In the month or so that we’ve been travelling we’ve met a series of very interesting people.
One that got us thinking the most is the Benson family. We met the Bensons at the end of a 1,5hr hike in Queulat. We had spent a good half hour at the top admiring the glacier, eating copious amounts of cookies and waiting for the light to change so as to take THE picture of the glacier when the Benson family strolled in.
A family of five, with three boys, there was just something about them. We first bonded over cameras and had the obligatory chat about how long we’ve been travelling, where we are heading to next and exchanged tips on places to go to / avoid.
And then we ventured into unchartered waters. “Why did you decide to travel?”, a very non-British question from Andy.
The Bensons have three boys between the ages of 16 and 10 (I am guessing here – our questioning was not that detailed. In any event they are a quiet, very well behaved and social-media savvy bunch). Dwayne and Rebecca were very open with their life journey and we wish we could have grabbed a beer / dinner with them.
Dwayne had always wanted to be a firefighter, his father is one and he could not think of being anything else when growing up. At the age of 17 he prayed and consulted with God about his future. Dwayne says that God asked him if he would give up his dream for Him and he could not come up with a comprehensive answer. So Dwayne became a pastor; settled a church outside Santa Barbara in California, worked a lot with youth programmes but eventually had to move back in with his parents (and his growing family) as the life of a pastor is not lucrative. Dwayne continued to pray and in his early 30s sat his exams and joined the San Antonio (TX) firefighters with God’s blessing.
Dwayne accumulated all his holidays from 2016 and the family started their long trip down Central and then South America at the beginning of the summer. He still works and flies back to Texas for an couple of weeks every 3 weeks to cover his shifts. Rebecca and the kids stay back, the kids are still in school; Noah (the oldest) seems to have quite a bit of homework to do. Whilst they are heading back for Xmas to see family they intend to travel for another 6months or so in 2017, probably around South East Asia.
We left the Bensons at the top of the hike, looking at the glacier. On the hour-long hike down, Andy and I talked a lot about faith vs intuition and how we come up with excuses for not doing things. Does praying to God feel the same as a long solitary walk when you think about your problems and come up with a plan? Does believing into something bigger than you bring with it hope that things will be ok? That someone out there is looking after you?
Huge thank you to Dwayne and Rebecca for their candour. We follow their adventures here: beforewefinis.com and their Instagram account (kudos for an awesome site name 🙂 ).