Kids and Extreme World Travel
A mother on a three-year family bike trip from Alaska to Argentina is defending her family from the criticism that she’s endangering her sons’ lives in order to live out her own perverted dreams.
Writing for Salon, Nancy Sathre-Vogel argues that her boys could opt out of the trip at any time, that it’s often the young teens who keep the family going, who want to push to finish the trip and also break a world record.
Unlike the Sunderlands, the California family famous for sending off their minor children to sail in small boats around the world — solo — Sathre-Vogel says theirs is a family trip, all of them in it together. They home school the boys, having packed learning materials which apparently get refreshed from time to time.
They’re down in South America somewhere, headed to the very tip of the continent. They started in the very north of Alaska and have been through all seasons, all kinds of weather and many a personal challenge. And they keep going. She has blogged about their travels at familyonbikes.org.
It’s hard to see how anyone could get incensed about their trip. Some critics say that the parents are foisting their dreams on to the boys. That they’ve kept them from their friends and secure and predictable living arrangements, which amounts to some kind of cruelty. I think they’ve given the boys an incredible adventure, kept them from the crappy years of middle school, taught them how to take care of themselves, work as a team, survive without TV, push themselves physically, and how others who don’t have the luxury — the smarts, the money, the ambition — to take off on a three-year bike trip live.
How could they do this to their kids? How could they not!