Where To Next?

Travelling with teens and hurtling through my mid-lifestyle.

A life less ordinary and maybe a little adventurous.


The Himalayas and Mt Everest.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.

Holly explores the Canadian RockiesA 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.

Skiing Shiga Kogen, Japan.

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?

Author: Deborah Dickson-Smith

Mother, travel writer, content producer, scuba diver and passionate eco-warrior. I also blog here about diving: www.diveplanit.com Follow me: Twitter: @debdicksonsmith @diveplanit Instagram: @deborahdicksonsmith @diveplanit

14 thoughts on “A life less ordinary and maybe a little adventurous.

  1. Isn’t it great when our non too subtle life lessons finally pay off. I love that my children too explored the world in their own way. Travel really is one of the best ways for them to learn about themselves and others. Happy hiking!

  2. My kids are a LOT less adventurous than I am, and I do regret not doing more adventurous stuff with them when they were younger. I was sailing and running wild in the Hebrides as a kid… but these are the circumstances of our lives, I hope they’ll be bolder as they get older. I know I will be. But I won’t be asking Holly to take me up Everest – no way!! Great that she has dreams and drive though, both fantastic, crucial things in life.

  3. I have one exploring south-east Asia (currently floating up the Mekong River on a slow boat) and one mountain biking in the Alps of Europe –
    I celebrated my 21st in a country other than ‘home’ and I’m proud to say both children have now made it into a family ‘tradition’!

  4. Having met Holly, it seems like like she’s a chip off the not-so-old block. Not that I’ve met you, but there is obviously a lot of you in her. She talked enthusiastically of travelling since she was a few months old – and now, watching her take photos and find angles of her on account, she’s a natural. She will go off on her own, and wherever she ends up, she will find adventure, and learn more about herself, her writing, her photography, and life. To top off all that, she’s a lovely young woman, so you have taught her well. I don’t think I was as self-assured at her age. I hope to follow her travels and her career.

  5. What a great post! I really enjoyed reading this , it gave me lots of hope for my girls in the future I hope they are just as adventurous and unafraid and I will be doing my best to stay out of there way. I’m so glad I was able to help inspire you. Can’t wait to see the future in store for your kids. How well you have empowered and raised them!

    • Thanks Caz! It’s funny how some things people say can just.. resonate! And that line of yours struck a chord 🙂 I’m sure your girls will be amazing adventurers one day – such a great adventure you and Craig are giving them already!

  6. My kids have travelled with me and now “alone” since they were two year olds. I believe travel is one of the best “life lessons” anyone could have. I am so proud they can now sit in the company of anyone at any age anywhere in the world and be interested and interesting at the same time……we are blessed!

  7. Hi, Deborah, My boys are a little younger than your children (10&11 years), however they are already dreaming of where they will go when they are old enough to make their own travel plans. The eldest is off to Seattle, his dream is to hike the mountains and live in the Boeing factory. For the youngest -the bright lights of London, and a life of tea parties and civilised conversation (his words not mine). Probably their plans will change as they grow and mature. As you said, it is all about a life of discovery. Enjoyed this post thank you.. Cheers Monique.

    • Thanks Monique!
      Nice to think we are raising adventurous kids. I love the idea of “tea parties and civilised conversation” by the way. You should take him to The Langham for a high tea – my girls LOVE it there.
      Cheers, Deb

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