This summer we did something completely different and went Urban for a few days. The funny thing was that we were as uncomfortable and out of our ‘zone’ in this setting as regular city folk are when the go into the wilderness. So although we took some strain with navigating our way through this environment, it still had the same adventure elements that we so love to experience.
For this trip we got to explore around Washington D.C which is such an interesting and crazy city to visit. We stayed at a campground within subway striking distance from downtown. Usually when we start a wilderness expedition the team knows what they need and how to make it all happen – from navigation to getting water and simple things like using the woods if you need to go. But in the city this all changed. Suddenly we got stressed out trying to figure out buying subway tokens or passes and where to get on or off and which line do we take. On our first time in we actually lost 2 team mates who didn’t get off the train in time. So wow – they just disappeared into the darkness of the train tunnel and were gone! We reconnected thanks to the marvel of technology and our phones became a major tool for figuring out this entire environment. We could navigate with them, find each other with them, find places we needed to go, get information about anything we were looking at, and the list goes on. Smart phones are way more useful in the city!
Highlights of our expedition were:
- A tour of the Capitol Building – very impressive with so much to see and do, plus the air conditioning was worth the entire visit as was their restaurant!
- Getting to see the White House – for some of us this was our first time seeing this famous house and it’s always exciting to be right there.
- Exploring the many world class museums and monuments of DC
- Getting a feel for our nations capitol city and what it’s like to be there.
Travelling with a group of teenagers is also super interesting and I wanted to include a list of the best ‘Travel Hacks’ I discovered travelling with this lot:
- Using Uber taxis to get around downtown and between sights
- Travelling ultra-light in the city (no backpacks or extra gear) and using Starbucks for free ice-water and a/c (again)
- Using google maps to navigate the city as a pedestrian – it’s a game changer and so fun. We found the app even zooms into museums and then you can navigate their too on your phone.
- Using Barnes and Noble bookstores to get out of the rain and simultaneously re-charge your smart phone.