What is in store for the next trips, what she looks forward to, and what she has learned along the way.
What are you most looking forward to on the Italy and The Netherlands tour? The latest Montessori Tours and Travel tour will be through Italy and The Netherlands and what a tour it will be! I am really looking forward to this tour’s historic walking tour of ‘Montessori’s Rome’. With my colleague and tour partner (who is also an avid Montessori historian) leading the way, I know that we will all discover something new, something fascinating and certainly something interesting about the life Maria Montessori led in Rome. Every walking tour is different, and every time we walk the streets that Montessori walked, there is something new to learn about Montessori’s time in this beautiful city. There are so many levels to this tour, and every day has its highlights. Overall one of the more rewarding things about my tours is seeing the many ‘aha’ moments as people glean more about not only who Dr. Montessori was as a person, but also the steps she trod along her path.
In June, 2024 you will go to France and Rome. What surprises participants most about these locations? What insights do they get by being there? The upcoming ‘Montessori Experiences’ in both France and Italy in June of 2024 is a new concept which I hope will excite Montessorians from around the globe. We are offering Montessorians the chance to live together as a community in a beautiful, picturesque part of the south of France. Living in the specially prepared Montessori environment for adults, sharing daily tasks (such as food preparation, eating meals, care of the environment, care of self and caring for others) as well as extending our knowledge of Montessori concepts and principles in a safe and supportive space, is a very special opportunity. Adding to this are the many planned activities to experience French culture. We are all citizens of this world. If we approach life with curiosity and intrigue, with an open and questioning mind, experiencing many different cultures in many different locations, then I believe we can become people who are more tolerant, more ‘worldly’, less judgemental and more understanding of how people from around the world work. A week in France, living with Montessorians from far and near, followed by presentations and activities in Rome, will tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people who wish to extend their knowledge of the world whilst deepening their understanding of who Dr. Maria Montessori was and what ‘Montessori’ is.
What has been a most memorable location thus far, for you or your participants? Tours with Montessori Tours and Travel have taken Montessorians to Italy, The Netherlands, Vietnam and India. Each country has its own special memorable moments. Standing in front of the house in Kodaikanal in India, where Montessori spent time during the summer months whilst she was ‘stuck’ in India, and where she and Mario continued their work, was a wonderful experience. Kodailkanal, is a ‘Hill Station’ where you can experience cool and misty weather, rolling hills, forested areas, granite cliffs, waterfalls and beauty. Much of the content of the Primary (in Australia) / Elementary (in the USA) curriculum was inspired by what Mario and Maria saw and experienced in this special part of India. You can visit the places that caught their attention. You can see what caused the creation of certain materials. It’s a very important town in Montessori’s history, and today the legacy is strong with an active Montessori presence.
What is a location that you’ve always wanted to include in your tours? I am constantly thinking about where Montessorians might like to visit and what would a tour to that place look like. Recently I have found myself wondering what it would be like to re-enact Montessori’s ocean travel from Italy to the USA. How did she (and the many, many migrants who did a similar trip) feel, and what was she thinking as she sailed into New York, past the Statue of Liberty, after so many days of sailing on the Atlantic Ocean. I would love to sail into New York and experience this myself, and have with me like minded people who would also like this experience. I would also like to take people with me to South Africa and Kenya, to see first hand the work that is being done in different places and cultures in Africa.