The other day my 19-year old daughter told me she wants to climb Mount Everest. Most people’s reaction to this is to have a chuckle.
Which was my initial reaction (my partner scoffed) but then a thought popped into my head. Something a fellow travel blogger, Caz Makepeace, said recently.
She reminded us not to let other people place their own limitations on you. They don’t know what you’re capable of, because they’re not you. And I’m not Holly.
So Holly may not seem the outdoors type, but three months backpacking across North America seems to have lifted her outdoorsy ambitions somewhat.
Her journey across North America was well researched, and high on her list of priorities were destinations such as the Canadian Rockies, Yukon and Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
A more recent trip to the Northern Territory has made her realize how much she loves hiking, and I suspect, how much she loves exploring the magnificent landscape she’s experienced in the various national parks she’s visited.
Her photos are proof of that alone. She’s a natural.
So I sent her off to the Banff Mountain Film Festival to get a taste of real adventure travel, and picked up a few brochures from World Expeditions.
If you’re not familiar with the Banff Mountain Film Festival, here’s a quick précis. Every year in Banff, documentaries are submitted for competition. The theme is the great outdoors, the wild and some extreme sports that go with that territory.
The best films, which range anywhere between 3-4 minutes long to about 40 minutes, are then toured around the world.
Anyway, now she’s hooked. Particularly obsessed with a documentary made by two Norwegian lads who hike to a remote beach north of the arctic circle, build themselves a shack from the flotsam and jetsam found on the beach and camp out for the winter.
They pass their days surfing (I know – BRRR!) and collecting the plastic rubbish that washes up on the beach on a daily basis. It’s inspiring stuff.
So while I’m not sure she’ll make it to the top of Mt Everest (especially having just watched a documentary about Edmund Hilary’s ascent) I can support her efforts and help her at least to get to the Himalayas and do a bit of hiking in the meantime.
My kids have always travelled with me – and not just to resorts and kids’ clubs. Travelling for me is about discovery and exploration. Discovering different cultures, new food sensations and meeting people.
My son has now decided he wants to live in Japan for a year when he finishes school. Exploration and discovery of a different sort to climbing mountains but discovery and enlightenment none-the-less!
So I’m quietly chuffed my kids want to carry on a path of discovery by themselves.
I know it’s cliché, but travel DOES broaden your mind, it makes people less afraid and more tolerant.
And we need more people like that.
Do your kids have travel plans?
Are they planning gap years?