Since I started kindergarten in 2003, a lot has changed in the New Haven School District. Both the elementary and high schools have acquired new principals. In 2010, we got a new gym floor. Since I started high school in 2012, we have gone 1 to 1 with chromebooks and we have installed a new track. Many teachers have come and many have gone.
Not a lot has stayed constant. Each year has been a little different, but one thing has always stayed the same: Randy Nadler.
Famous globetrotter Randy Nadler visited New Haven High School on November 30, 2015 for his annual cultural presentation. Although Nadler did not go on a trip this past summer, he gave a presentation on a previous trip he’d taken to Italy.
To many, Nadler has the dream job. Each school year, Nadler visits schools throughout Missouri to give cultural presentations on the places he travels to during the summer. Nadler is a backpacker, often staying in small tents instead of hotels. He has been all over the world, from the Pyramids in Egypt to the Great Wall of China.
“It’s impossible to choose a favorite place,” Nadler says. “You just can’t compare places to each other.”
Nadler has been traveling and giving presentations for 44 years. He attended the University of Central Missouri and earned a degree in biology. Traveling and speaking in schools has been Nadler’s job his entire life.
“I worked for a retired science teacher in Kansas who assigned me to countries. Back then we did presentations with slides, which was the PowerPoint of today. Our first trip was to the Amazon rainforest,” Nadler says. “Before that, the biggest trip my family had taken was to Colorado and the Lake of the Ozarks. I don’t think I’d ever even been on a plane before.”
Nadler now chooses where he goes. He wants his presentations to be educational, so he tries to choose countries that are taught in schools. “Kids are offered so much today on the internet that it is important for me to show them things they might not have otherwise seen,” Nadler says.
Since he finances his trips, he also admits that he is sometimes selfish with his choices. “I want to go somewhere I’ll enjoy.”
Nadler says that although he’s enjoyed every country he’s visited, he’s never really had the urge to stay. “If things got really bad over here, I have countries I wouldn’t mind living in. But I have family here. Although we moan a lot about America, we really do have a great country.”
He is quick to add that he has cried before upon departure. “You meet so many people when you travel, and you know that you probably won’t ever see them again in your life,” Nadler says. He told me about a friend he met while traveling in New Zealand two years ago.
Henri, a 22 year old from Germany, was backpacking around New Zealand, just like Nadler. Although there was a marked age difference, they had a connection. Nadler was traveling in a van at the time and offered Henri a ride. “If you want to hang out, you have a free ride with me,” Nadler told Henri.
Henri stayed with Nadler for the rest of the trip. The next year, Nadler visited Henri again in Germany.
In his 44 years of travel, Nadler has been all over the world. From Asia to Egypt to Europe, he has seen it all. Aside from one small altercation in Italy where he was almost pick-pocketed, Nadler has never had any realm issues abroad. “I’ve been very lucky,” Nadler says.
Next year, he is considering visiting Greece. “They have a broken economy right now, so they want tourists,” Nadler says.
We’ll see you next year, Randy Nadler!