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An Exciting Announcement!


Hello all!


Just a little update to let you know that I, Traveling Sam, will be upgrading from a blog to a full, proper website sometime over the summer. There will be lots of content added regularly from my travels near and far as well other fun things that I’m keeping under wraps for now.


I want you to be a part of this website! The personal stories that are shared with me when I visit will make the new website a unique place for kids to learn about individuals from near and far in real time. Please take a moment to print me out and take me with you to school, to work, on your next vacation, anywhere! I want to see what life is like for you in multiple situations, not just when you are doing something special. I highly recommend using cardstock and please, be careful with the hair when you’re cutting me out!


Please send your photos and stories to as you have them and you will get photo and content credit for anything that is used on the site. Please put your location in all caps when you send an email so it will be properly sorted. I look forward to visiting you soon!




Traveling Sam

New Year Traditions

Happy New Year!

I would like to share some of the photos I received about New Year traditions and I would like to thank those who shared despite not having been visited by me yet.  Remember, you can contribute even if I am not visiting you, I want to hear from everyone!

The first comes from a teacher friend who uses the extra time away from work to watch the entire Harry Potter series from start to finish, usually over 2 days.


It’s done over the holiday break, after Christmas and before returning to work, not necessarily on New Year’s Eve.

Next is from another family that stays comfy and safe at home, ringing in the New Year with Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper on TV (in America).

NYE Traditions2

Oh look, I did sneak into this one! I must have been extra sleepy because I do not remember being there.

Moving on to Baltimore where shellfish is a must on New Year’s Eve.



And in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvanian Dutch / German tradition of pork and sauerkraut on New Year’s Day for prosperity in the New Year

NYE Traditions3

How did these food traditions start? I asked myself this question and found this website that not only has the meaning behind the food choices but recipes to make some New Year cookies for yourself. I wish you all a prosperous new year and I hope that I will get to visit you soon!


Traveling Sam

Happy Thanksgiving!


What is your Thanksgiving tradition? If you live outside the U.S., do you have a similar holiday? When do you celebrate it? What do you eat?

For my USA peeps…

Do you have a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings or something completely different? Do you have other traditions on this day?

Tweet me your Thanksgiving traditions with pictures and your location and I’ll RT you to share!

Here in Jacksonville, North Carolina, the non-food tradition is for the grandchildren to draw a Thanksgiving picture. We are still awaiting a couple but here is one from this year while we’re waiting. Fun fact, the artist of this picture also drew ME!

What Makes Your Town Special?

This is the first assignment for the rest of September! Remember, there is some music up for grabs for my one of the submissions! Your choices of artists for this month are: The Cardboard Kids, Edward Hartline (who has a new EP out on iTunes!) and Jonathan Blake Salazar. Good luck!

Assignment: What makes your town special?

What brings the tourists in or what are the things that only the locals know about? Is it a coastal town known for amazing seafood? A college town with a great football or basketball team? What about the landscape, does your town have great beaches or a beautiful mountainside? Traveling Sam wants to visit the places that make your town a great place to visit, time to start taking some pictures and send them to me at The deadline for this contest is September 30th, good luck!

To get you inspired I will be posting letters from Traveling Sam about what makes the town I live in special as an example along with some activities and recipes! Who knows, maybe your pictures will inspire some activities for you to try with your kids!

Here in Winchester, Virginia we take pride in our apples. We kick everything off in May when the apple trees are first starting to bloom. Winchester is home to the Apple Blossom Festival which is held the first weekend of May. There are parades, a carnival, live music, vendors, and so much more! You can learn more about the tradition here:

Here are a few pictures from my family’s very first Apple Blossom as new Virginians:

Abriana Apple Blossom

My daughter, Abriana, in front of the funnel cake stand before the Firemen’s Parade. The parade includes tons of unique fire trucks from cities in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. Local middle and high school bands also march in the parade between the fire trucks. Below is my son marching with his middle school band in the firemen’s parade.

Tommy Apple Blossom

There is also a large carnival with rides and typical carnival games and food going on for the entire week of Apple Blossom. Here’s my oldest trying to shoot out the star for a prize:

Javier Apple Blossom

Of course, the festival is all about the beautiful apple blossoms that are all over town in May:

Apple Blossom

Traveling Sam has been visiting all of the large, decorative apples around Winchester. He’ll have some things to say tomorrow so keep an eye out for a post from him!

Until tomorrow,


Print Your Own Traveling Sam!

Hello Everyone!

Well, it’s been a crazy year and what I was hoping to accomplish the way I was hoping to accomplish it is not happening so I’m going back to the drawing board. Some of you already have a Traveling Sam to take pictures with, if you do not, feel free to right click and save him from this post. I print directly on card stock paper, but I also know that’s a teacher thing for me to have that kind of paper handy! To make him more durable you could glue him to something stronger like poster board and cut him out. While I love Sam Bradley’s hair, I have come to hate having to cut around his mini me’s curls but please do so he looks the same in all the pictures!

It doesn’t matter where you are, I want to see him in your city! At least once a month I will give an assignment so that we can see what a specific thing looks like in different areas of the world. I will do a blog with your pictures and there is a little prize in it for my favorite picture. I will be gifting an EP or full CD from a choice of three artists that you may or may not have heard of. My hope is the winners will take the time to look up all three artists to make their decision of which one they’d like to add to their collection. The choices will change monthly. In the event I cannot decide I will put the top contenders in a hat and choose!

I will give another music prize to one lucky Traveling Sam host once a month for those who take the time to take Traveling Sam to other places and share their experiences and pictures with me. Everyone who sends in pictures during any calendar month will be put into a drawing for that month for some music as a thank you!

Meanwhile I’ll be writing lesson plans for activities attached to each country that I’ll be using in my classroom and possibly as a volunteer for some local children’s programs. The ones that have been tried with actual children I will post here for other parents and/or educators to use. That reminds me, I encourage you all to include your own kids if you have them or for teachers to take him on field trips! Feel free to send him home with students and share this website with families as it will soon include activities about different countries. I did a lot of activities with my class a couple years ago so there are many things that have already been through the kid test that I’ll be posting in the coming weeks!

So here he is! Get printing and start taking pictures! I’ll be blogging about the first specific assignment before the end of the weekend, but remember, you can send pictures at any time from around your town, from anywhere you are vacationing, or if you take a day trip to a big city, send them my way please!



Patsy Cline


I hope everyone is having a great Christmas season. I’m here in Winchester, Virginia awaiting many adventures with many of you all over the world. Winchester seems like a quiet yet busy little town that is a great mix of modern chain stores and amazing family owned local businesses, and a rich history.

It is where legendary country music star Patsy Cline lived for many years. She moved no less than 10 times in the first 16 years of her life around the state of Virginia before settling down in her mother’s hometown of Winchester. She lived here until age 21 when she married her first husband. Back then this house was considered on “the wrong side of the tracks” and it was many years after her death before the city of Winchester to begin to recognize her as a local star because of this. Here I am in front of the house she always came back to:


This is the historical post that stands in front of the home:


The backyard:


We did tour the home, however photos were not allowed. We learned that Virginia Patterson Hensley (Patsy Cline) was born in Winchester in 1932 to her mother Hilda who was only 16 years old. They moved back to Winchester when Hilda separated from Sam Hensley, Patsy’s father.


There is also an exhibit currently at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley that is beautifully done. Pictures were not allowed in most of the exhibit, however you can see parts of it on the museum’s website. The exhibit runs through July 6th. Here are some photos we were able to take from around the exhibit:

My host’s daughter wrote a “Postcard to Patsy”



You could pretend to be her as well in this “Becoming Patsy Cline” booth:


You know I couldn’t resist taking a turn as well:




As a teenager she attended John Handley High School. We took a quick visit to the beautiful campus, here you see the football field which is open to the public for walking:


Here is the front of the school; there are a lot of stairs around the entire campus!


Check out the name of the theatre:


Patsy, who was known as “Ginny” at the time, quit school to help her mother care for her younger siblings. She worked at Gaunt’s Drug Store which still stands today. It was closed but we took a few pictures outside.



We also visited a venue that she would play at called Granny’s. My host remembers this from previous talks about Patsy with locals, but has yet to find the evidence that it is truly a place she played. Here I am in front of the venue’s sign as they were repairing the building when we stopped by:


We learned through our tour of Patsy Cline’s Winchester that she could not read music which made things very difficult for bands who wanted to know what key to play in. She learned to keep a notebook with the keys for each song for when she was asked. She played the piano and sang by ear.

Sadly, Patsy died at age 31 (March 5, 1963) in a private plane crash when returning to Nashville from a benefit concert in Kansas City, Missouri. We stopped by this cemetery to pay our respects:


Here is her grave stone:


You will notice it bares her legal name and that her husband at the time is still living in Nashville as well as her stage name, Patsy Cline. You can learn more about Patsy from this website:

I enjoyed learning about this musical legend, I hope you take the time to learn more by following the attached links.

Until next time,

Traveling Sam