By Neal Ritter
We recently returned from our annual trip to the Caribbean, our winter time Teen Expedition. During the teenage years, adventure is important. Travel, survival skills, bushcraft and new environments fit this bill well. For us drylanders coming from Colorado, there is much that is wild, new and exciting in the Caribbean. Learning fish, birds and plants. Basking in humidity, and surviving bug bites. There are new challenges, such as making fire, and getting dry, but other things are easier, like the abundance of wild foods, and not worrying about the cold.
The Teen Expedition as a few phases. We start with intensive primitive skills, focusing on those unique to tropical regions. Then comes a survival trek into the jungle, sleeping in a shelter together, harvesting wild foods from the coastal areas, cooking over the fire. After the trek we turn our attention to freediving and spear fishing, and connecting with the local culture, in particular meeting farmers and visiting new places.
One of the special aspects of the return is to look at our own world, our home, through new eyes. While away, reveling in adventure, we change and transform, fill with inspiration, develop new perspectives. We can ride this wave on our return, to make changes, or appreciate our lives more fully.