I thought I was an adventurous mom.
After all, I’ve dragged my kids on various trips with me. Especially my five-year-old daughter who has been to close to 20 countries, including most recently a return trip to England.
Showing my kids the world and teaching them how to interact with it is one thing. Showing them how to engage with it from a fearless standpoint is another. This means not just sowing seeds of adventure but building roots firmly entrenched in exploration.
I was recently in Iceland for the NonfictioNOW writing conference where I was speaking on an enriching panel alongside fellow contributors and editors at Panorama Journal about travel writers as cartographers. Getting to meet colleagues and friends such as Amy Gigi Alexander, Sarge Lacuesta, Ernest White III, and Leslie Hsu Oh who I admire and always learn from always rejuvenates me creatively.
But spending tons of time in particular with my friend Leslie and her family of six (four kids in tow) taught me what it actually means to raise pioneers. Leslie Hsu Oh is an award-winning (and amazing!) writer with prestigious accolades and publication credits. In addition to being a panelist on our talk and the Outdoor Editor for Panorama Journal, she was also in town on a writing assignment which focused on family travel.
So, I tagged along as a behind-the-scenes photographer to help shoot and illustrate her story.
From horseback riding and caving in lava grottoes to exploring waterfalls and parks. From picking up and identifying wild flowers along our strolls, to dusting off when kids fall and getting right back up, I learned how to raise adventurous kids by spending just one day exploring the outdoors with Leslie and her family.
So, thank you my dear friend Leslie for not only raising the next generation of fearless explorers, but also inspiring me, a fellow traveling mother, and showing me how to encourage my own kids to not just be adventurers, but full-blown pioneers in their own right.
Here are some photos from my recent trip to Iceland. You can view more images in my Iceland image bank.