Adventure is worthwhile in itself
In my last post I wrote about a few years in our life that could have been better. I don’t want anyone to think that it was all bad, there were good moments also, but a lot of the time we just tried to survive. And we did survive …
Once 21st March 2008 had passed (and our Discovery of geocaching) we use geocaching to transform our car trips from something I had to do just to keep my son happy to something that we both wanted to do. This in turn made it all much easier for me to keep my son in a good mood. Once all the easily accessible geocaches close to our home was logged we started to plan for the harder once that involved some light hiking to be done and this was something new for us, as we had never before walked any long distances with my son, and I wasn’t sure what to expect if he got tired or just decided he didn’t want to go any further. So our everyday adventures began; not only did we learn that he could walk long distances, he even liked it, and as long as I planned for the walks and made sure I had some motivational treats with me, we never had any problems. At this moment in time we were out almost every day and went on long trips at the weekends. I noticed that the physical activity made him sleep better and for longer, and his sleeping habits changed from 4-5 hours a night to 6-8 hours which made a lot of difference for us all. I also learned not to decide on beforehand what my son can and can’t do. As Amelia Earhart said, ‘Adventure is worthwhile in itself’, as every experience is an enabler, a key to new adventures.
I guess some who reads this shakes their heads thinking that our walks in the woods isn’t adventures and in part they are right. Our adventures isn’t what most people counts as adventure but for us it is right on the edge of what we have tried before, it teaches us about ourselves and our capabilities just as it teaches “real adventurers” so I’ll insist it is our everyday adventures.
We continued our adventures and got further and further from home until we reached a point where we no longer could return home for lunch. This was the next step that brought some anxiety for me until we tried it, and it went much better than anticipated. I think this is where I started to realize that it wasn’t my son’s disability that was stopping us, it was me as a father and my need to protect him; to lower mountains and raise canyons in his path that made it so hard try new things. We pushed on further and further from home, and one day in July 2008 I decided to try something new.
After work I packed our car with a tent, food, clothes and a toilet (!) and me and my son left home for a road trip with geocaching as the goal. We drove in total about 1800 km over seven days, slept in a tent far from camping sites, cooked by the road, and just had fun. I think this was one of the best times I’ve ever had and I also think my son enjoyed it a lot.
No more thought about what we can and can’t do. From now on we think in terms of ‘how can we do it?‘ Five years later, we have been geocaching in places that are 13 hours flight from home. Before we started, we would never have dreamed about taking our son on a plane. I guess that geocaching was the thing that motivated me to break out of my box and start to think outside it. I have thanked the people at Geocaching.com, knowing that nothing I do can ever match what they have done for us. Now, stop reading and go find what motivates you!