Into the Great Wide Open

This Denver family traded in its big house for camping gear, hiking boots and awe-inspiring travel

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The Rasmussen family. Photo by CORY AND ANDREA RASMUSSEN

Exploring New Zealand. Camping through Utah. Hiking to Havasupai in the Grand Canyon. Those are the kinds of adventures the Denver-based Rasmussen family— Cory, Andrea and their kids, Liam, 5, Elijah, 3 and Finley, 2, known for their blog, “Hiking the Globe With Kids”—have explored since beginning their journey last year.

“My wife and I have always loved the outdoors,” says Cory, who grew up overseas and works in property management. “About a year and a half ago, we were neck-deep in a home remodel, doing all the work ourselves, and weren’t enjoying it. We took a step back and decided this wasn’t what we wanted: We wanted to see the world. So we sold our 3,600-square-foot home and moved into a 900-square-foot apartment at the property I work at.”

Andrea and Cory, who have been to 30 countries combined, paid off their debt to focus on spending time together and traveling. “We wanted to encourage families to find ways to connect, and let them know you don’t have to limit what you do just because your kids are small,” Cory says.
 
The family devotes at least two weekends a month to intentional time outside, with week(s)-long trips on the schedule as often as work and budget allows. “We started small,” Cory adds. “We just finished the Grand Canyon 20-mile round-trip hike, but if you’d asked us a year and a half ago if we would have attempted that, we probably would have said no way.”

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Rasmussen kids. Photo by CORY AND ANDREA RASMUSSEN

And the kids love it. “They are happiest outside,” Cory says, noting that he and Andrea, a stay-at-home mom, hope these trips instill more than a love of the outdoors. “We have learned in traveling that you need to be learners. We hope our kids learn to value everyone and know they always have opportunities to grow.”

What’s next? “Our list is more pages than you have to write on, but our next big trip will likely be in the fall,” Cory says. “Andrea and I have been trying to get back to Europe, and Iceland keeps coming up.”

MASTERING TRIPS WITH YOUR KIDS
Cory and Andrea Rasmussen have learned how to keep their kids happy during outside adventures. Follow Cory’s tips on your next trip:

USE THE RIGHT LANGUAGE. “We emphasize it’s an adventure. We don’t say we’re going hiking because that can come across as a chore.”

BUILD UP TO BIG TRIPS. “Go small at the beginning. The first excursion may not be a magical experience, but it will help the kids have a positive attitude as you build.”

IT’S NOT ABOUT THE DESTINATION. “Make time for the kids during hikes. We’ve stopped miles before we planned just because our kids found a cool place.”

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