I have my parents to thank for my love of travel and the outdoors. From a young age we were jet-setting to places like Calgary to visit family and Disney World to experience the greatest place on Earth. As my brother, sister and I got older, we ventured a little further to the sandy beaches of St. Maarten and Aruba, just to name a few. When not at soccer tournaments, summers were spent at the family cottage where you couldn't get us indoors no matter how hard you tried. And when my parents were feeling especially brave, we went on long distance road trips, crossing provinces and states off the list.
Experiences stay with us. We are the accumulation of everything we’ve ever seen, heard, smelt, tasted, and felt.
Hours at the lake sparked my love of the water. Those tropical beach vacations spawned my curiosity of what lies beneath the surface. Camping trips and nature hikes at the cottage sparked my love of the outdoors. And sharing these experiences with my family led to a passion teaching others about our natural world. Experiences such as these not only shaped my childhood but also who I've become today.
Now that I have a daughter of my own, it's my turn to pay it forward.
At 6 weeks old, she went on her first road trip to grandma and grandpa's. Earlier this week I took her to the Aquarium. And later this month, she'll be taking her first plane ride.
While she may not remember any of this later in life, it's never too early to start gifting experiences.
I may not be able to tell my daughter what to do, the decisions to make or what career to choose, but I can give her experiences that will help shape the person she becomes, like my parents did for me.
When you think back to your fondest memories, what are they? Did they help shape who you've become today?