Ranger Kathryn's Arches

June 19, 2011

Backpack around the world!

I met an amazing and inspiring family on a canyoneering trip, who two years ago undertook the journey of a lifetime. If you were offered the following scenario, would you take it? Or would you run the other direction?

Pack everything you need for one year into a backpack; you have to be able to carry your own belongings. Hop on your first plane and fly across the Atlantic with your immediate family (40-something parents, 11-y.o. girl, 9-y.o. boy). Explore Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific. Wear a pedometer every single day so you can do the math to figure out how many steps it takes to circum-ambulate the globe. No agenda, just key trans-oceanic flights booked. Blog about your journey. Bond with your family, since you can’t ever get away from them. Be un-schooled for a year. Come home 51 weeks and 32 countries later, changed for life.

I was captivated by their bold dream as well as the obvious results. What 11-year-old boy can speak articulately about his adventures in cities I’ve not heard of? What pre-teen girl can explain that today’s outmoded educational format in America is an artifact of the Industrial Revolution? What parents are willing to sacrifice a year’s income (attorney and teacher) to accomplish their goals for growing deeply as a family?

Thanks, Dan and Lisa and Molly and Theo. You’ve challenged me to expand my own horizons, grasp for bigger dreams, and think outside the box. I’m ever grateful.

Anybody have a backpack for sale?


  1. Glad you found this family inspiring. Did you get their blog site?

    Comment by midsummerman — June 19, 2011 @ 11:40 am | Reply

    • Rats! No! Did you? Or do you have a phone number or email or anything? Would LOVE to see their blog.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — June 19, 2011 @ 12:47 pm | Reply

  2. Molly is so right about the educational format in this country. For example, why do we still have 3-months of vacation from school every summer? Are we still an agrarian society?

    Comment by Allen Gislason — June 19, 2011 @ 7:22 pm | Reply

    • It’s just plain wrong. We need to go to a year-round calendar so they don’t forget everything and have to spend the first month catching up.

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — June 20, 2011 @ 5:59 pm | Reply

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