In one of the most adventurous sneak-outs ever, two kids outplayed their parents and hopped on a boat to take a trip across the ocean and straight to Taiwan. And they did it all alone. Well, there was a cat, too, if that counts.
Before anyone comes to a conclusion on how negligent a parent could be, the adventurous stunt actually is the story line of a Langley author’s debut release, A Very Important Trip.
To learn how Walnut Grove’s Darryl Busink got the creative idea to write a plot like that, one would need to dive deep into his childhood.
As a child, Busink was always interested in going to Australia, as he had a friend from there.
When little Darryl asked his dad if they could get there by boat, he jokingly replied that all rivers lead to the ocean, and then it’s just a matter of navigating.
Growing up in Ladner, just minutes from the Fraser River, the thought always intrigued him.
Now, the family of four lives near Yorkson Creek, and it became the basis of his children’s book, which he started writing in 2021.
In the story, Elizabeth and Daniel decide to pack up and leave for Taiwan one night to meet their cousins.
Sneakily taking their father’s rowboat, one of their cats, and some essential supplies, they journey across the ocean together. Confronting dangerous waves and pirates, they find the value of bravery and teamwork while learning survival skills before they reach their final destination.
When their mom reads their note, she starts crying, but the cool dad feels proud.
Like in the story, Busink’s two kids, who have the same names as the story characters, have cousins in Taiwan.
The family used to travel to Taiwan every three to four years for several weeks at a time to see their extended family. With COVID, things changed.
“As someone who always enjoyed writing short stories for fun and as a hobby, I went a step further during the pandemic and decided to make a story about my children taking their own journey across the ocean in order to see their cousins in Taiwan,” explained the 46-year-old.
Busink decided not to mention the pandemic in his book.
“I wanted to make it more appealing to anyone at any time.” he said.
When asked how he would react if anything from the story had occurred in real life, Busink said he would be horrified.
A full-time courier driver, he juggled between his job and writing time for a few weeks to complete his 32-page project.
The book, which is loaded with illustrations, is now available on Amazon; however, Busink hopes to partner with local libraries to expand the distribution. Recently, he conducted a storytelling session for his son’s classmates, where about 22 students were his audience.
Busink is already working on his next novel, called Children’s Fantasy, which will be out for the public to read soon.
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