The gran tour: young backpacker travels the world with 74-year-old grandmother
A young backpacker took his 74-year-old grandmother along with him on his travels in the hopes to inspire others to bridge the gap between young and old.
Nathanel Creson, 26, from, Gothenburg, in Sweden, decided to ask his gran, Edna Nahari, originally from Israel, to join him on the trip of a lifetime.
Without hesitation, she jumped at the chance and the pair head off in March, this year, to China, South Korea, Japan, The Philippines, Taiwan and India, all countries on their joint bucket list.
Nathanel said: “The whole idea was born when gran came and visited me while I was living in Barcelona. We took long walks and she told me stories from her past.
“At some point I had a strange feeling in my stomach that one day I am going to miss this woman a lot, so I asked if she wanted to go travelling with me.
“She instantly said yes and the rest is history.
“For me The Gran Adventure is more than just a grandson traveling with his grandmother.
“We hope to inspire other people and to show them that they can do this too.”
They began their journey in Beijing, and have been staying in hostels throughout the whole trip, sometimes even sharing a bed.
The pair have already shared some amazing experiences such as visiting the Great Wall of China, stood between the border of South and North Korea and visited a cat café in Tokyo.
Travelling together for a total of four months, Nathanel said he wanted to take the trip in order to get to know his last living grandparent a little bit better.
The Stirling University graduate is even documenting the adventure in a weekly vlog, called The Gran Adventure.
So far, the unusual couple have ticked off China, South Korea and Japan, and they’re currently making their way across the Philippines.
They plan to head to Taiwan next week before finishing up their once in a lifetime adventure in India.
Nathanel also hopes that more people from his generation will see what they have done and will ultimately decide to spend more time with the elderly.
Travelling much slower than he would’ve done on his own, and spending less time with other young travellers, Nathanel said this experience has been a sacrifice well worth taking.
“I’ve spent less time with other backpackers my age and I have very rarely been out partying on this trip.
“For some, this might be seen as a big sacrifice but for me, the things I gain from travelling with my grandmother outweigh these small sacrifices.”
“When they hear that she’s actually my grandmother and not my mother, they’re amazed.
“Some want to take photos, some have recognised us from the television, and one band even serenaded my gran in a bar.
“It’s certainly been a very humbling experience.”
Nathanel’s gran, who is known by the name, Safta, is no stranger to the nomadic lifestyle and has, in her day, spent time travelling the Middle East, Africa and the US, all on her own.
Nathanel said: “She constantly surprises me. I think her climbing up one thousand steps in China was pretty outrageous.
“Also, her agreeing to go horse riding was also a hilarious moment.
“She is full of energy and is always positive.
“Everywhere she goes she always leaves an impression and it does not matter who you are, you can always find something to speak to her about.”
The duo have now added an extra country to their list after forming a bond with a mother and daughter from Taiwan.
“It took me three months to plan our travels but a lot of those plans have changed and a lot of the time we just take it as we go.
“I just loved being in a country where virtually no one speaks English and where you are challenged every day.
“I loved China but for grandma, the Philippines have been her favourite as it has stunning islands, tropical weather and fresh coconuts.
“Each time we reach a new destination, she’s in awe of what it has to offer.”
The trip so far has undoubtedly been incredible for both Nathanel and his grandmother, but what’s made it even more special is that his sister, Hadassa, has now joined the pair on their journey.
“My sister is currently with us and it’s been so nice to share this experience with her.
“Safta is full of joy having two grandchildren with her, she’s really happy.”
Feeling positive that he’ll travel with his grandma again in the future, Nathanel wants to encourage everyone of his age to try something similar.
He said: “It doesn’t have to be a trip like ours; even going on a weekend together could be enough.
“Whatever you do, ask questions, put down your phones and try to be as present as you possibly can be.
“In the end, I guarantee that you will one day look back and be thankful for the time you spent together.”
Follow The Gran Adventure here: https://www.facebook.com/thegranadventure