Our guest blogger is Aisha Green and she’s on of the owner of Hartlyn Kids, a independent children’s book publishing company. Thank you Aisha for writing for Margs World.
The first time that I left the United States was when I was 19 years old. I was leaving the country but to make things even MORE exciting (and scary), I was going without my family and I was traveling to a Third World Country.
For a young black girl from Brooklyn who had only been as far as Kentucky and Disney World… this was a huge deal. During my sophomore year of college, I was given the opportunity to do research (at the cost of my University) in Senegal, West Africa … and … get this… they were paying for the whole thing. Even though I was terrified of going, I went and it changed my life. In one day I traveled to a different country and time zone and experienced the food, culture, language of another place. The experiences in Senegal made me feel both VERY American and VERY much like a World Citizen. It inspired me to want to learn more about the language, I brushed up on French and Wolof in anticipation of the trip, it made me want to learn more about the people, their food, their way of life. It made me appreciate my own life and the fact that people have a different set of customs and moral codes and religious beliefs. It erased stereotypes that I had and taught me to be more open-minded. The travel bug bit me.
Since that time, I have been to over 20 countries and plan to continue to add to the list. Travel is my addiction. Some people love the latest clothes and shoes and bags, but I like to save money for a great trip. It is no wonder that my current entrepreneurial project is focused on travel. My company, Hartlyn Kids, is an independent children’s book publishing company that I founded with my friend, Christine Mills. We are both deeply concerned with exposing our own children to different cultures and realize that it is not always easy to get on a plane and go. Instead we provide children’s books about the day in the life of a child in a different country. To remain authentic, each book is written by an author that is local to the country.
The experiences I have during travel are so dear to me that I cannot imagine others not enjoying them, no matter what their financial situation might be. Hartlyn Kids tries to bring the world of travel by including passport stickers at the back of each book to be placed in toy passports that we sell. With our books, children can travel the globe… one book at a time. We hope that in reading our books, we are chiseling away at bigotry and prejudice and instead, providing the building blocks for awareness and tolerance. I love travel… and when you love something, you should try to share it with the world!
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain
About our guest blogger:
Aisha Greene is a lawyer, wife, mother, Brooklynite, blogger, traveler who just started Hartlyn Kids (www.HartlynKids.com) an independent children’s book publishing business with her pal of 10 years. You can find her blog at www.hartlynkids.blogspot.com