Here’s what I want for my kids. I want them to go to school through high school, take a year or two post-secondary and then I want them to walk away from it all. I want them to shirk responsibility, toss their books aside and go sow their wild oats and such….only I don’t want details about the oat sowing of course. Why do I want this for my kids? There are three reasons:
- I want them to go experience life somewhere other than where they grew up. Who knows? Maybe their true path lies on the other side of the earth (which would break their Mother’s heart into a million tiny pieces but I try to not think about that)
- So that they don’t miss the opportunity to experience complete freedom. No class to take notes on, no job to be on time for, no schedule, no mortgage payments, no kids. That time in our lives is brief and it should be embraced.
- Finally, I want them to embrace the humanity in all people, not just the ones they see in their own backyard.
In fact, I am currently trying to convince my 20 year old step-son to run, not walk to the nearest airport. So far, it’s falling on deaf ears and that’s why it was timely that Adam Shepard dropped me a line to tell me about his book One Year Lived.
Adam saved his money for two years and then took off to explore the world. Along the way he volunteered with children in Guatemala, went bungee jumping, ziplining and scuba diving, visited Auschwitz, read 71 books and fell in love. And this is what I want for my children. As Adam says “There’s only so much you can learn in the classroom. Sometimes you have to get out there to experience it, to touch it, to feel it, to see if for yourself. It’s fascinating the perspective we gain when we step out of our bubbles of comfort, even just a little bit.”
Indeed. There are lessons here for all of us, because you don’t have to take a year to travel. Take what you can and get out there.
I’m so excited to be able to offer readers of Life in Pleasantville a free copy of One Year Lived until Wednesday, April 25th. Simply click here and enter email: firstname.lastname@example.org and password: 123456 and then download your book in one of three formats.
But before you go, tell me in the comments, will you push your kids out the door to go travel or encourage them to stay close to home?