The Guymon family ditched Idaho normalcy for a three-month hiatus in Mexico. Greg Guymon temporarily stepped away from his orthodontic business and pulled his two children from traditional schools so they could experience a different culture, new language and humanitarian work.
His son Grant gave up his senior year to join the family experience and exchange homecoming and football games for beach sunrises and surfing.
“I have a broader perspective on the world,” Grant said. “It’s all worth it.”
Grant’s back in Idaho and now donating his time to the lawmaking process. He’s serving as a legislative page, basically an assistant to lawmakers. He passes notes, makes copies and walks 7,000 steps a day.
From Eagle High, to remote Mexico to the hustle and bustle of Idaho’s Statehouse. All once-in-a-lifetime experiences and he’s only 18.
The Mexico adventure
The Guymon’s boarded up their Eagle home and moved to Mexico from August to November. They rented a two-bedroom apartment in the small surf-town of Sayulita, Mexico, just 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta. Greg traveled back to Idaho on occasion to maintain his orthodontic business while Grant and his mom Alison Guymon had the opportunity to do humanitarian work. Four-year-old sister, Grace, attended a bilingual preschool in the town.
“What an adventure,” Grant said. “This wasn’t a vacation, I call it a life stitch.”
Grant completed eight classes online and learned Spanish from a tutor.
“I was okay leaving my school,” Grant said. “I took my education more seriously living abroad.”
Grant also fell in love with surfing. He became friends with Carlos, a local surf shop worker, who taught him how to catch waves. The two connected and they taught each other their native languages.
“Carlos was a neat guy,” Grant said. “He even stored my board at his shop.”
Grant did volunteer work on the beach. He patrolled the sand at Sayulita for rare turtle eggs. He took the eggs to a local hatchery for protection from prey and poachers.
“I’m inspired through humanity service,” Grant said. “I love it.”
He also helped the school in town create a library system. Grant and Alison worked five hours a week labeling, separating and stacking books.
“Mexico is just a beautiful place,” Grant said. “I learned a lot about life.”
The Statehouse gig
When Grant returned to Idaho in November, he wrapped up his online classes and graduated high school on Jan. 13 with a 3.8 grade-point average. His Mexico trip inspired him to do something unique before heading off to college. He applied and was accepted to be a legislative page for the 2017 Idaho Legislature.
“Grant reads minds, he is always ready when we need him,” said Ann Tippetts, the House Education secretary. “He always has a smile on his face.”
His life goal is to change the world through humanitarian service and he hopes working with local leaders will help him gain insight into government and entrepreneurship.
“I’ve never been a political person,” Grant said. “I just want to be prepared to make the world a better place.”
Grant is one of eight pages. His daily routine includes assisting the House Education Committee secretary in setting up and taking down meeting equipment, delivering messages, running errands, making copies and assisting the legislators and staff. He works eight hours a day and must wear a navy-blue sweater vest.
“He’s learning along with the rest of us,” said first-year chair Rep. Julie VanOrden of the House Education Committee. “Grant is very patient.”
Grant applied to Brigham Young University and plans to study business.
His pre-college adventures are still not over. He wants to backpack across Europe with his older brother.
Fun facts about Grant Guymon
- Favorite drink? Arizona green tea
- Favorite sport to watch? Surfing
- What are the first three songs on your current music playlist? “I know there’s an answer” by Sonic youth, “Disorder” by Joy Division and “Myth” by Beach House
- You just got a free plane ticket to go anywhere. Where are you going? Indonesia
- Three things you can’t live without? Mountains, parents and a good pair of socks
- Favorite emoji