When I think about this time of year, I realize that many folks use this time to travel home for the holidays or go on a trip. Some individuals will seek out Christmas traditions that connect us to our family, our past, and our hopes for the future.  Others will use this time to explore, and seek out new adventures.  And still others will use this time to rejuvenate, reflect, and take a needed break from the daily grind of school and work (which might include looking for warmer weather or a change in scenery). Regardless of your plans for the holidays, our finalists in this year’s Public Speaking Contest shared their thoughts regarding the importance of travel and adventure.  Here is just a snapshot of what they said:

Life is a journey, maybe even a story.  The ability to travel is to meet people; to influence a life; to make a change; to see things through a different set of lenses.

Everything you do is an adventure, mistakes included.  So constantly ask yourself, are you really living or just merely existing? Are you putting up barriers or tearing them down?

Creating memories of your travels will keep you connected to those people you meet along the way and the collection of special moments, new moments and defining moments will help define the person you want to be.

The lessons learned from my grandmother reminded me that although we may have been born in one country, the ability to travel and experience other cultures allows you to see the whole world as one place.

We need to embrace uncertainty and make that part of the adventure of our life.  We can’t always control what life brings us and, sometimes, we just need to wait and be open to possibilities.

The more we travel and learn about the world around us, the more our differences fade away.

Not every adventure requires you to travel to another place.  All it requires is for you to have an imagination and freely act out your dreams.

If you decide to go exploring, you will bring back amazing stories, and you will prove to yourself that by just taking a single step you can embark on a journey of a lifetime.

Every adventure has a beginning.  The ability to be grounded in that place called “home” allows you to explore, push past your comfort level knowing that although your experiences may shape you as a person, your core values will remain constant. 

And finally,

Let the world become a part of you. Let the Eiffel Tower stand tall in your heart, the African savanna live in the depths of your soul, the citadel of Machu Picchu fuel your imagination, the Pyramids of Giza appear in your dreams.  Travel adds to your knowledge, to your passion, to your memories, to yourself.

Public speaking is an invaluable skill that we work very hard on developing at St. Margaret’s.  The ability to present your thoughts and ideas in a meaningful way that engages others is a powerful and useful life skill.  These finalists were able to shape their message using tone, voice modulation, presence, and body language to capture the hearts of the audience and the judges.  It was incredible to see how these two terms – travel and adventure – conjured a myriad of life lessons, from the importance of being open, to the promise of new beginnings, to being reminded that human connection is the bond that keeps us striving for something better.

On behalf of the staff at St. Margaret’s, safe journeys over the holidays to those students who will be travelling home for the winter break.  For those of you seeking out new experiences, we hope you will come back with lots of memories, stories, and new knowledge that you will share with us. And finally, for those of you remaining closer to home, we wish you a restful holiday and look forward to  welcoming you all back in the New Year ready for a new adventure full of possibilities.

To all our SMS families, enjoy this time to reconnect with friends and loved ones, and to fully appreciate the most precious of gifts – the children in your lives.

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give; to roam the roads of lands remote; to travel is to live. And to live is to be a drop of water in the sea.”
 Hans Christian Andersen

“Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell not stuff to show.”
  Author unknown


A special thank you to Kirsten Livingston who coordinated the classroom rounds, semi-finals, the finals, and was able to convince some of our new and retired teachers to be judges – not an enviable task given this year’s talent!

Note: The Head’s Tales will also be enjoying a rest but will be back “in circulation” in January 2017.