QUINTE WEST, ON — Local 17-year-old Hunter Ryan is finalizing plans for his long-anticipated one-year backpacking tour of his parents’ house.
“It’s gonna be an awesome chance to spread my wings,” the teenager enthused. “I plan to start in the bathroom, and work my way east. I think I can manage one room per month, although I’ll probably cut that to three weeks in the mudroom to save time.”
Ryan is looking forward to seeing lesser-known places like the attic, where he can be exposed to rougher living conditions than his native bedroom. However, he also has more conventional items on his itinerary, such as going to the kitchen to see the Brandenburg Plate, or the living room to see the Hagia Sofa.
The young man’s parents expressed more doubt.
“I don’t know… It’s good for kids to explore, but what if he likes the basement so much that he never comes back? I’d prefer to see him settle close by, ideally just down the hallway from us,” his mother said.
“The cost is what bothers me. If the kid really has to take a ‘gap year’ and go gallivanting off to this exotic ‘dining room,’ he ought to at least wait some tables to pay his way,” his father added.
Although Ryan acknowledges his parents’ concerns, he believes that this trip is not a luxury, but a necessity.
“I can hardly be expected to go off to university without having had a chance to find myself. This is a rite of passage! Everyone I know has done it, and [my friend] Dennis even returned with some sick accent – I think he said it was from the southwest coast of the indoor pool?”
At press time, the Ryans were helping their son with his geography homework, and struggling to recall the name of that continent kids used to visit.