Courageous & Outrageous - Intergenerational Adventure

By Pat Nichol


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I have known Donna Curtis for a number of years. We belong to the same Breakfast Club and have shared the excitement - and the dread - of appearing mostly nude on a calendar a few years ago.

This story began the year Donna turned 60. She made a decision to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and raise funds for one of her favourite charities. Donna, who had never climbed a mountain before, attacked the task the way she has worked all of her life; with heart, soul and the sole of her shoes, she trained and she DID IT! She reached the top of the mountain.

During the days that followed, Donna realized she had no one close with whom to celebrate this amazing achievement. She thought about her family and realized she had seven grandchildren nicely spread out in age - each one year apart. With this in mind, Donna decided that in the year each grandchild turned 13, he or she would choose a destination; then he or she would plan, research and create a detailed travel plan. Donna would cover the costs and they would travel together.

As I write this, Donna and Aldyn, her sixth grandchild are canoeing up the Amazon and trekking through the jungle in Peru, where they will spend several days working in one of the villages. With one grandchild to go, the first grandchild is turning 20 and soon they will all embark on adventures of their own.

Donna has seen and experienced sights and adventures that most adults would not think of attempting. She has been to Costa Rica and zip lining with Curtis; parts of China with Cameron; then England, France and Italy with Nick; Australia with Brianna; Scotland with Marcus; and Spain with Jeff. Laurel, the youngest, is not sure where in the world she wants to go yet.

What a wonderful way to stay young!

I am not suggesting that you have to travel the world to find adventure. But, spend some time with people of another generation. Ask your teenage grandchildren to think up an adventure for the two of you to share. If you don't have any grandchildren, borrow some from a friend and take the friend along as well.

SENIOR LIVING VANCOUVER ISLAND - May 2009

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