Yves Larocque is the founder and director of icscis and Walk the Arts program, which offers experiential learning trips for art and history. A respected teacher of drawing and painting for 25 years at the Ottowa School of Art, his conferences on art history have taken him through Canada, France, the Netherlands, Colombia and the United States.
Through his unique frame of art and history on travel, Larocque has shared his insight on travel as a learning experience.
Cheapflights: What do you always do when you travel – any routine procedures?
Yves Larocque: Always be aware! A good night sleep helps. Eat well, drink well, see well, love well. Awareness is the key.
CF: What is your travel pet peeve?
YL: Large airports – going through security, waiting, or seeing that my flight is late.
CF: What is your favorite kind of trip?
YL: Experiential ones – trips where I learn the most and experience new cultures. La culture de l’autre!
CF: Best destination you have ever been to and why?
YL: In 1987, I drove from London to Istanbul in my Citroen BX14 with my Art History book (the Janson). It was a drastic change – a mash of art, religion, culture, aromas, colors.
CF: Where in the world offers the best value for money?
YL: Developing countries.
CF: Where would you pay to stay? Is there anywhere you think offers great value and a great deal?
YL: Anywhere, as long as it’s relatively safe. Staying in large hotel is pure lost money, unless you stay and enjoy the hotel for the whole 24 hours – and someone pays for it.
CF: What is the best airport you have flown from and is there a tip to make this airport experience great?
YL: Aeroporto de Firenze in Florence, because it’s so small, and to human scale just like the Renaissance architecture. Charles de Gaulle in Paris (Terminal F) for the sheer beauty of it. Aeropuerto Internacional El Dorado in Bogota, for its friendly atmosphere.
CF: When you fly, is there a tip you can share to make the experience a great one?
YL: Buy a few good magazines beforehand, and go easy on the alcohol. I also love the window seat!
CF: What gave you the original idea to offer experiential learning trips for art and art history?
YL: I started in 1983, at the Ottowa School of Art, when I was a young instructor. I just wanted to travel for “free” and for my passion for art history. Then, everyone loved to travel with me because of my enthusiasm and that we were always doing things off the beaten path. Icscis/walkthearts was born 15 years later, after my doctoral studies.