GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - While most of us dream of visiting a few national parks, one little girl is about to finish her journey of exploring all 63 U.S. National Parks.
“It's been an adventure, to say the least, I think it's been also one of the hardest things we've ever done, but also the most rewarding,” said Valerie Castillo, Journey's mom.
Journey Castillo and her parents began visiting national parks when she was just one week old. Now at 2 years old, Journey hit park number 51 — Glacier National Park.
Eric and Valerie have a unique view of why they are taking Journey, a toddler, to all these amazing places.
“We wanted to raise her with an identity that she can carry on for forever, and she can make a difference with it. So we're just giving her this gift because we feel like with this, she's going to be able to impact the natural world and maybe impact some of these national parks. Our goal is to just have her educated in all of this at a very young age so she can soak it up and then she'll have that unique aspect of life, the way she sees it, with these experiences,” said Eric Castillo, Journey’s dad.
If you’d like to take your young child to some of the parks you have to have a different perspective on travel.
“You totally need to just not feel so structured and pressured. You're, you're not going to stick to an itinerary. Things are going to change, weather is going to change and so being prepared to adapt and make the most of that is going to be the best advice I think that we can give,” said Valerie.
Journey loves talking with the park rangers and getting her junior ranger badges. And while the adventure is almost over her parents hope this experience will shape what Journey does in the future.
“It's building something from the ground up and you have to start somewhere, so, we're starting when she's young, we're not waiting until she's older. We're just taking the opportunity to start young and it's like with a good foundation on what we're building. As she gets older, it will grow it will branch off like a tree and she'll have more opportunity,” said Eric.
You can follow the rest of Journey's adventure on her social media accounts by searching "Journey Go Explore."