“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” These are the inspirational words of Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings, written by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The fact that Tolkien was one of the biggest-selling adventure authors of all time with 150 million copies sold gives extra credence to the quest for adventure brimming inside all of us.
Why am I writing about adventures with Dad? Never thought you would ask!
You see, we are currently filming our Father’s Day TV Community Service Announcements (check out last year’s here) and interviewing dozens of children. We are asking very simple questions like, “What do you do with your dad?” and “Why do you like your dad?”
The answers are sublimely brilliant and revealing all at the same time.
What is undeniable is that fathers are the source of fun and adventure for our children. The moral of the story is the more fun and adventure, the merrier. Children love laughing, enjoy adventure and love doing unusual things with their dads.
As Richard Branson said,
“If happiness is the goal — and it should be, then adventures should be top priority.”
So, if adventures should be a top priority, why don’t we do adventures more often? I think one of the answers to this question is that we think adventure needs be undertaken in a far-off place, in exotic circumstances.
Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Just start in your backyard. Go outside your door like Bilbo said, and begin the adventure. Let me give you an example.
It was my daughter-in-law’s birthday and my son bought a large metre-wide helium heart balloon. Well, my four-year-old grandson wanted to release the balloon into the air ‘to see what happened’. Mum had the presence of mind to grant him his wish.
From my grandson’s point of view, Bilbo’s words came to pass with the helium balloon, “There’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” This outside-the-door adventure of the balloon going up and up and up became the adventure of the day.
Check out this beautiful “A Toy Train in Space” story below by a true dad adventurer with his young son. It has almost 9 million views and at 2.5 minutes is a great watch with the whole family. The pre-sequels humour is worth the watch too.
To be fair, devoted dad Ron Fugelseth’s adventure is a little bit further than the backyard, but a variation of the same could still work outside your back door. This is where your Dad Adventure creativity really begins to count.
The next Dad Adventure video I would like you to check out is totally backyard. Yes, you can do this and your children will love you for it. It is descriptively called, “Camping in the Backyard Adventure! All Fun with Dad!” Another great watch for the whole family.
Jawaharial Nehru said, “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”
Payton Fisher, the lovable dad in the camping-in-the-backyard video, was looking at camping in the backyard through the eyes of his children. This is the key to being a good dad adventurer.
The second key to being a good dad adventurer is developing the spirit of adventure in you. Wilfred Peterson gets right to the point when he says,
“A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, travelling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.”
Brett McKay, who runs the Art of Manliness website in the USA, recently featured an amazing guest. His podcast called “Become a Backyard Adventurer” helps individual dads develop the spirit of adventure in practical ways. This will help you do the same with your children.
Brett had this to say about his podcast guest,
“A lot of people feel like they’ve seen and done everything there is to see and do in their local area. They’re bored of their daily routine, and contemplate going off on some grand adventure in an exotic locale.
My guest would say that you don’t actually have to wait until your next big trip nor go far afield to mix things up, and that adventure can be found right where you are, in your ordinary routines, the everyday landscape of your life, and even DIY projects, if you decide to approach them in a different way.
His name is Beau Miles and he’s an Australian filmmaker who documents his own small-scale adventures on YouTube, as well as the author of The Backyard Adventurer”.
Beau has even written a book called Backyard Adventure. His most popular video with 4 million views is called “Running a marathon, one mile every hour”. One of his quirky adventure videos, with half as many views, is running along the track of a hidden overgrown railway line.
Beau, as a dad, incorporates his baby into this video of his adventure below.
“Today on the Art of Manliness show, Beau shares his experiments in proving anything can be infused with the challenge, intrigue, and fun which mark adventure, if you add in some intentional risk, difficulty, and simple what-the-heck quirkiness.”
Well, you now have some inspiration for your new “Dad Adventure in the Backyard”. It can be as simple as jumping on the trampoline with your children. A walk to the park or a drive to the beach with your children. Normally it starts as Bilbo said by, “Going out your door.”
Yours for More Dad Adventures,
PS: I encourage you to join us at the Men’s Leadership Summit, at the Tops Conference Centre on the weekend of 26-28 August 2022.
See video promo here, or watch below.
Download Summit flyer here.
First published at Dads4Kids. Photo by Kampus Production.