NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) has a mantra around “Expedition Behavior” (referenced, almost annoyingly often throughout a trip, as “EB”). Essentially, it means to be conscientious, pull your weight and to help others’ achieve their goals.
We thought that this adventure justifies reflecting deliberately on our own “intentions” and setting “EB” goals of our own.
Here is what we each came up with-
Brooke’s Intentions – World Travel
- I would like to try to discover the ways that our family members act
- I would to try to help Brayden smile more
- I want to be more helpful with everyone
- I intend to be more sophisticated and mature
- I intend to be more into lacrosse
- I intend to not eat too many snacks and to not make a face or say “Eww this is disgusting” if I don’t like a food
- I want to work on gymnastics – get better at back walkovers and cartwheel to back walkovers
- I want to practice yoga with the family
- I want to hike, swim, bike, run and walk all over as much as I can, except for places that are too hot
- I want to be a good student with Ryan
- During homework, I want to write a friend a postcard at least once every 2 weeks
- I want to know about the things were going to see before we see them
- I want to read everyday
- I want to blog everyday
- I want to get really good and fast at multiplication and division
- I want to know some more languages (at least a word or two)
- I want to be more “out of my comfort zoneish”
- I want to spend family time more telling what somebody saw, what was your favorite part of the day, what did you see that was interesting to you so pretty much just explaining more and having more of a bond together
I think that family bonding would be good. I also want to work with Brooke to try to not argue, and I don’t mean to just ignore each other so we don’t argue, but instead to talk about something meaningful that we did during the day, and how we felt about the experience. I also think that we should all do everything together so we can relate to each others experiences.
Some intentions I have for the trip are to be more grateful as a family. I also want us to be more aware of what is around us and admire it deeply, rather than just pass by it and think nothing of it. I also intend to have our family REALLY practice lacrosse on this trip because we won’t have Firehawks / ADVNC / Cali*Lax practices. Also, we should be less selfish and not just take this as a tourist trip and try to buy stuff, but instead we should only buy necessary things. For me, this trip is about NOT about spending money and going to fancy hotels, it is about living like people in that country, working on a farm, or fishing for food and then cooking it over a fire that you made. Lastly, I want to be more vulnerable when I share something and be confident expressing how I feel.
I want us to be practicing lacrosse a ton in different countries. It would also be amazing if we played the popular local sport. Also, we want to stay in mint physical condition so we should work out every day and stay healthy. We could also play games with kids in different countries. For example, I could play pickup soccer in the streets of Brazil. We should also be open to learning about the local sports and customs so we could understand how to play.
I think we should focus on what Ryan gives us for our studies, and add to that learning about the places we are going. It would be important to learn about the national flower, bird, religion, etc. Also, we should learn about the national language, or if there are multiple languages. We should also learn the history of each country’s culture and language, for example America speaks English because we were colonized by England. We should also learn a few words in each language. I would also like to learn about local geography and archeology, so we can look at the cool monuments or learn about the huge coral reefs.
I really want to be a lot nicer to everyone, and I also want to be more aware of everything that is around me. I also want to be more compassionate to people with less fortune than me and we should be extremely grateful for all that we have. Mostly, I want us to not be worried but to just think about how happy we are and where we are.
– Practice respect towards one another – use kind language, have patience and understanding, empathize with others feelings
– Help kids practice self-responsibility
– Assist the kids in being more independent and self-dependent
– Limit screen time (for all family members, kids off computer, parents off computers and phones)
– Have understanding for kids when they feel uncomfortable, scared, nervous; push them out of their comfort zone, but not to the point of fear
– I would like all members of the family, including Ryan, to be treated equally. We no longer wear the hats of our everyday life (CEO, mom, student, child, etc). We work more as a team.
– I would like to have mindful date day or night with Pappa. I would like our time to be meaningful and valuable to us about life, not just the day to day communication (no talk of logistics).
– I intend to be present during this trip, whether in a conversation or visiting something historical or cultural, listening to a guide, listening to Pappa, Brayden, Brooke or Ryan. I would like my eyes to be on people when they speak, hear them and communicate in the moment, not thinking of anything else outside of that specific moment.
– I intend to gain or give back something everywhere we go and with everyone we meet. I would like to grow from each experience and log what mattered to me that day (what made me grow, what did I learn, what made me sad, what made me happy, how did it change me, what did I see that day in my heart).
– I intend to practice gratefulness for this experience and act with gratefulness everywhere we go through humility, patience, listening more than speaking and being fully engaged and interested in our experiences.
– I would like to practice yoga every day that I can (hopefully with the family, but it’s also ok to be on my own)
– I would like to meditate, if only for brief periods (10 minutes) on a daily intention and follow that intention throughout my day
– I would like to travel without ache or pain complaints of my body (sounds easy, but I know I will hurt somedays)
– I would like to be active everyday, not necessarily needing to achieve that through increased heart rate, but through physical endeavors (hiking, climbing, swimming, walking, running, yoga, lacrosse)
– I would like to be more active with lacrosse with the family, gymnastics with Brooke, yoga and meditation with Pappa and anything else I can learn while we are there (I do not want to watch from the sidelines)
– I will review our upcoming itinerary each night to know what we are doing the following day
– I will review our upcoming itinerary each week to understand what we will be doing, why and what we will gain or give back to every place we visit
– I will review our upcoming itinerary each new country we are to visit.
– I would like to participate in the kids tutoring sessions that relate to what we will be doing (historically and culturally), its significance to the world and us or me and why we are seeing or experiencing something
– I intend to take time with my communication…take the time I need internally to give a full, thoughtful response to something, and be pensive and mindful
– I intend to start each day with a positive outlook on the day and continue that feeling throughout the day and if I find myself faultering, I want to catch my behavior and change the shift in the moment
– I intend to know my limits and communicate them when I feel like I don’t have a full grasp on details of our trip.
– I intend to learn something from everyone that will allow me to go home more prepared for everyday life.
Overall, I aspire to value the differences (and similarities!) between humans sharing this small planet through a process of opening our hearts to the world around us. Build compassion for those less fortunate. Take responsibility for our actions, and the planet. Learning about ourselves, and our relationships with each other. Developing a love for self-directed and self-inspired learning. Find and appreciate discomfort and living outside of our comfort zone. Push our boundaries in a safe way.
Personal Goals –
Love for nature
Quiet time for reflection and journaling
Personal responsibility (for our stuff, for our actions, for how we are perceived, for how we make others feel)
Following through on our commitments (working out, eating healthy, studying)
Embracing challenges and discomfort
Family Values/Goals –
Share our experience with each other, friends and family to connect more deeply with those we love
Daily reflection(s) on what we saw, learned, felt
Responsibility to the other trip-members, including taking ownership to help them meet their trip goals and to be happy
Athletics / Health –
Eat healthy (limit deserts, fried foods)
Eat adventurously, but wisely to avoid getting sick
Good sleep patterns
Work out at least every other day (ideally five days per week)
Do family yoga
Stay on ‘back-home’ curriculum
Awareness of country history, geography, language, religion, culture before we arrive in a place
Have a personal particular focus on native cultures in each place
Read a book a week
Respect for native culture
Global Awareness For Challenges / Causes –
Income and wealth inequality
Lack of adequate education
Intolerance of any kind
Over consumption, waste and the human impact on our planet
Pollution and bad air
In closing, we really liked this quote from NOLS on the value of adventure travel:
“After a few days away from civilization, everyone starts to change. Values change. The veneer, the bluffing, artificiality, and crutch of family wealth or prestige are no longer valid in the natural environment… Suddenly, people must make their place in a new society based upon what they can actually do and what they really are.”