Posted July 16, 2012

Since day 1, I have been absolutely fascinated by this story!  It has all the stuff of a great book or fabulous movie --- adventure, mystery, drama, new learnings, fun, intrigue --- the list is long and varied.

But none of these captured my interest with as much vigor as one central theme --- goal setting.

You see the object of my fascination for the past year has been a family of four (mom, dad and two young boys) who took a year-long trip around the world.  They started in Toronto in July of 2011 and trekked through North, South and Central America, Asia, Australia, Europe --- even getting as close as is allowed to the, wait for it --- equator!

They experienced all kinds of cultures, languages, foods, customs, traditions without the benefit of a constant tour guide or host.  They literally delved into their new surroundings armed with a backpack and a sense of wonder and curiosity.  That's it.

What has riveted me to this story may surprise the average person.  Since hour one, I have been enthralled with what is quickly becoming a lost art-form in our current world --- goal setting.  You see the Greenwood-Davis family set this unique, once-in-a-lifetime trip as a goal several years ago.  Over the course of 5 years, they planned, saved, strategized, researched, and had their dates marked off on the calendar.

They didn't win the lottery and decide to treat themselves.  They didn't inherit a whack of dough and splurge.  They worked for it.  They had a dream and put the steps in place to make it happen.  I have nothing but absolute admiration for that.

In a world where everything is now, instant, this second and not a millisecond later --- instant gratification is all the rage for many.  But for parents, increasingly, it should be a source of grave concern.  Whatever happened to earning something rather than it being given to you; experiencing the joy of anticipation for the fruits of ones' labour; paying your dues; wanting something so badly that putting the time and effort into achieving it brings as much joy, fulfillment and a sense of pride as achieving the goal at hand.

Heather Greenwood-Davis, aka the GlobeTrotting mama, and her husband have given their children so many wonderful gifts in the course of their year-long family adventure.  The memories, the countless photos, the incredible experiences will be with them for years to come and perhaps their lifetime.  The impact on their own lives of witnessing how other cultures live is another rich reward of their experiences. 

But they've also given their boys priceless gifts that can't be quantified ---- the gifts of process, anticipation and accomplishment --- all priceless by-products of setting and achieving a goal.

There may have undoubtedly been times when the couple questioned their goal or execution of it, but they persevered --- modelling behaviour that speaks louder to children than any words could.

I've been privileged over the past year to conduct several video interviews with Heather Greenwood-Davis, chronicling the family's adventures around the world.  There have been skype interviews on the beach, in the hotel room, on balconies, and other unique backdrops --- each and every one yielding precious insight into their experiences in foreign lands.  What a gift for myself and for those who may have seen these interviews along the way.

Thank you to the Greenwood-Davis family for being so inspiring and for allowing me to live vicariously through you!

 

A Family's World Adventure Back Home - Part 1.  Heather Greenwood-Davis on WhereParentsTalk.com