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