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Stranger in a Strange Land Newsletter: September 2009

This is the latest edition of the newsletter I’ve been e-mailing to people since my travel started in 2002:

Dear Readers,

This is just a short newsletter mainly announcing my next tour especially for homeschooling/unschooling teens and young adults: Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan Summer 2010!

You can read all about it on my blog post and see photos of the kind of things we’ll see on the tour: http://eligerzon.com/blog/2009/09/worldschool-travel-tour-japan-summer-2010/

And in five short weeks six young adult unschoolers and I will fly out to LA and then on to Japan! And indeed it was five homeschoolers last time I wrote but one more signed up fairly last minute so the tour is now full.

The tour includes four girls and two guys from all over the U.S. who are really excited about seeing Japan for their first time. I couldn’t have asked for anything better for this tour.

And people are already contacting me about the summer 2010 Japan trip: some wanted to go on a tour this year but couldn’t and some totally new people are contacting me too.

I’ve also gotten a couple questions about families wanting to travel together on a Worldschool Travel Tour. I think this sounds wonderful. And it could be a group of a few child and parent pairs or possibly even one whole family of four or five.

Let me know if you’re interested in this. I’ll think about different options myself. Going to Japan this spring 2010 to see the lovely cherry blossoms is even a possibility….

But for the tours especially for young adults I really want to give them enough time to work and save up money for it. That’s why I’m announcing the summer 2010 trip now: I hope even families who don’t have a lot of money will realize they can afford to travel.

And I’ve found earning my own money to be a very empowering learning experience. I’m available for ideas if people want to contact me about it and I wrote a bunch of practical tips on my blog awhile ago: http://eligerzon.com/blog/2009/05/earning-your-own-money-for-travel/

As far as my adventures here I was at the Northeast Unschooling Conference in Wakefield, Massachusetts in August. There were a few hundred unschooling kids, parents, and some grandparents having fun, getting support, and exploring ideas.

I did a talk called “Untraditional Adult Paths” with a grown unschooler blogger I really like named Idzie (her blog: http://yes-i-can-write.blogspot.com/). Hanging out with some cool people and having some great conversations was definitely the best part.

At my talk parents shared some very interesting stories of their own entrepreneurship. I talked about my experiences: not going to college, traveling, running my own landscaping business, and now leading travel tours. There were quite a few young adult unschoolers there commenting and listening to the possibilities that are out there beyond college and working for someone else in an office.

ALSO, I sold my first book! It’s a compilation of all my Stranger in a Strange Land Newsletters 2002-2008 and writings on my ideas and experiences with homeschooling/unschooling.

It’s actually just a photo copied packet with a black and white photo on the front but it felt really good to share it with people and they seem to like it! Here’s my post about it: http://eligerzon.com/blog/2009/08/worldschool-stories-selling-my-book-at-the-northeast-unschooling-conference/

One person actually contacted me on Twitter about getting a copy by mail a few days ago. If anyone else wants a copy send me your postal address and just $12 by PayPal (eli@eligerzon.com) and I can send it to you.

I’m so happy to have all the hotels and guesthouses all set up for the trip. We’ll stay one night in a hotel right next LAX airport then fly out in the morning. There we’ll stay in hostel in Tokyo called Sakura Hotel: it’s in the center of the city but right next to a big park.

Then most of the trip we’ll stay in our own apartment in Kyoto. Again it’s in the center of the city but in an old neighborhood, Gojo, with a lot of trees (that will be crimson in color when we’re there!) and near a river.

When I lived in Osaka in 2004 one of the difficult things was being in contact with so few trees and parks so you can see I’m excited about having that on this trip!

It’s going to be amazing sharing tako yaki (friend octopus dumplings), real sushi, the view from Tokyo Tower, crazy arcades, beautiful temples in Kyoto, and all sorts of things with these six people. And I know they are going to learn so much on the trip.

I’ll try to make posts on my blog while we travel so you can check that out or subscribe to the RSS feed: http://eligerzon.com/blog/feed/

I also started a fan page on Facebook for Worldschool Travel Tours where I’ll post photos and info about current and upcoming tours: Worldschool Travel Tours Facebook fan page.

I do seem to be using this newsletter more for announcements and even, (yes, it’s true) to try to sell you things dear reader! The truth is I’ve been using most of my creativity and writing energy on my blog. I’m loving it actually. I’m reaching lots of new readers and writing about new things. And some very interesting discussions have started in the comments section in response to some of my posts.

I’m not sure exactly about the future of this newsletter.  I plan to write something really reflecting on what this newsletter has meant to me and how I’ll use it in the future. But I totally understand if you’d prefer to unsubscribe anytime.

Regardless, thank you for reading this newsletter and thank you to those of you have been reading it for years: over seven years I’ve been writing this thing!

And I hope you’re all enjoying the new season!

Take care,

Yours,

Eli Gerzon

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