Our Dads in Motion blog series highlights Austin Adventures staff dads each week. These fathers have been raising young children in the midst of a pandemic, an era when work and home life has been blurred significantly. These blogs also pay homage to all parents in similar situations and to intrepid parents who have lost access to their traditional travel plans, where family memories are specially made.
At Austin Adventures, family is the backbone of all we do. The hallmark of being completely family-owned and operated continues to drive the ethos of Austin Adventures.
Austin Adventures staff, guides, and guests thrive in a culture that emulates that of a family: Empathetic, supportive, attentive to detail and concerns, and inclusive.
By Rachel Helgeson
5 minute read
Most adventures are born of well-thought-out plans, crafted with a road map or an itinerary designed to excite and rejuvenate. But for Brenon Savell, adventure has also been found in the unplanned and challenging experiences.
Brenon’s journeys have taken him from Alabama to Peru to the western United States, with adventure found in exciting treks, jobs, and new hometowns. However, becoming a dad is a journey that stands out among the rest.
Starting a family as a middle-aged man was difficult. Through in-vetro fertilization, Brenon and his wife ultimately conceived a little girl in 2018. A miracle, albeit the start of another difficult journey.
Their newborn daughter Muriel spent the first 101 days of her life in the neonatal intensive care unit, weighing just over two pounds. When the Savells finally brought home Muriel, she was reliant on oxygen and a feeding tube.
“Kids were a thing to work hard for. Muriel had a very unhappy first year of her life, I spent time in a rocking chair with her a lot. She was always agitated with no hunger response,” Brenon explained.
Though the first chapter of her life was full of challenges, Muriel’s presence in this world has been an adventure in itself. Today she is a happy, bubbly, healthy little three-year-old with a spunky attitude and an endless amount of energy.
Her younger brother, Luther, added yet another layer of adventure for Brenon in 2020 — the year that challenges really began to stack up.
Brenon lost his job in March of 2020, but the time he suddenly found on his hands was used wisely for new dad adventures.
“It was an easy decision to hang out with kids,” Brenon said. “One day they’ll want friends instead. I had three straight months to spend with our not-quite one-year-old son.”
The three of them ventured through the summer together growing a 1,000-square-foot urban mini farm in the backyard, playing with the two family dogs, and splashing around in the pool at home.
By the end of 2020, Brenon joined the Austin Adventures family working as the marketing manager.
“I wouldn’t give up the time with the kids just to be back at a bad job. I found Austin Adventures nearly by accident, and have found satisfaction and fulfillment here.”
Though the day-to-day schedule presents a different set of challenges (Brenon likens bathtime to “wrangling cats”) with both Brenon and his wife working full-time, there is always an adventure found in the little things, whether planned or unplanned.