“Travel teaches how to see”

African Proverb

My name is Natalie Foster, an appropriate name for an Australian I have been told. I work as a teacher at an International School in Lausanne, Switzerland, where I teach Economics and Humanities to 14- 18-year-old students. I moved here in July 2012. Previously I have lived and worked in Tanzania, Vietnam, Borneo (Brunei), England and Canada. I have supposedly been heading back to Australia for the past 5 years, but somehow I keep finding distractions. You could say I am going home the long way round, or perhaps my sense of direction is not as finely tuned as my curiosity to explore. My family and friends don’t believe me when I say this, but I do actually call Sydney home.

I teach, because I enjoy learning. This perhaps also explains my love affair with the great outdoors; there really is no better classroom. For me the great buzz of travel is in the encounters I have, connecting and talking with people from different backgrounds. I love travelling because of the people I meet and the stories they have to tell!

On the road well-travelled some things never change, children are always cute, taxi drivers will try to earn an extra buck if you let them, the best conversations occur around food, the most entertaining when you are not afraid to make a fool of yourself (and then laugh at the result), and the most memorable when you are with people you can learn from, even if you don’t speak the same language. I would go so far as to say that the most inspiring take place over a good cup of coffee, but that would be my addiction to caffeine talking. There really is no such thing as travelling on your own; there are friends you are yet to meet in the most unlikely of places. You can always break the ice with a smile, the people who say the least often have the best stories to tell, and if you treat people with respect they will almost always do the same in return.

Markets and sunsets! These are my favourite things to see when I travel, even though they can be found in any location and both have been around for as long as anyone can remember. That’s just it about travelling though isn’t it; even the most ordinary has the potential to be extraordinary when seen in a different light from what you are used to.


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