Mr. Mabbott: not your average math teacher


Mr. Mabbott’s famous “Big Blue Bus” covered in stickers from sponsors and places he’s travelled to

Katie Rokes

If you had the chance to travel anywhere in the world right now, would you take the opportunity on the spot or would you be too scared? If you went, where would you go? Mr. Mabbott is a math teacher here at Ipswich High School; he is also a world traveler. In 2009 when he got laid off from his construction job, Mr. Mabbott decided that rather than being sad and feeling sorry for himself, that this was the perfect opportunity for him to do something he’d always dreamt of: travelling.

Mr. Mabbott’s travel bug started when he biked across the United States, from California to Florida, in the fall of 2009. Since then, every few years, Mr. Mabbott and his family go on big trips. In 2011 Mr. Mabbott, his wife Andrea, and a few of their friends drove from London to Mongolia. They did this as a fundraising event, which made the trip even more meaningful. During this trip Mr. Mabbott recalls the big blue bus breaking down and the group having to hitchhike in Mongolia. It was weird but an amazing experience, 48 hours of walking down dirt roads to the capital and seeing such a different culture than that of his own.

Some of the other big trips Mr. Mabbott has been on are, when he biked from Paris to Istanbul in 2013; after that in 2015, he drove north to south of Europe and finished in Venice. In 2017 he drove around the United States and Canada on a 10,000 mile road trip with his wife and daughter. In total he has traveled to over 60 countries.  Some of his favorites are Germany, Italy, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Costa Rica, France, and Serbia. “So far Germany would have to be my favorite place we have visited; the work life balance there is cool. The culture and society there just makes sense to me.”

In the future Mr. Mabbott hopes to travel to Chile because his wife is originally from there and he wants to take his children to learn about their heritage. One of the reasons he loves traveling is because he can be self sufficient, either riding his bike or traveling in his van, that has become known as “the Big Blue Bus”.  He doesn’t rely much on the normal travel luxuries like resorts and lots of suitcases. The big blue bus is a handicap van that has become famous in the high school parking lot because of all the stickers on it from sponsors and places Mr. Mabbott has traveled to. 

Travelling is all about exploring and learning new things. Mr. Mabbott believes that one of the most important lessons that he’s learned while traveling is that, “People are inherently good. People are suspicious of people who aren’t like them, but they shouldn’t be.” He has also learned that when traveling to a new place “Knowing a few words in the language of the place you visit, and respecting their culture goes a long way”. Mr. Mabbott is also a math teacher at Ipswich High School. He became a school teacher because he believes he was a natural born leader. Whether it be guiding his friends on an adventure or being a Scottish dance teacher, he loves to get up in front of people. His wife, Andrea, is also a teacher. 

Mr. Mabbott is one of the coolest teachers at Ipswich High School. Talking to him and learning about who he is outside of school was interesting. As a hopeful future traveler, learning his tips and tricks and hearing his stories makes me excited to become a world traveler like him.