Grandson learns 91-yr-old grandma has never traveled & takes her on 63 place adventure of a lifetime

Is there something in your life that you’ve always wanted to do but never made the time for?

Somewhere you’ve always wanted to go that you keep pushing off until ‘next summer’ or ‘in a year or two’?

Well, have you ever really asked yourself why you keep pushing that thing off to a later date?
One Ohio grandmother, 91-year-old Joy Ryan, had never done much traveling in her long life.


Her biggest adventure was going with her husband to a fishing hole in Okeechobee, Fl.

When her grandson, Brad Ryan, heard about this, he knew he wanted to show his grandma just how beautiful their country is.

Brad asked his grandma if she was open to visiting the Great Smokey Mountains National Park with him.
Joy said ‘Sure’, and the pair were soon on their way.

Together they drove to the park and explored the beauty of nature, and Brad noticed how much his grandma seemed to love it.

He thought that maybe she might want to visit a few more places.
Again, Joy said that she would and so Brad started looking into some of the other national parks they could check out.


There are 63 national parks in total, with 62 of them being on the mainland, or Alaska or Hawaii, while the American Samoa national park is in the South Pacific.

Brad realized that the mainland parks were all relatively close together and that they made a big loop around the country.
He talked to his grandma and asked if she would be up for trying to see them all, and Joy jumped at the chance.

Within just a few years, Joy has gone from almost no travel experience to having visited every corner of the country.

Together, grandmother and grandson hiked in mountains and desserts, saw whales, and even went white water rafting.
“She went white water rafting at 91.” Brad said, clearly in awe of the woman, “They were class 3 rapids; she’s braver than me!”

After visiting all 62 of the nearby parks, Brad and Joy traveled thousands of miles to end their adventure at the American Samoa National Park.


“American Samoa is an island community that is very firmly rooted in family.” Brad said about why they chose to save it for the end, “I think that there’s a bit of poetic beauty in ending it there.”
While the pair’s exploration of America might be finished, they aren’t rid of the travel bug quite yet.

For their next adventure, the two are hoping to go see the beauty of Kenya, and then maybe check out some of the national parks in Canada.

While they undoubtedly loved their different adventures, Brad says some of his favorite times were spent in the car, traveling to all the different places.
“We hit the road together and started talking about our lives…” Brad says, “… She told me some of the difficult things that she’s been through that she’s never spoken about to anybody in her life. And I was able to tell her about some of the trials and tribulations in my life.”

“It’s your choice,” Joy says, “whether you’re going to have a grumpy day or a sunny day. So smile at everybody, and let them all know you’re having a whale of a time.”

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