Canadian family among National Geographic's travellers of the year
Published Tuesday, November 27, 2012 9:38AM EST
After completing a year-long trek around the world, a Canadian family has been named one of 2012’s travellers of the year by National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine.
“We’re the only family on the list and the only Canadians on the list,” Heather Greenwood Davis told CTV’s Canada AM on Tuesday. “To say that we’re honoured is an understatement.”
The former lawyer-turned-travel writer embarked on this journey of a lifetime in June 2011, accompanied by her husband, Ishmael Davis, and their sons Ethan, 10, and Cameron, 8.
Together, the family travelled through 29 countries in 12 months and enjoyed a multitude of exotic experiences, including riding ostriches in Vietnam, herding cows in Kenya and taking baths in volcanic mud in Colombia.
Ziplining in Thailand was also a memorable experience for the family, particularly Ethan.
“We all did this, in the middle of a torrential storm,” said Davis. “Ethan was a little afraid, but he conquered his fears. That was this trip was all about.”
The family financed this adventure by renting their home. Davis, a writer, also supplemented the trip by penning articles for publications throughout the journey.
The goal was to teach their children about the world.
“Life experiences are the best school,” said Ishmael Davis.
“Once you do something it sticks with you for the rest of your life,” he added. “Watching the boys grow was amazing.”
The chance to see their sons treated like superstars in China also amused these parents. The children attracted a huge outpouring of interest from locals on one occasion when the family was in search of a barber to cut the youngsters’ hair.
“The paparazzi followed us everywhere. The kids’ hair was quite an attraction,” Davis said.
Ultimately, three barbers spent two hours cropping the boys’ locks. “They got the spa treatment,” she said with a grin.
The Davis children are now the youngest adventurers to be included Traveler Magazine’s 2012 list.
The honour has given the family more reason to be proud since their return to Canada last June.
“These experiences we had on this trip can’t be duplicated,” said Davis.
But the daring, around-the-world adventure has also left the Davis clan with an unusual problem: “I don’t know what we’re going to do for next year’s vacation.”