headshot of Doug Grier
Doug Grier

I’ve always had a bit of wanderlust, but at some point – I don’t remember exactly when – I decided that I needed to travel more. Off I went to Mexico, Alaska, Canada, London, Greece, France, Switzerland. I hiked the entire Oregon coast with just a backpack, and spent three weeks photographing ghost towns in New Mexico and sleeping on the ground - wherever a comfortable spot could be found. I backpacked in the Rockies, Tetons and Cascades and visited almost every National Park. I’ve been to every state but two and every Canadian province. 

I’ve been blessed to be able to experience so many different people, places and cultures. In addition to accumulating countless stories, I also came back from all of these places with a new perspective and expanded horizons. I learned the truth behind the quote from St. Augustine — “The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” 

Whether you want to experience just one new page or a whole new chapter, Waubonsee’s Trips and Tours program makes it easy for you. We offer both day and extended trips - all designed to educate, enlighten and entertain! 

If you want to stay relatively close to home, our day trip lineup will appeal to you. Each trip includes transportation to and from the destination, with pick-up and drop-off at the Sugar Grove Campus or the Aurora Wal-Mart on Galena Boulevard. 

One particular day trip highlight this fall promises to be our “Meet Milwaukee: Houses of Worship and the Public Market” trip on Wednesday, Sept. 17. You’ll explore the other "city by the lake" through the unique perspective of five of Milwaukee's most revered houses of worship, while also enjoying lunch at a tea shop and taking in a cathedral concert. On Nov. 12, we’ll travel to Chicago to watch the popular “Million Dollar Quartet” musical; plus, our group will get a special behind-the-scenes tour before the show starts! 

If you want to put a little distance between yourself and the Land of Lincoln, check out our extended tour offerings, which are a combination of tours we develop and those of several well-respected tour companies. This fall, we’re giving you a chance to travel to New York, California or Ireland. Look up to the sky in awe at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, or experience the sights and sounds of the season during our Branson Ozark Christmas trip.  

While an organized group tour is a convenient way to travel and a great way to see a lot of sites in a short time, some of you may prefer to do things your own way and make your own adventures, and that’s why we’re happy to be bringing travel expert Rick Steves to campus on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Known for his travel show on PBS, Steves will share great advice for the more “do-it-yourself” traveler, including stretching your travel dollar, avoiding crowds, packing smart, and eating and sleeping well. 

Summer may be winding down, but the world is out there, waiting to be explored, all year long. Let us be your guide. Visit www.waubonsee.edu/trips for more information. Happy traveling!  

Doug Grier is the Dean for Community Education at Waubonsee. 

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