Just a horrifying process… I had to jump through all these different hoops just to get into the country, and when I got there it was just a nightmare,” he emphasized.

Imagine yourself in Mr. Tyler’s shoes; keep in mind that Mr. Tyler does not know the language of the city or how Moscow is mapped out. Not knowing the language and not knowing where to go would be terrifying, huh? For Mr. Tyler, it gets even worse.

“I was dropped off in the middle of the city after getting ripped off by a taxi, so I had no money. I was wearing Birkenstocks, so I had huge blisters all over my feet, and I was carrying all of my luggage. The first thing I think of was ‘well, I got to get some money’ so I go over to the ATM. When I get to the ATM,  it says I have no money, I have zero dollars.”

“I felt that I had grown so much from that one moment. I was put in a position where I had to think, ‘okay, I’m in the middle of Moscow, I don’t know where to go, I have all of my stuff, I have no money…what do I do?’ So, that was a whole growing experience for me,” Mr. Tyler concluded.

Moral of the story: don’t travel to Moscow in Birkenstocks and double check to make sure you have money.

Plane Rides

When it comes to traveling to distant cities, long plane rides are expected. Mr. Tyler would agree that long flights are always difficult, but while the time span of a flight is unavoidable, someone as tall as Mr. Tyler has to take another aspect into account while booking a flight.

“Of course, I’m never going to fly first class. That is way too much money. When booking a flight, you can either get 30 inches to 34 inches of legroom. It is really great when I am able to get 34 inches of leg room, but sometimes I get stuck with just 30 inches, which is only slightly longer than my femur. I physically can’t fit in the seat when there are only 30 inches, and that is just the worst,” he stated.

Prague

This year, Mr. Tyler ventured to Prague. For the most part, Mr. Tyler explained, he stayed with a friend who lived there and explored all that there was to see. You may be wondering, what is Prague like?

“Prague is a pretty interesting city since it was so completely devastated by the Soviet blockade that their economy never recovered. It’s like a European city in that it’s very clean and it’s very modern, but it feels like an underdeveloped country due to its poverty and the prices of things. Everything is fairly cheap… The land feels very lawless and everyone does just whatever they want. I almost didn’t come back from Prague. I was so happy there.”

On his way back from Prague, Mr. Tyler decided to group all of his travel into one day. He traveled a total of 36 hours in a single day, including both flights and car travel. What a trip!

Differences

When asked if he had noticed any big differences between the United States and Europe, Mr. Tyler explained that the differences are actually quite subtle.

“A lot of the differences are so little that they don’t really matter. For instance, instead of TJ Maxx, it’s TK Maxx over there. With people, they are generally much more to themselves. You never see people coming up and talking to one another on the streets. One thing that is important to know though is that people are scared to travel because they believe that they are going to have so much culture shock. What is more shocking is how small the differences are, but really it is not all that different.”

Why He Travels

“Half the reason I travel is for the photography. I generally take a lot of film photography, usually of nature or of interesting people I see on the streets… I also usually hike. In Ireland, I hiked the blue stacks, which are a series of mountain ranges up in the north part of Ireland. That is where a lot of my family is from the blue stacks. That is my hometown actually.”

Bonus Story

After the interview, Mr. Tyler shared with me quite a funny story and one that is completely relatable if you have ever traveled out of the country. One time, Mr. Tyler decided to dye his hair red before he took his visa photo. He explained that eventually, he did not want to keep the red hair, so he dyed it back to normal. Unfortunately for him, he had to dye it back to red soon afterward when he was told that he could fly because his hair color had to match the color in his photo. Of course, he redyed it.

 

 

 

Mr. Tyler believes that if you want to and are able to travel, go ahead and make it happen because the experience is worthwhile! Mr. Tyler said he is currently planning a trip to Tanzania where he plans to hike Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. I hope the adventure goes well. Good luck, Mr. Tyler!

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