Teaching in India: The Best Year of Your Life?

 

BOOK REVIEW: May This Be The Best Year of Your Life

Sandra Bornstein faces choices: Will she stay in her home in Colorado alone or find a new job on another continent? Her husband’s new job requires him to live part time in India. She must make a decision that might rattle the rest of us but even after many changes in circumstances she continues on and honors her commitments to the best of her abilities. I read this book about a Jewish American International Teacher in India all in one sitting at the Park Hotel Ashram in Pondicherry (the home of Pi Patel from Life of Pi in India) sitting next to my husband. As a Jewish American Teacher myself, I felt a special relationship to Bornstein’s life and her story. I thought, “Could this be me?” What if that happened on our trip? What if I decided to teach in India instead of travel on sabbatical?

From the beginning of the story, it is clear that this journey will be full of twists, turns, potholes and the greatest of fears– surgery in an Indian hospital. Bornstein has clearly broken out of her routine, and this year abroad is definitely “the road less traveled” but I am sure it was a surprise that it included so many extra trips to the bathroom.

As Bornstein says, “One minute I felt that an Indian adventure was something to look forward to—a new challenge for the next stage of our lives. And in a blink, I’d change my mind and feel like our cat, Chloe, who likes to hide under the bed.”

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Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. She sailed the seven seas by cruise ship for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one and a quarter million views (1,250,000) on her YouTube channel. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries, named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blogs and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and has over 160,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and also ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on her own site, We Said Go Travel. From 2017 to 2020 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won three times and been a finalist fourteen times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards. She was also a finalist for four other categories including online journalist of the year, digital story for activism journalism with Ms. Magazine, educational reporting for Wharton Magazine and a broadcast lifestyle feature for KTLA TV in Los Angeles.    Niver won a 2019 NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award for one of her KTLA TV segments and was a finalist for articles published in both Ms. Magazine and Wharton Magazine. In 2018,  she was a finalist for stories in Smithsonian, PopSugar Fitness and the Saturday Evening Post. Niver won a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal and was a finalist for travel reporting. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, TODAY, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

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