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The father who took his son to Mongolia to disconnect him from his cell phone

At the beginning, Khobe Clarke resisted the idea of ​​traveling a month, disconnected from his cell phone, with his father Credit: Jamie Clarke / BBC

How logrs than a teenager
Release your phone and talk to you? Jamie Clarke went to Mongolia with her son to find out. While touring a remote valley of the Asian country on his motorcycle, adventurer Jamie Clarke let the hum of the engine and the wind resonate in his mind as his thoughts wandered.

After several hours, he stopped to take off his helmet and look at the map. This was what he liked about adventures: loneliness, landscape and the feeling of being in charge of his own destiny.

But when his 18-year-old son stopped just behind him on his own motorcycle, he had a different view of the long journey they had just finished.

For him, being alone with his thoughts was novel and disturbing. "Oh, my god, it was terrible! I can't stay like this with my brain!" He exclaimed. But precisely for that reason the two had decided to embark together on this adventure.

Jamie and his son toured Mongolia by motorcycle, horse and camel

Jamie and his son toured Mongolia by motorcycle, horse and camel Credit: Jamie Clarke / BBC

Angry and sad

Clarke, a skier, mountaineer and long-time hiker, felt that he was losing contact with his son Khobe, who was always talking on the phone at his home in Calgary, Alberta, in southwestern Canada.

The father, in part, blamed himself. Like everyone else, he also has a smart phone and enjoyed playing with his son on his Blackberry when he was little.

"If any addiction we have today as individuals and as a family,
we (the parents) perpetuate it, "Clarke tells the BBC." The phones are great devices, but we begin to feel they are controlling us and not vice versa. "

The problem had reached a critical point a few years earlier, when Clarke went with his family to a remote ski shelter for a weekend to celebrate his fifty birthday. The area had no wifi and there was no cell phone signal.

Father and son could meet in different facets

Father and son could meet in different facets Credit: Jamie Clarke / BBC

"I've never experienced a weekend without my phone before," Clarke's son, Khobe, told the BBC. "It was very weird for me." The young man admits that at that time he was angry at having to travel, and sad because without Snapchat or Instagram he had no idea what his friends were doing at home.

That made his father think about the role that technology had played in his family life, and how to solve it.

The preparation

For a long time, I had dreamed of traveling through Mongolia by bicycle. Now that his son was older, why not do it with him? About a year ago, he proposed it to Khobe. At first, the young man rejected the idea. "I said not quickly enough," he recalls.

"But it became a fun idea … the preparation made it exciting to go and do it," he recalls.

Khobe obtained his motorcycle license and the two practiced longer trips. Although his father had climbed Everest twice, Khobe had never climbed a mountain, so he also had to go into mountaineering.