What Becoming Students Taught Us About Teaching—and Ourselves

The wanderers of the Peace Love Car flip their perspective and become beginners, learning that it’s OK to fail sometimes

Follow the Peace Love Car’s adventures all over North America! 


The hardest part about being a traveling teacher considered an expert in her field is flipping your perspective to that of a student and learning something that really scares you. Sam and I are constantly surrounded by elite athletes who are the very best in their fields. Yoga, slacklining, acroyoga, running, adventure racing, skiing, kayaking, climbing—you name it, we probably know a lot of the people pushing the limits of the sport. Sometimes people forget that we are humans who happen to be good at a few things, and they expect us to perform at a master level in all fields.

It has taken us a while to discover the beauty of the phrase “Jack of All Trade, Master of None.” One day, one of our professional snowboarding friends mentioned that most people forget the second part of that statement.

“Which is?” I replied while hanging upside-down learning to “Skin the Cat.”

“The best part!” he said. “ ‘But often times better than a master of one.’ Now bend those elbows and finish with a pull up.”

A large part of last year’s Road to Wanderlust Tour was dedicated to teaching, but also to learning. We taught around 150 workshops to over 2,600 students. In the time in between we were pushing our own limits too—learning new skills and putting ourselves in our students’ shoes. Some of the things we learned were instantly gratifying, like indoor skydiving. Others pushed us to our physical and mental limits, like the flying trapeze or skiing.

It was in those moments that we were completely outside our comfort zones that we experienced the greatest learning opportunities. As an individual, those moments taught me how I deal with the stress of learning something that scares me. Do I become frustrated? Or do I see the challenge and face it straight on? Turns out, I do both!

As a teacher, my experiences with learning something new brought a lot of light to my role as a leader. A lot of the things we do can seem very easy, but that’s just because we have done it hundreds of times. To our students, what we ask them to do can be scary and difficult. It is the role of a good teacher to provide the tools to empower students to bridge the gap that fear creates.

The encouraging words of Sam and Ben, plus their patience and affection, were the tools I needed while learning to ski. They taught me with such love and care that at one point I looked up and felt like a child learning a lesson from a loving parent. I never felt rushed or forced or that I needed to perform better than a beginner should. I was given permission to be a student, to learn without expectations, and to experiment with success and failure. I felt safe, because I was allowed to fail. It is in moments of failure that we make the biggest discoveries—and let’s just say that, in learning to ski, I discovered a lot.

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About the Road to Wanderlust

The Road to Wanderlust Journals were first published by Wanderlust Festival when Sam and Raquel set out to travel to all 50 states in less than one year. Driving to all Continental States in their 1988 Ford Festiva.

Music Credits:
Across The Land Of Miracles by Carinthia
Trixy by General Benson
Changes In The Weather by Barefoot Truth

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