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Around the World in Fourteen Months

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Yellowknife has recently welcomed a few guests who are on a globe-trotting mission.

The Porter family arrived in Yellowknife on Thursday, June 23rd in a single engine aircraft, having left from Vancouver just a few days before. Their stop is just one of dozens they will be making over the next 14 months as they will be visiting smaller, out of the way and generally hard-to-reach places and documenting their journey from the unique perspectives of pilots, crew, parents, children, teenagers.

This is more than just a sigh seeing tour, however. Samantha Porter, a member of the family on this trip, helped to explain the real mission.

“We are trying to raise money for SOS Children’s Villages. It’s a children’s charity that works with 136 countries around the world. They work with orphans, abandoned and vulnerable children. We just left about eight days ago from Vancouver.”

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At the moment, there are only three people on the plane; Samantha, her brother, Chris, and her father, Ian. They will be meeting up with Samantha’s mother and sister later to continue the journey.

Samantha is a 3rd year student at University of British Columbia (UBC) studying Geography -Environment and Sustainability. Samantha is a licensed Private Pilot and will often sit “right seat” as co-pilot during the expedition, and she is putting her UBC studies on hold for a year to participate in the expedition.

The trip was in the planning stages for up to a year before they first took off. Their trip was of course delayed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and again quite recently due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Their flight plan did have to be altered slightly, but they were still able to bring it all together.

Photo provided by Samantha Porter

When asked about what inspired the family to take on this mission, Ian Porter chimed in. Ian is the “Chief Pilot” for the trip, and has been a career pilot for many years. He shared his thoughts on why the family decided to do this.

“I would do sort of longer distance flying trips, and I joined one around South America and one around Alaska. I always had a couple of feelings, and one of them was “Boy, I wish I could spend a little bit more time in each one of the places we visited,” because a lot of long distance trips like this, most times people will fly, and they stop very briefly, sort of gas and go. So I thought it would be nice to spend a bit of time at each place, and visit more places along the way, and also it would be great if we had the family there as well.”

Ian added that for most of their stops, they will said aside about six days for the family to do some personal time, and explore the local areas.

Since 1949, SOS Children’s Villages has been guided by a basic principle: a loving home for every child. It is the world’s largest charity working with orphaned and abandoned children. With locations in more than 134 countries, SOS provides over 78,000 orphaned and abandoned children with a home and a loving SOS mother. As a non-denominational organization, SOS ensures that the children raised in their care remain part of their community.

Photo provided by Samantha Porter

The Porter family is encouraging everyone to watch their journey over the next fourteen months, as they will be providing regular updates on their website, which can be found here.

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