What does Pippy Long Stocking, Uncle Traveling Matt, the Wild Thornberry’s, Swiss Family Robinson and The Blue Lagoon have to do with me?
I am a firm believer that identifying with them as a child determined the type of traveler I have become. Or, perhaps it is just my nature to be adventurous and experience driven and that’s why I identified with them. Regardless, I am ever so thankful.
Some folks book a vacation and spend two weeks lounging at their resort. They are catered to in their beach chairs never having seen the country they visited or met the people who bring it to life. That simply wouldn’t satisfy me. I love to travel but think I would prefer to stay home if that were the case. It would suffocate me!
I have lived many lifetimes in this one. I have ridden elephants, got a hickey from a sting-ray while diving in Barbados for my 30th birthday, have piloted engine-less planes, witnessed a baby giraffe drop six feet into this world and have been charged by a white rhinoceros. I have eaten rattle snakes and pythons, chased cougars and bears and swam dangerous rivers with my horse.
I enjoyed glorious solitude kayaking the Broken Group in Barkley Sound for a week alone with nothing more than a knife to shuck the raw oysters I scavenged. I have caught crayfish barehanded from the Nanaimo river, wrestled sturgeon in the Fraser and barracuda in the tropics. I have climbed breadfruit trees and roasted the harvest on the beach to the sound of the tired surf and tree frog melodies. I have delivered babies and personally cremated loved ones. I have built igloos and skinned beaver, napped in a beaver house, ate bears and looked through the eyes of a moose. Hell, I have slept inside of a moose on a hunting trip.
I’ve been lost on a mountain in the Kootenays on a cold winter night and thought I was going to die from exposure or hypothermia. I could write you a book but every experience would tell you the same thing about me. I love adventure and I find it everywhere and in every moment. I am curious, inquisitive and have an inquiring mind. Corners in a road or on a river bend entice me. Obstacles in the name of exploration fuel my fire, experience is never ending. I seek and I seek and I seek!
Some say I can’t be satisfied with what I have done already or I would be able to sit still. I say life is to short and too beautiful to sit still. Experience is the only thing we have when we drift into eternal sleep. I am an addict. An experience addict and I can never get enough. Finding adventure and experience is the easy part. It is in every little thing we do, but loving it, is a frame of mind!
So thank you to Uncle Traveling Matt who excited me with tales from his travel. To The Wild Thornberry’s for their adventures in Africa. To Pippy Long Stocking who must have borrowed my heart and stole my soul. To the Swiss Family Robinson thank you for teaching me how to survive in the tropics, be self-sufficient and resourceful. To the Blue Lagoon, thank you for teaching solitude and internal peace….And finally, a big thank you to the adventurous souls who created these characters!
What about you? Do you agree who you identified with as a child shaped the traveler you have become today?