If you could see the world through Jorge Escobar’s eyes, he’d take you to faraway places like Cartagena, Tokyo and Cairo. He’d even give you a tour of Bangkok, Thailand where he currently lives.
Although legally blind, Jorge could lead you to many places.
“When I was in my 20s I’d throw three darts at a map, see where they landed, and then book my flight,” said Escobar, who originally earned his associates in Travel and Tourism from Johnson & Whales University in 1995. “So many of my relatives traveled all over the world – I’d always hear about where they went and what they did and eventually, I followed in their footsteps,” he said.
Originally from Wethersfield, CT, Escobar always loved to travel. However, it wasn’t until he connected with a political science teacher at Bangkok University International College when he realized his real passion: Teaching.
“I dreamed of being a teacher from the time I was a little boy. But I always wondered how I’d do it if I couldn’t easily read the textbooks or see the students,” he said. After building confidence in a volunteer program through the University teaching English to Thai university students, Escobar pursued a TESL certificate to begin his much-anticipated career.
“Teaching was just in me. I was always a coach. I was always there to help someone. It’s just natural for me,” he said. A native Spanish speaker, Escobar understands the challenges students face when learning the English language. “It takes a lot of time and a lot of practice. I know how it feels – I can really relate to my students,” added Escobar.
Maybe it’s because he has to work at studying as they do. To complete his Empire State College assignments Escobar uses a 17 inch computer with an “auto bump up” feature to magnify font sizes. He also has a magnifying glass, which he uses to read hundreds of college textbook pages each week, word-by-word. “It isn’t easy. It gives me a huge headache. But I get it done,” he said. And this is evidenced by his transcript, as Escobar has nearly completed all the coursework in his Educational Studies program, where he built a concentration in Educational Psychology.
What’s next for Jorge? Perhaps scuba diving in the Red Sea; backpacking Mount Siani; or touring Athens to visit ancient Greek ruins, as all are on his top-trip list.
“Adventure travel doesn’t have to mean bungee jumping off the Acropolis or skiing down the Great Pyramid. Some of the best adventures can be had roaming around a city and leaving options open to travel to destinations you had not planned,” said Escobar, pictured here with his wife, Nampeung, who offers this simple approach to vacation and relaxation. No wonder he is so successful…It’s very similar to his outlook on life.