THE GOOD­WINS

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It’s hard to speak for oth­ers but do you think mod­ern so­ci­ety has be­come a lit­tle safe and risk averse? Kids are wrapped in cot­ton wool and glued to screens. We think we’ve gone for­wards but in some ways we’ve gone back­wards, be­cause we have lost our spirit of ad­ven­ture and the abil­ity to make our own fun?

Jess: Ab­so­lutely! I'd say you said it per­fectly with your ques­tion. A dumb­ing down has hap­pened,but there is hope! I think an awak­en­ing is hap­pen­ing too. We most likely will be made fun of by our off­spring be­cause we were from this era.

Daize: There was an in­cred­i­ble fam­ily in Ire­land that had never met us but heard what we were do­ing and of­fered our whole crew to stay at their house for 10 days. They had a com­postable toi­let, a re­frig­er­a­tor that used no elec­tric­ity and their wa­ter was rain catch­ment. They had a gi­ant gar­den, their house was made of straw and hempcrete and the roof was topped with grass. Such kind hearted peo­ple that re­ally are show­ing the world how to live com­pletely off the grid and be sus­tain­able. Ev­ery­thing about them still stands out.

Aamion: Some­thing else that re­ally stood out was how we were ac­cepted every­where we went be­cause we had the kids with us. Peo­ple would in­vite us in for din­ner, in­vite us to stay at their house, even give us the shirt off their back. This world re­ally is a lov­ing, open place but so many of us have our faces stuck to a screen so­cial­iz­ing through a de­vice. We’re guilty of it too, and that’s why it’s im­por­tant to make a con­scious de­ci­sion to put it down some­times and see what’s hap­pen­ing right there in that mo­ment around you. Travel is great for that.

Amer­i­cans as a rule don't travel much. Do you think that puts lim­i­ta­tions on how the cul­ture evolves?

Jess: I think any­one that doesn’t leave their lit­tle bub­ble will in­evitably never ex­pe­ri­ence growth.

Daize: I saw a great pic­ture of some­one paint­ing a globe all blue ex­cept for the United States. It said this is how Amer­ica views the world. For me that was the big­gest cul­tural shock… Com­ing back from be­ing in Morocco and all over the world, then go­ing to a Hil­ton ho­tel on the east coast and see­ing what the av­er­age Amer­i­can cul­ture is made up of.

Aamion: Trav­el­ling from wher­ever you live is im­por­tant. Amer­ica, Aus­tralia, Europe, wher­ever you live. I love the quote, "The world is a book and those who don't travel read only one page of it." So true.

Did you hope that your ad­ven­ture in­spired oth­ers to em­brace the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore at least a lit­tle bit more of the world.

Aamion: Most def­i­nitely. Also that it's re­ally not that hard to go on an ad­ven­ture. When we didn't have the money, we would go camp­ing, have a pic­nic and watch the sun­set. But al­ways saved up for our trips be­cause we knew it was im­por­tant for the kids to see what else was out there.

Daize: Also it’s so about the jour­ney from start to fin­ish. Pack­ing, plan­ning a bit, then go­ing some­where, tak­ing it all in and then com­ing home. You al­ways come back grate­ful for where you call home and filled up from all you ex­pe­ri­enced!

Jess: My hope is to in­spire peo­ple to break free of any sit­u­a­tion that is less than what you dreamed up as a kid. Not ev­ery­one can travel the world but ev­ery­one can leave their home.

What ad­vice would you give par­ents who were in­spired to recre­ate your trip or do some­thing sim­i­lar

Daize: Spend­ing a longer amount of time in some of the coun­tries we are in would be a sure thing. Some­times it felt a lit­tle rushed be­cause we were on a bud­get, and also a dead­line.

Aamion: Yeah, spend­ing a month in each place would be the least amount of time that we will do it, when we do it again. I rec­om­mend hav­ing no agenda at times and just al­low­ing things to un­fold as they will. By do­ing this you re­ally get into the groove of the place.

Do you think peo­ple around the world are starkly dif­fer­ent or do you learn to find the com­mon el­e­ments of hu­man na­ture when you travel to so many dif­fer­ent na­tions?

Daize: It's re­ally in­ter­est­ing how dif­fer­ent hu­mans can be from coun­try to coun­try. Laugh­ter still re­mains the one thing that no mat­ter where you go ev­ery­one shares it.

Aamion: I no­ticed that no mat­ter where we were if we had the kids with us, we were wel­comed over and over and over again. Kids are the fu­ture and it seems like most cul­tures and peo­ple in the world un­der­stand that so they are ex­tremely ac­cept­ing.

Jess: I think the world is a very com­pli­cated place and I don't feel like I can an­swer this ques­tion with­out gen­er­al­is­ing all the dif­fer­ent peo­ple / cul­tures of the world.

Were you left with a sense of hope for the world's fu­ture?

Jess: That is a loaded ques­tion.

Daize: The world is an in­cred­i­ble place. It's filled with so much beauty, and love it just de­pends on what you are fo­cus­ing on. The hope for the fu­ture is in the hands of us. Each of us. As par­ents. As friends, lovers, and neigh­bours. Our legacy is the fu­ture of this planet and if we can be con­scious and re­spect ev­ery­one and every­where we set foot, we will con­tinue to bless this planet.

Aamion: It's su­per easy to go on a down­ward spi­ral if you turn on the news, read the news­pa­per or even get on the neg­a­tive vibe with your tribe. It's so im­por­tant to stay in the mo­ment and be grate­ful daily. We can only fo­cus on what's right in front of us, this is where we as in­di­vid­u­als will have the most im­pact. A daily strug­gle for ev­ery­one in­clud­ing us but gotta do it to stay on the pos­i­tive.

What was the most im­por­tant les­son you think you learnt?

Jess: "Ev­ery­thing al­ways seems to work out." Don't stress out. Keep calm and fig­ure it out. Laugh when things go wrong.

Aamion: That this world is a good place. Peo­ple are still kind. There are still places that are be­yond beau­ti­ful. And it's so im­por­tant to ex­pe­ri­ence that if you can. We can all live in so much fear but if you get out and just go, you'll see that it's not like it is on the news.

Daize: To­tally agree, there is still so much good go­ing on.

Do you think your son ben­e­fited from the ex­pe­ri­ence?

Daize: It seems like ev­ery day he still men­tions some­thing that he re­mem­bered. The other day he talked about play­ing trac­tors in the sand next to the gi­ant ice cubes on the black­sand beaches of Ice­land. They too now have an itch to travel and ex­pe­ri­ence cul­tures and the peo­ple from far off lands.

Aamion: It's price­less.

Can you find a balance be­tween for­mal ed­u­ca­tion and learn­ing through ex­pe­ri­ences like the one you've had. Do you see both as be­ing im­por­tant?

Daize: We firmly be­lieve in ed­u­cat­ing our chil­dren in a way where they can learn through daily ex­pe­ri­ence. Aca­demics are so im­por­tant but there are so many ways to learn math, sci­ence, English, and the oth­ers.

Aamion: We pulled our son out of public ed­u­ca­tion when he was five and have seen such amaz­ing things from that de­ci­sion that we made. He is so well-rounded. Our daugh­ter as well learns much bet­ter when she's not put into a box. Chil­dren are the fu­ture so teach­ing them in an evolved way is re­ally the only way.

The mod­ern surf trip is more about a hit and run surf mis­sion, but does old-school, long haul trav­el­ling that's not based purely on a swell fore­cast, give you a greater ap­pre­ci­a­tion for waves when you fi­nally get to ride them?

Aamion: For sure. I'm a big fan of tak­ing the long road. That's what it is all about for me. Trav­el­ling across the world to find a wave that maybe doesn't even ex­ist. That's where the sense of ad­ven­ture re­ally comes into play. My wife and I get into it some­times be­cause I like old-school maps and she likes GPS. Both get you there but with maps you can have a whole dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence. Daize: Slow your­self down babe. Haha. Are you al­ready plan­ning your next ad­ven­ture?

Aamion: Yes we are al­ways plan­ning our next trip. Sav­ing our money so that we can take the whole fam­ily on at least two or three crazy ad­ven­tures ev­ery year. The vi­sion is to be trav­el­ing most of the year even­tu­ally. Tak­ing school on the road.

Daize: We also do a lot of camp­ing, and ex­plor­ing on our is­land. This place is be­yond mag­i­cal, but yes tak­ing life back to the road to our favourite places with our chil­dren is def­i­nitely in the fu­ture of this fam­ily. To ex­pe­ri­ence Given your­self you can down­load it via the of­fi­cial web­site at www.given­the­movie.com/shop or itunes, google play and ama­zon

THAI­LAND

MAIN: GIVEN PROV­ING THAT KIDS GEN­ER­ALLY MAKE FRIENDS WHER­EVER THEY GO.

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