Friendly Seniors

Friendly Seniors and instructor Jeannette Belliveau

The Friendly Seniors gather each Wednesday at Essex Community College outside Baltimore for personal enrichment classes.

Jeannette Belliveau had the pleasure and privilege of teaching a course entitled “Travel the Planet,” for 13 weeks from April to June.

What a special group — warm, welcoming, supportive, lively, engaged, full of wise observations (and sometimes wisecracks!).

Jeannette felt lucky to have an opportunity to “teach her book” to a class, and wants to thank Essex Community College, Leon Woolf, June Laffin and Paul Glock for the rare opportunity this class offered the writer a chance to interact with articulate and informed readers.

We had fun visiting Hawaii, China, Burma, Brazil and other places, didn’t we?!

Here are some testimonials from the Friendly Seniors about Jeannette Belliveau’s “Travel the Planet” course.


Travel the Planet with Jeannette Belliveau transported me to those “faraway places with strange-sounding names” as heard from an old song.

In relaying her experiences by conversation and slides I became one of her traveling companions to countries and places I wouldn’t have even have dreamed of going.

Jeannette has had to have had an interesting and exciting — and certainly out of the ordinary — life.

I enjoyed every moment of her class, her company as well as her book An Amateur’s Guide to the Planet.

Jeannette, is it too early to write your biography?

— Norma V. Mitchell

I have enjoyed the class you have taught for the Friendly Seniors at ECC and also the book you wrote about your travels.

The fact that your trips are far from the average trips that most of us take and that you not only show the scenery, sights and people but pass on to us your thoughtful ruminations, adds to our learning.

My husband and I don’t go the tour route when we travel, but instead study about the area, interesting places, etc. and go on our own. We know this takes a bit of time but we feel we have a small sense of the place and its culture when we come home.

We have not gone to unusual places like you have and we don’t have the sense of adventure to visit these places, but we have loved having you take us there vicariously.

— Pat Elliott
Baltimore, Md.

Our Friendly Seniors class at Essex Community College meets not just for socializing but to stretch our minds.

Jeannette Belliveau’s course has been most interesting and educational. Unlike travel brochures and agents she tells about her travels ‘the way it really is.’

Jeannette is gifted with the power of expressing her knowledge of unusual cultures in a way that shows her to be a genuine human being. Her manner of presentation is informal and delightful, her slides are beautiful and she is a fountain of boundless energy.

We look forward to her class with great pleasure.

Her book, An Amateur’s Guide to the Planet, is written in daily journal style with many personal comments about people and places not usually found in travel books.

All in all, the course and the book are fantastic.

— Verona Miller
Perry Hall, Md.

Travel the Planet is one of the most wonderful courses I have ever taken. I went to a retreat Saturday and we had to write down eight people we admired. Jeannette, you were on my list. Need I say any more?

— Shirley M. Michael
Baltimore, Md.

“I have attended classes at Essex Community College for over 10 years. “Travel the Planet” by Jeannette Belliveau has been one of the most interesting we have had. She is not only very knowledgeable but her presentation is excellent.”

— E. Evelyn Walter
Baltimore, Md.

Travel the Planet — a 13-week, approximately 15-hour adventure trip with Jeannette Belliveau was to me an exciting, fascinating journey.

With a few maps and charts and many slides taken on her trips, she took our Friendly Seniors group backpacking to faraway, exotic places. We went along as she sought out native guides and modes of travel and stayed with native people.

We were introduced to the cutlure and through her photographs experienced the natural beauty of the people, landscape and animals found around thw world. As she related her adventures, her respect for these people and their culture was evident.

She welcomed all questions and encouraged coments and stories from members of the class who had traveled, although in a very different manner, to the “destination of the day.”

Her outgoing, friendly smile and personality charmed us all and we look forward to a return visit to our group at Essex Community College.

— Esther Reback
Baltimore, Md.

Jeannette’s presentation of this information added to the total enjoyment of this interesting course. her daring in this adventure travel was fascinating. Even in my youth I would not have attempted these excursions, but I vicariously enjoyed ‘being there’ with her.

— Dolly Nemec

Baltimore, Md.

Wonderful! Jeannette opened up a wide world to me. I felt amazed at her daring and real adventures. *****-star presentation.

— Lucie Paulus

A fresh, captivating look at travel. Really explores the sociology, philosophy as well as geography of each country.

— R. Elliott