HOW TO GO
What: “Memoires of a Travelholic,” a talk and slide show by Dr. Carole Kuhn. Book signing to follow.
When: 2 p.m. Aug. 29
Where: Theobald Hall at Berkeley Square, 100 Berkeley Drive, Hamilton
More info: Call 513-856-8600
To purchase the book: “Memoirs of a Travelholic” is available in softcover at the Berkeley Square Gift Shop. Hardcover, softcover and ebook available online at www.authorhouse.com.
She’s been forced to hitch-hike in the middle of the night in Leningrad, contracted dysentery in India, had her pockets picked in Amsterdam, locked in a prison tower in Italy and held for ransom by pygmies in Africa, but Carole Kuhn never lost her love for travel.
Now, the life-long Hamilton resident and former language teacher in the Fairfield schools has documented her 45 trips abroad in “Memoires of a Travelholic.”
Kuhn said that when she was young, she wanted to be a model and moved to Chicago and for three months got a lot of work.
She soon realized, however, that modeling was for the young and so came back to Hamilton to go to college. She got her degree in education from the University of Cincinnati and a number of advanced degrees and certifications from Miami University. She was certified to teach English, social studies, French, Russian and Spanish, and also had certifications to be a supervisor, principal and even superintendent.
“I had more certifications than I knew what to do with, but I could never get promoted,” she said. “But that’s OK because I probably wouldn’t have liked being a superintendent anyway. I liked teaching foreign languages.”
She retired in 1992 as the head of the foreign language department for Fairfield City Schools.
She began her career teaching English and French at the now-defunct Reily High School, and two years transferred to Fairfield, which at the time was a county district.
While at Reily, she worked part-time at Richard’s Pizza in the evenings to raise money for her first trip overseas, which she took in 1958, starting with an eight-day voyage on the M.S. Italia from New York to Plymouth, England.
The highlight of that first trip, she said, was the trip to the Isle of Capri and the Blue Grotto, an undersea cave that is difficult to get to.
“I have returned to Italy several times, but the timing and the weather were never right to return to the Blue Grotto,” she said.
But she was bitten by the travel bug, and would eventually take 44 more overseas trips, including a memorable 70-day around-the-world trip in 1967 and more than 25 trips to Paris, France, her favorite city.
One of the early trips to Paris, in 1963, was to study at the famed Sorbonne through a Temple University study-abroad program.
“I still feel that there is more than 40 percent of the city that I do not know, but (during the Sorbonne trip) my love affair with this city was only beginning,” she said. “When I returned to the U.S., I would change my teaching direction from English to French.”
Some 15 of her journeys were bicycle trips in Europe, and on several occasions she would take some of her foreign language students, parents and other friends with her.
She said the trick to traveling with students is to “keep them off-balance” and not stay in any city or hotel for more than two days.
“If you stay too long, they learn the ropes and will figure out how to get over on you,” she said.