Family Travel

Tip #1

You're Gonna Do What?!

"It's 120 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, its dark and we're wearing sun glasses."

"Hit it!"

Dan Akyroyd and John Belushi in "The Blues Brothers"

Mom, Pop and two kids, trying to make it around the world with limited resources, a Swiss Army Knife, our wits, dreams, and a lap top computer. Are we nuts? Shouldn't we be socking away for retirement? Shouldn't our kids be slaving for good grades so they can win those scholarships? Do we really need to subject ourselves to those painful Yellow Fever shots?

In the summer of '95, the four of us, along with our trusty side kick wolf-dog, Banshee, climbed a peak outside Anchorage to get a better view. Although we found the view and the exercise wonderful, the wolf thought we were nuts. For that reason she's not going with us on our present trip, and she'll just have to content herself with postcards from us.

We leave behind in our home state of Alaska many years of work, friends and memories, our pet wolf and cat, and at least two lifetimes of collected stuff – most of which has been sold in garage sales, given to various charities, or stored in every available nook, cranny and crevice of Anchorage.

But we have come to believe our children (hey, us too!) are of the age when we should be experiencing the world first hand rather than through books, videos and second-hand tales. ("Who knows the flower best? The one who reads about it in a book, or the one who finds it wild on the mountainside?" Alexandra David-Neal). And despite the tensions and wars and revolutions and terrorism we are bludgeoned with daily in newspaper headlines, we believe our world has more to offer, more to learn, more to see and feel than ever in its history. And we want to share what we learn with you.

That's why we're going to make this trek, this voyage of discovery. In his journals, Charles Darwin wrote before he left on his epic journey, "I long to set foot where no man has trod before." We know that is nearly impossible to do in a world that has been photographed from every angle of space. But we do hope to plunge into the unknown, our unknown. And to share our discoveries from each of our unique viewpoints. We look as forward to telling the tale of what we find as we do to finding it, whatever and where ever it may be. And of letting our subscribers be a real part of that discovery through their participation and curiosity.

Most people we talk with are envious. Everyone seems to worry about their own list of imaginedfears. A few have been honest enough to call us crazy (see Mom, I didn't use your name), and others wonder why we're doing this now rather than when we retire (three guesses why). But we all seem to know why we're doing it.

In fact, at this point, only a step and heartbeat before we depart, it's much like what John Wesley Powell wrote in his journals before he and his crew attempted their historic 1869 boat trip down the mighty Colorado River:

"This morning we are ready to enter the mysterious canyon and start with some anxiety. The old mountaineers tell us that it cannot be run; the Indians say, 'Water heap catch 'em;' but all are eager for the trial, and off we go."

(Images of the "The Fool" card from the Rider Tarot Deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Stamford, CT 06902 US Copyright 1982 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider Tarot Deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
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