“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”. – J.A. Shedd
This quote doesn’t apply solely to ships, it applies to our kids as well. In just one month our family will be hoisting its sails and heading out from the harbor with our fleet of young men. Our boys are excited to explore, learn, and be challenged over the next eight to twelve months as we travel the world.
Last night we had a little informal interview with the kids after dinner about our up and coming trip. We wanted to get some of their thoughts on this trip and to see what they are excited about and what their fears are. We hope you enjoy their fun, and sometimes not so detailed, answers.
So kids, let everyone know who we’re talking to. Who are you and how old are you?
I am Noah Edward Benson [N] and I am 17 years old.
Micah [M] and 12.
My name is Ezra [Ez] and I’m 8.
How would you describe yourself?
[N] Chill. I like to criticise other people’s cappuccinos and I like to paint.
[M] Awesome and weird-ish. Artistic, sneaky, creative. I like to draw stuff and I like to draw things around me. I like to make funny stuff. Like funny videos.
[Ez] I’m funny … and awesome. I like to draw and make things like origami. I like to pogo-stick too.
How do you think your friends would describe you?
[M] As the weirdest person on the planet! Not even kidding. They say since I eat bugs and stuff that I’m weird, but then I’m like, “No I’m not. Cuz look at all these other countries.” And then they also say that I’m weird because I eat avocados. Plenty of people eat avocados. They’re weirdos.
[Ez] Fun. Funny.
What’s your guy’s favorite food?
[N] I don’t pick favorites among my children
[M] What?? (to N) – My favorite appetizer would be bacon. My favorite main course would be infinite mounds of lamb chops wrapped in bacon. And my favorite dessert would be Pecan Pie.
Pecan Pie? That’s surprising. Have you ever even had pecan pie??
[M] I have had Pecan Pie
I’m surprised you didn’t say chocolate covered bacon ice cream.
[M] …Pecan Pie.
You’ve had it before? When’s the last time you’ve had pecan pie?
[M] I don’t know. But, it tastes good.
How about you Ez?
[Ez] Bacon and Pie.
What is your favorite activity to do outside?
What’s one of your best backpacking memories?
[N] I don’t know. I like the whole thing. I guess I can think of one, but I can’t really put it into words.
Give it a shot.
[N] I guess when we were at Big Bend on the second to last day, when we were up on that mountain…
[N] No. On the mountain, but not at the top- we were next to a cliff and we could see for miles into Mexico.
Oh yeah- that was awesome.
[N] and we just sat there eating our beef jerky…
How about you Micah? What’s your favorite outside activity?
[M] Exploring. Doing stuff that I haven’t done before. Hiking, kayaking, maybe fishing. But not riding bikes. I fall over.
What is your favorite memory of exploring?
[M] It’s just fun. ALL the times exploring were awesome.
[Ez] Kayaking and hiking and swimming.
So, what do you like best about travel?
[N] New experiences and new cultures.
[M] I like exploring and seeing new stuff and eating new food.
[Ez] Hiking. Climbing things. Waterfalls. Hiking mountains.
What is the biggest adventure you have been on so far in your many years of life?
[N] My life. (chuckling)
Come on, what in your life?
[M] Life is a great adventure. It’s the biggest possible adventure you could ever have.
What does the word “adventure” mean to you?
[M] I think it’s going out and doing stuff you’ve never done before and not knowing what to expect.
[N] I think it’s being bold and being active. Like, a ratio of the two.
[E] Awesomeness. Climbing things. Exploring.
Tell me about a time you had an awesome adventure that you loved or that was great for some other reason.
[N] Maybe last year’s trip to everywhere [West Cost and Northern Rockies] and my trip to Florida to see cousins.
[M] I haven’t had many years of life. But that one time we went to the whole half of America [West Coast and Northern Rockies]. That was fun! Because in Montana we got to go jet-skiing and we ended up hitting that seagull.
[Ez] Yeah! And I got to go paddleboarding.
[M] When can I ride my own jetski?
Ha! Soon enough.
[Ez] Jet-skiing and seeing the Grand Canyon and going to Arizona
The BIGGEST adventure was going to Arizona?
[Ez] Yeah…and seeing the rocks balancing on the other rocks.
Which rocks balancing on other rocks? At the Grand Canyon?
Where was that at.
[Ez] Remember that place….
The short rock stacks? That people made?
[M] No- in Colorado. Remember?
Oh- the Garden of the Gods! Yeah, those are awesome!
[Ez] And we saw the cliff dwellings.
Are these the most amazing- the biggest adventures you have ever been on?
[Ez] Uh, well. They’re pretty much the only adventures…
If you have to pick ONE thing from all the things you’ve done. What would be the most amazing, the biggest adventure. Which one do you remember most?
When thinking about the trip we are about to go on, what are you looking forward to, or what excites you most about the trip?
[N] I like the idea of spending a lot of time in one place. Getting to know the people we stay with and their cultures and languages.
[M] Eating stuff. Definitely eating stuff.
[M] Bugs and rats and-
[M] And shrimps that are alive-
[M] Yeah- living shrimps. They’re called dancing shrimps-
[Ez] They do the Cha Cha dance in your mouth
[M] Yeah, they do the Cha Cha slide in your mouth.
[M] Cha Cha slide. Umm… and any other weird food I can find there. And then I also want to ride a chicken bus.
[Ez] Kissing a llama. And riding a llama. AND getting a sombrero.
[M] (To Ez) What’s so magical about somberos??
[Ez] (Ignoring M’s question) And I want to ride a chicken bus, too.
Do you guys have any fears about this trip?
[N] Be not afraid. For real, though…I really don’t want to have asthma.
[M] I have some immature fears and then one real fear.
[M] Yes. One is not being able to eat all the weird food. Because my mom said I can’t eat dancing shrimp because it has parasites and stuff and that rats have diseases. But they’re cooked rats so all the diseases go *poof*. BUT I want to eat them. Because they taste good.
And your “real” fear?
[M] My real fear is getting sick and not being able to do anything else, like all the adventure stuff.
[Ez] I don’t know what my fear is.
Is there anything you’re worried about?
[Ez] Not really.
So, what do your friends think about this trip around the world?
[N] They’re all jealous and want my parents to adopt them.
Ha! That’s funny.
[M] They say that it’s crazy and that we’re all going to die-
[Ez] They say it’s awesome.
[M] Well, they do say it’s awesome, but they say like, “You’re going to die,” and they keep on asking questions like, “Are you coming back? Where are you going? When are you leaving? When are you coming back? Are you coming back to San Antonio? Are you coming back to this school?” ALL these questions that I don’t want to answer.
At first when I told everybody, they didn’t believe me at all, but then over time…
How did you tell them? How did it come up?
[M] Well, people were asking, “Who’s going to be here [school] next year?” And I said, “Not me.” And they were like, “What? Why?” And I said, “I’m going to be taking a trip all around the world.” They were like. “Pfff, no you’re not.”
But later, everyone started to believe me, and I have no idea how. Cuz I kept on telling them the same exact thing over and over. And then I told them that I’m going to leave on June 13th and then they’re like, “Whoa! That’s too soon!”
How do you guys feel about idea of travel school?
[N] I’m intrigued. I think it’s going to be interesting to try to get used to doing that.
[M] It’s going to be boring. Because instead of experiencing the culture and adventures, I will have to be sitting in a tiny corner doing math and history and science and literature and grammar.
[Ez] I think it will be awesome because of the travel. I think the Science journals will be fun. I’m excited to do those.
What big adventure do you hope to have while we are gone?
[M] I want to go scuba diving or snorkeling. I just want to go underwater and swim with whale sharks.
[Ez] I really want to go skydiving. And roast marshmallows over a volcano.
What country are you most excited to visit from the ones we are planning to visiting?
[N] Maybe Ethiopia and Rwanda. They seem cool. They just seem exciting and interesting.
[M] Peru. Wait! No, no, no, no. Argentina. Because Patagonia. There’s penguins there. There’s llamas there. There’s everything there. Isn’t the The W mountain thing in Patagonia?
Yeah. In Torres del Paine.
[M] …and all they eat is delicious food. We can eat all the meat we want in Argentina.
I don’t think Guatemala is known for having Llamas.
[M] Llamas are in Peru
[Ez] Peru then…
[M] And Argentina, actually
And Chile…Guatemala has those fruit markets we looked at. Guatemala has volcanoes, too.
[Ez] I want to go there.
Pick one place.
[Ez] What’s the place on the very bottom of South America?
[M] Chile and Argentina.
[Ez] Yes! Patagonia.
[M] I want to climb a glacier.
Ezra, what do you want to see in Patagonia?
[Ez] Llamas and penguins. Snow and glaciers.
What do you guys think about moving every 3-4 weeks, carrying everything on your back?
[N] Sounds pretty cool to me.
[M] I don’t care about moving at all. I love to move. Moving is my tradition. I’ve never been to the same school for more than one year. I’ve gotta keep that up.
You won’t miss having a home?
[Ez] I WILL have a home.
What will you miss most from here while you are gone?
[N] Running with my cross country and track team.
[M] Running water. And sanitation. But they have running water in other countries, don’t they?
Yeah. Maybe not in some of the places we go though. Any foods you’ll miss?
[M] No! I’ll have plenty.
[Ez] You won’t have pie.
[M] We don’t even have any Paleo Pecan Pie.
[Ez] Well, will you miss Paleo treats?
[M] We have plenty in other countries. Dancing shrimps!!
[Ez] That’s not a treat.
[M] Yes it is.
How do you guys think your lives will change? How will things be different when you come home?
[N] I think I’ll be more willing to live daringly.
[M] I will realize more about the things going on in this world. It will make me want to do something. Like stop bad stuff in the world.
That’s pretty noble. Ez?
[Ez] I’ll be bigger.
Thanks boys. I think we are going to have an amazing and awesome trip together. I can’t wait.
What else would you like to know? Tell us what questions you have for the kids below in the comments and we will ask them and let you know what they say!