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Globetrotting teacher shares experiences

PV+business+teacher+Mr.+Matt+Schulien+plays+basketball+%28or+dances%3F%29+with+a+schoolboy+in+Belize.+Schulien+is+known+for+traveling+the+world+in+his+own+unique+way.+Click+on+any+of+the+buttons+on+the+map+below+to+see+a+picture+from+Schulien%27s+excursions+in+that+area.
PV business teacher Mr. Matt Schulien plays basketball (or dances?) with a schoolboy in Belize. Schulien is known for traveling the world in his own unique way. Click on any of the buttons on the map below to see a picture from Schulien's excursions in that area.

PV business teacher Mr. Matt Schulien plays basketball (or dances?) with a schoolboy in Belize. Schulien is known for traveling the world in his own unique way. Click on any of the buttons on the map below to see a picture from Schulien's excursions in that area.

All pictures courtesy of Mr. Matt Schulien

All pictures courtesy of Mr. Matt Schulien

PV business teacher Mr. Matt Schulien plays basketball (or dances?) with a schoolboy in Belize. Schulien is known for traveling the world in his own unique way. Click on any of the buttons on the map below to see a picture from Schulien's excursions in that area.

Lauren Martinez, Staff Writer

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Imagine you’re in a foreign country so obscure that most people couldn’t find it on a map, a place where language, customs, and culture are as confusing as every twist and turn in the landscape. Add to this not knowing what you will eat or where you will sleep, let alone what new places you’re going to see.

As incredible and crazy as it may sound, that experience is typical of a summer day of one of our own here in PV.

From going to Iceland to catching a crowded bus in Nicaragua, Mr. Matt Schulien (or Schuls, as he is known to the students) has been daring to see more, do more, and experience more since his first trip as a senior in college.

He first caught the travel bug studying abroad in China, which he wanted to use as a way to go to the Olympics. But as with all fateful experiences, he got something completely different.

“It opened my eyes to different cultures,” Schulien said.

“When I first went to China, all my classmates and I, we rented horses and went horse back riding up to the Great Wall of China. We camped out on one of the unrestored parts of the wall. We brought basic stuff up there, just a little food and a ton of fireworks. We lit a bunch of fireworks up. But I got bit by a scorpion, and I couldn’t do anything about it because we were about five miles away from any village. It was one of the longest nights of my life,” he said.

In spite of all the crowds and craze, his fascination in cultures led to his settling there to teach English.

Schulien is selective about the places he visits for adventure. He loves to explore different cultures and experience how other people live. He specifically takes interest in Asia and finds the variety of cultures there to be intriguing.

Schulien also explained that he doesn’t typically plan ahead, which makes the trip fun and spontaneous when visiting an underdeveloped location.

“I’m definitely more into places that are under the radar,” he said, which explains why he chose one of his latest quests: Myanmar.

Myanmar (also known as Burma) is a country in Asia, bordered by India, Thailand, Bangladesh, China, and Laos. It is home to about 132 different ethnic groups, making the experience so unique and exhilarating for Schulien.

“I did a 14 hour bus ride in Myanmar through monsoon rains, and it was scary. We were going through this overpass to get to a particular city, and you couldn’t see anything at night. The bus driver was going 45 mph around these bends, and it felt like 100 mph,” he said.

Spending seventeen days in Myanmar this summer was a life changing experience for Schulien, as he said, “People are so poor there, but they wanted to learn English and offered us things when they had basically nothing.”

Traveling as Schulien does can be rewarding and full of great memories that are hard to experience alone.

“I always travel with someone so that we are able to share an experience,” Schulien said.

In fact, two years ago Schulien took Mr. Bill Rawson with him on a trip to Nicaragua, where they got a taste of life in a unique country of Central America and shared a particular cringe-worthy experience.

“We were sleeping in a remote bungalow in Nicaragua with a tarantula the size of my hand above us, and we couldn’t get to it. And it was just staring at me the entire night. I didn’t really sleep that well. We couldn’t go anywhere. We were literally in the middle of nowhere, no power anywhere on that particular part of the island,” said Schulien.

The list of destinations Schulien has visited goes on and on, including places like Vietnam, Iceland, Norway, and Cambodia. Each place is rich with experiences, sights, and teachings unique to their cultures, people, histories, and traditions.

With such a unique traveling style come few rules. But Schulien was able to put together some easy tips for a carefree vacation.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Globetrotting teacher shares experiences”

  1. Kathryn Hinkle on October 31st, 2015 3:40 pm

    So glad you have been able to see so much of the world and know it is not all like Pequannock. When traveling you find people are just like you but different because they have different problems to solve. I always love the beautiful eyes of people wherever I go.
    Hope you can keep gong. Love. ? ? ?

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Pascack Valley High School's Official News Site: Where there's smoke, there's fire.
Globetrotting teacher shares experiences