Sra. Crystal Dory: Spanish Teacher and World Traveler


Sienna Callaway, Staff Writer, Journalism I

“The world is a lovely place,” according to Sra. Crystal Dory, NDA’s Spanish teacher and world traveler.

She has been to 38 countries, and her favorite one is Cambodia. 

Dory took Spanish in middle and high school. During her senior year at Brown Deer High School, in a suburb of Milwaukee, she took Spanish V and French I. 

Then, in college, at UW Milwaukee, she studied both Spanish and Portuguese. 

In the fall of her junior year in college she studied abroad in Spain. 

“I highly recommend studying abroad or at least seeing the world a bit,” said Dory, who believes her love for travel was instilled by her parents. 

“I just got the travel bug growing up,” she said. 

 From week-long trips to studying abroad for eight months, she has been to many places.

“For me, it is not a vacation. It is a challenge to see as much as I can in the time we’re there,” said the teacher who generally travels with her husband Christian Dory, who is also a teacher at NDA.

“Always be ready for new challenges, be patient and live in the moment,” she advised potential travelers.

 “Never overpack, be open to ‘hard,’ and remember your way is not the only way,” she said.  “Always learn please, thank you and hello in the native language. It will go a long way.”

A very special moment in her travels was when she and her husband were walking in Indonesia in the middle of multiple street markets. The native Muslims were about to eat after a long day of fasting.  Suddenly the people started to pray,  the bells rang and they were all going to eat big meals.

“I felt so safe and loved there. Everyone was included, and this woman came over to us and asked to take a picture of us,” said Dory, who appreciated their caring, their attention.

“Places that are most foreign to me are where I feel most warmly welcomed,” she explained.

Ironically, Dory has been thinking about “hanging up my travel boots.”

This is because, she explained, COVID changed a lot.  Now, she feels many people go on trips for pictures to post on Instagram.

Dory herself wants to feel the culture that is in the community but says it is hard when so many people are there to just take pictures to post.

“I am there for the experience, not the picture,” she said.