This Duo Proves That You're Never Too Old for a New Adventure
Grandson and his 89-year-old grandma plan an epic road trip to visit 61 National Parks.
An 89-year-old grandma is checking off more than a few items on her bucket list, thanks to the help of her grandson. Brad Ryan, 38, reconnected with his Grandma Joy after 10 years. Joy is his father's mother and when he stayed with his mother after his parents got divorced, they lost touch.
That's why, when they reunited at his sister's wedding in 2001, Brad wasn't going to let her slip away again. After Brad and Joy got over the awkwardness that comes with getting to know someone all over again, he learned that his grandmother, who had lived in the same small town in Ohio her entire life, had never seen mountains or visited the ocean.
"She said it very matter of fact to me one day," Ryan told Good Morning America . "It's a shame I didn't get to see more of that in my life. I never had the chance to.'"
Brad, who loves traveling to the mountains, knew what he had to do. On his next trip to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, he made sure that Grandma Joy tagged along. When Brad saw how happy the trip made her and realized that she could keep up with him (she climbed a mountain!), they set a goal to visit 21 national parks together in 28 days.
When the staff at Acadia National Park in Maine shared photos of the pair's visit on their Instagram account, the post went viral and travelers from around the world reached out to show their support. And because the post happened on the same day as the mass shootings that took place in Dayton and El Paso, people seemed to be in extra need of some positive news.
"As we all have been reminded of all the darkness in the world in the last 24 hours through the loss of precious lives in Texas and Ohio this story really touched my heart," commented one person. "Thank you Brad for being a light!"
Since then, Brad and his grandmother have extended their travel plans and are aiming to hit the remaining 20 National Parks in the U.S. And for their grand finale? Getting Grandma Joy to her ultimate dream destination, Hawaii.
For Brad, the road trip is less about the destination and more to do with his grandmother getting to see and do the things in life that she has always wanted to do, even at the age of 89.
"You're never too old to pack in a lifetime of adventure if you have the drive and willpower to make it happen," he said. "Our story is proof that if you can open your heart and create a vision for your future, anything is possible."
You can follow along their journey on social media:
Facebook - Grandma Joy's Road Trip
Instagram - @grandmajoysroadtrip
(Source: images and video @grandmajoysroadtrip )