Worldschooling is not just for kids

There is talk in some travel circles about “worldschooling” or learning from the world around you.

These lessons often involve so much more than learning a foreign language, about the intricacies of a foreign culture or how to use a foreign currency correctly. We often like to pass on helpful tips to others so they too can benefit from what we have learned.

Thus here is one example of how worldschooling is not just for kids:

How to buy chili powder in the U.S.

  1. Go to the grocery store
  2. Find spice aisle
  3. Locate bottles of chili powder
  4. Choose one to put in your basket
  5. Go to the checkout line to pay for it
  6. Go home
  7. Start cooking

How to buy chili powder in Brazil

  1. Go to the grocery store
  2. Find spice aisle
  3. Search for bottles of chili powder 
  4. Realize that you don’t know how to translate “chili powder” into Portuguese
  5. Grab smart phone (hopefully you already have a SIM card and data plan for Brazil)
  6. Use an app to translate it
  7. Realize that the app doesn’t really translate the words correctly
  8. Look again at the shelves
  9. Realize that the store probably doesn’t carry chili powder anyway (since it’s a special blend and not part of the local culture)
  10. Debate whether to cook something different that doesn’t require it
  11. Decide to use smart phone to see if there is an easy substitute for chili powder 
  12. Find a simple recipe on the Internet for chili powder that uses 5 easily obtainable ingredients (paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin and garlic powder)
  13. Use translation app to find the Portuguese word for each of these spices
  14. Search the shelves for each of the spices
  15. Locate all the spices except for garlic powder
  16. Find garlic flakes instead of garlic powder
  17. Put each of these spices in your basket
  18. Go to the register to pay for them
  19. Go home (in our case, back to our AirBnb rental apartment)
  20. Get a bowl and a spoon out
  21. Measure out all the ingredients
  22. Use a mortar and pestle to grind up the garlic flakes into powder
  23. Mix all the ingredients
  24. Pour into your empty chili powder bottle (whose factory label helpfully lists “spices” and “salt” as the ingredients)
  25. Decide to mix up enough batches of the chili powder recipe to fill the bottle (so as not to waste ingredients and to have more chili powder for next time)
  26. Clean up your mess
  27. Start cooking!

Guess how I spent my afternoon? ????


6 Responses to 'Worldschooling is not just for kids'

  1. Henry says:

    A great post for travelers and non-travelers. I would get frustrated and fix spicy soup with chili beans. HTS

    • Jennifer Sparks says:

      Thanks, Henry! Traveling often causes us to have to learn to do things that would be so easy in our home environment. It can be challenging, frustrating or exhilarating depending on the situation. Having an open mind and not being rushed can make all the difference!

  2. Bobbie staggs says:

    That was funny! I would have said to heck with it, and had scrambled eggs! You guys ARE adventurous!

    • Jennifer Sparks says:

      I am so glad that you got some giggles from it. It was intended to be funny and brighten people’s day!

  3. Kirk says:

    Yes, but what did you make with it and how did it taste?

    • Jennifer Sparks says:

      Witt made a delicious black bean chili with it and it really was amazing. I would’ve posted photos but it was so yummy that it disappeared quickly from our bowls!