Hi, Bonjour, Guten, Hola, and so on! I am Penny McClure, and I would love to be your travel guide! I live in Lake Wylie, SC with my husband, Charles. About ten minutes after retiring from a career in education that I loved, I decided that “traditional retirement” was not for me. There were many things that I loved about teaching, primarily, the students, field trips, getting a “taste” of other cultures, and new experiences and adventures! My mother used to say that upon hearing the word “go,” I (even as a toddler) would scramble as quickly as possible to the family vehicle ready to hit the road.
That desire to be on the move has never changed. Pat Conroy, a favorite writer of mine, said “Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quiet chamber. The mind can never break off from the journey.” Places I have been and people I have met formulate my thoughts and conversations. I cannot imagine a life without travel. Every place I have been and the people I have met there have become a part of me.
I have had many extraordinary experiences while traveling with students. Several in the top ten are: hearing a 6th grader visiting the Harvard campus while on a whale-watching trip to Boston exclaim, “I’m going to come here as a student one day!” and she did (now a correspondent with ABC news); hearing a student vow to return to the Congressional Office Building in Washington as a politician while attending a Presidential Inauguration, and he did (now a congressional aide with higher aspirations); watching a student observe a photography session at the Art Institute of Savannah say, “I want to do that!”, and she does (now a film editor for The Walking Dead); watching a student in awe of a Broadway production and knowing the desire in her heart to perform on stage, and she does (currently with a New York dance troupe). These are just a few student goals that I have been fortunate to witness in their inception during class trips. One joy of being a travel guide is experiencing the joy and dreams that travel incubates in students and adults, alike.
I will arrange and reserve tour stops, be the mediator between travelers and those in charge of visited venues, get cash allotments, make special accommodations when needed, problem-solve issues that arise, listen to your concerns and comments, and watch your enthusiasm with each new adventure and sight!
I take with me a lightweight travel bag, almost empty, to carry home treasures (I love to shop!), my cell phone with a flashlight app, a travel pillow and blankie, disposable rain gear, comfy shoes, and about twice as much cash as I think I need! I take as few articles of clothing as possible and try to match up accessories to one basic color.