Back when I was still teaching, we talked a lot about helping kids to become lifelong learners. Our students graduated from high school and headed out into a world in which it was increasingly difficult to know things, because 'things' were always changing. They would undoubtedly learn how to do one job, only to find that in a few years they'd have to learn a totally different job, or several different jobs over the course of their working life. And as teachers we knew that learning how to be a good learner is invaluable in a rapidly changing world. Invaluable for kids. And for everyone, really.
So in that vein, here's what this lifelong learner learned this year.
Never be afraid to take the rough road, or go the long way round. Most of the time it's worth it. We saw some amazing places on this back road in Argentina last winter: from Salta, to Cafayate, Cachi, and then back to Salta. Beautiful scenery, bleak vistas, surprisingly lush valleys, and not a few hair-raising twists and turns.