Podcast Episode 180: Build An Intergenerational Friendship

    Nov 20, 2023

    In a casual conversation, while they were walking in a state park, Brad Ryan’s 85-year-old grandmother, Joy, told him she regretted never seeing a mountain in her life. He said that he started thinking about what it would be like, to only know the view from your front porch in a one traffic light town. She hadn’t had an easy life, having lost her husband, two sons in middle age, and she worked minimum wage job until she was 80. He vowed right then he’d take her to see the mountains one day.

    And on their trip to Smoky Mountain National Park, they both realized they had stumbled upon more than a road trip. They had to keep going.

    The pandemic slowed them down, but didn’t stop them, and in 8 years, they traveled over 50,000 miles and visited all 63 national parks. They’ve flown to Alaska, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands to reach their goal, including their final park in American Samoa this year when Grandma Joy turned 93.

    But, Brad says, “It was the conversation, the connection, the life affirmation that came through us on the open road that made our lives richer—not just the goal of visiting all the parks.” An unexpected magic revealed itself on that trip. 

    In this episode, you’ll find out what that magic was, and discover that we all have much to gain from intentionally pursuing intergenerational relationships. Listen in for some advice on getting started on an adventure like no other.


    “Hiking with Joy: The Power of Intergenerational Connections with Brad Ryan.” In the Details Podcast with Karen Allen. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hiking-with-joy-the-power-of/id1623234449?i=1000608357816

    Rosenblum, Gail. “How to Build an Amazing Intergenerational Friendship.” Next Avenue, March 20, 2015. https://www.nextavenue.org/how-build-amazing-intergenerational-friendship/

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