Thompson Rivers University

Childhood Travels Inspire Research

  Posted on: October 7, 2014

Childhood travels inspired research

This photo by Harry Gillett is of a family hike in Northern England during one of his many childhood trips to that country.

As a child, Harry Gillett so enjoyed the family’s six-week trips every other year to England that he decided to turn those memories into a research project.

His study was applauded last month by the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) when it honoured him with the Gordon Taylor Future Researcher Award.

The Bachelor of Tourism student received $1,000 in cash, free registration for TTRA’s annual conference Sept. 24-26 in Yellowknife, NWT, and up to $1,000 of his travel and accommodation expenses covered to attend the conference.

Childhood travels inspires reasearch

Harry Gillett

Called “Traveling with the Adventurous Family”, Gillett sought to understand the motivations, benefits, and theoretical foundations of parents who travel with dependent children under the age of 18. Within his definition of “adventurous”, he included an element of risk. Risk could be physical, social, cultural, or something else.

He also examined the challenges parents encountered and what they learned in working through them.

“I chose to look at adventurous family travel because of my own experiences as a child that had a huge impact on who I am today, as well as the aspirations and, or fears of my peer group,” said Gillett, adding the project has inspired him to do more research and possibly take his study in different directions. He is also considering graduate studies.

His data was generated through interviews with several families including his sister and father.