Harper the adventurer at 7

Harper Woods

A few months after Harper was born I wrote a piece for WorldHum titled Adventure Dad. Here’s an excerpt:

I can’t remember where I read it (if you know, please tell me), but one of my favorite travel stories was written by a father who takes his 3-year-old canoeing down the creek that runs through their backyard. There are no rapids, no danger other than a bee or two, no foreign culture to be explored, no site that most of us don’t ignore each day. Things like squirrels, trash on the bank, and a praying mantis were grand discoveries. Both father and child had a blast.

I like this story because it challenged what I previously thought about adventure. Adventure isn’t an exotic location or an adrenaline-pumping activity. It’s not a place or an action. It’s a state of mind. It’s a sense of exploration and willingness and ability to see with fresh eyes. For the father and child in the story, the creek running through their backyard held all the adventure of Mount Everest.

Yesterday Harper and I followed deer hoof prints into the woods. They led us right to a tree that is perfect for us both to climb. So we climbed it. At our new house in the country, we’ve got even more adventures awaiting us. We’ve only begun to explore!

She’s becoming quite the adventurer. And in the next year or two, I think it’s time to take her on her first international adventure so I can live up to how I ended the Adventure Dad piece:

I can’t wait to see snowcapped mountains, blue oceans and tropical sunsets in Harper’s eyes, but I also can’t wait to see her point to great dragon-shaped clouds rolling over our backyard on a summer’s breeze. I can’t wait to hear her laugh at a butterfly. I can’t wait to see all of the things that I’ve been missing.

So, where should I take Harper on her first international adventure?

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