The world can hide amazing things, finding them is half the fun.
Dr. Al Pleysier is one of those few that revels in new places and adventures. Originally from Holland, Pleysier moved to America when he was about 7 years old. But he was never quite sure where life would take him.
“When I was in 6th grade, there was the Soviet Union,” he said. “My geography teacher would lecture on communism and the Soviet Union, and I remember sitting in class and thinking that I would never go – it’s impossible.”
Several years after starting at Piedmont College, Pleysier was asked to participate in an organization called People to People. This organization was meant to connect different people from different cultures around the world in order to de-alienate the foreigners and improve relations between the two cultures. Pleysier was invited to Russia along with about 30 other professors.
“Of course, I thought back to sixth grade when I thought that this would never happen,” he said. “But they do.”
Pleysier met people in that program that he still works with today.
Since then, Pleysier has taken many trips to Russia and other countries for numerous reasons. He has taken trips to Egypt with groups of students in order to learn and appreciate all that another country can offer.
“We had two very close friends that were Muslims, and they would take us everywhere,” he said. “They would take us places that tourists couldn’t go, to climb pyramids.”
Giving others access to these experiences is something Pleysier holds dear. “I remember one student who was in his 50s and he was with us, and we were going to go climb at night. The moon was out and the stars were gorgeous, and he climbed all the way to the top. This was the second night we were there and he said, ‘Dr. Pleysier you can take me home, this has been worth it.’ ”
Pleysier now plans to go to Vietnam on a bicycle tour and is looking forward to do exactly what he has done in the past: meet people, make memories and explore a new world.