Travel Sparks Interest in Adventures

Madelyn Given real adventure in Australia feeding dander (bread) to a kangaroo

Madelyn Given real adventure in Australia feeding dander (bread) to a kangaroo

Travel for me is like writing a book; it begins one step at a time. My writing is another avenue to share my accomplishments with others. My goal is to record and to motivate other ordinary people like me. The travel part is a great learning endeavor and so is writing a book. With each you progress and advance in depth and scope. It is amazing how supported you are once you take that initial step forward.

How did the spark for adventure start? I was hooked on travel after hitting the road for three months in 1962, touring the United States visiting many national parks, places of interest cities and towns. I returned home a changed person. I had just graduated from college and I had secured a teaching position in an elementary school in a community about 30 miles from where I grew up. I began planning for other places to visit; short trips to Puerto Rico, The Virgin Islands and Canada were next on my list. I was single and I had other priorities, too, besides travel. I had to think about furnishing my apartment, a car for transportation, and money for paying the bills. But travel was of interest and I saved for a trip to Europe.

It was 1969 and a great time to travel. I carried two books in my back pack, Europe on Five Dollars a Day and the International Book on Hostels. It was very cheap to travel then with a Euro Rail pass and hostelling. I stayed three months and visited a number of countries. It was safe, educational and fun. Those were the days!

Dreams do come true some just take some time. When I returned from Europe I married, settled down and raised a family. Travel was put on the back burner. It was a happy time spending my time with my family and being involved with my children’s activities and their daily lives. I earned a Masters Degree in Education and continued my teaching career. During this time writing was geared to teaching and daily correspondence. My mother wrote to me every day since I went off to college and continued until she passed away at age 91. I wrote back when I could. I marveled at her creativity, love of writing poetry and reading. She was my mentor.

Travel was never far from home but as soon as our children were old enough we began hiking short distances and taking day hikes. An annual reunion was started with my college roommate as we had a camping and hiking trip to Mount Katadin each summer. She brought a car load of her students or relatives and we came as a family. It was a grand wilderness experience and everyone had their eyes peeled to spot a moose crossing the logging trail or meandering out into the middle of a pond. This spark with nature and wild life continues with my adult children. Now my young granddaughters love to get out in nature and climb a little mountain. The reward is to climb high on a ridge and find wild juicy blueberries among the barren rocks.

I enjoy a variation of adventures, short or long with family or going it alone. I have learned a lot thorough travel and have met some of the greatest people I know along the trail.  The experiences gained are worth any trial or tribulation that is called challenge in my book and is part of the learning process. Every day we learn and having a sense of humor is helpful. Most important of all is being a Believer.