A friend of mine from work, Greg, sent me this video: http://vimeo.com/59121018 by Dan Clark
It is about a family of four, with two children under 5, that set out from Jasper and paddle a canoe all the way to Tuktoyaktuk on the Northern coast of Canada on the Athabasca and Mackenzie River systems in 100 days. The introduction of the video starts with how busy our lives can be and how time can fly by without you noticing it. Leah and I always say the days are long and the years are short when you have young children. Seems to me that Dan Clark also feels that way and combined his canoeing hobby with family time to create a memory that will last forever in the minds of his children and his wife. The 14 minute video focuses on the highlights of the trip but he does comment that there were trying times too.
For me, the motivation for our trip comes from a similar place, combining a desire to see more of the planet than 4 weeks of vacation per year will allow and living 24/7 with my family while they are young and we are healthy. That said my hat is definitively off to Dan and Alice who travel with no rooms, a tent and what fits in a canoe for an extended period.
The kids are the stars of the show with parents being supporting characters, and the play that you see shows just how little kids (and adults) need in terms of possessions to be fulfilled. Is a life of adventuring whether by paddle or by sail less comfortable, yes. Is it less certain, yes. Is it less fulfilling, no. Maybe being less certain and less comfortable also makes it more fulfilling. Maybe the hard times associated with adventuring makes the accomplishments more sweet and the memories more cherished. Maybe North Americans have it all wrong, chasing after comfort and leisure instead of challenging ourselves and finding and pushing out our own limits.
Maybe this trip will allow me to find some of the answers to these questions…
Thanks Greg for the video