Letter #445: Traveling Update

Dear traveling,

We pick right back up where we left off next week, and I’m excited for the places I go and the people I’ll see! Our exact destinations still aren’t 100% set in stone, but I’m going out on a limb and spreading the word anyway.

  • January 23: Kansas State
  • January 24: KU
  • January 25: University of Arkansas
  • January 26: Mizzou

I’ve never been to Mizzou, and I’m stoked to go back to the other three schools. Lots of fun folks to catch up with! What’s really crazy is this is the only week of you for me this spring. The girl that lives on the road is only out one week. This is a total curveball in how Branson spring works in my world. I think it’s a good thing though. I’ve had zero stability in my life for the past year and half as far as long term Branson living. This will be a good gage of how I really feel about calling Branson home.

All this being said, when I was typing out my upcoming adventures I realized I never added up how many miles we’ve acquired thus far. Earlier I estimated I’d hit 10,000. Let’s see if I was remotely accurate…

  • First three weeks of you: 3,246 miles
  • Branson-University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY): 600 miles
  • Kentucky-Vanderbilt/Lipscomb (Nashville): 213 miles
  • Vandy-Union University (Jackson, TN): 132 miles
  • Union-Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, MO): 158 miles
  • SEMO-Branson: 296 miles
  • Branson-Mississippi College (Clinton, MS): 424 miles
  • MC-Mississippi State (Starkville): 136 miles
  • MS State-Ole Miss (Oxford): 98 miles
  • Ole Miss-Branson: 348 miles
  • Branson-Birmingham, AL: 511 miles
  • Birmingham-University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa): 59 miles
  • Bama-Valdosta State (Valdosta, GA): 349 miles
  • Valdosta-University of Georgia (Athens): 245 miles
  • UGA-Branson: 716 miles
  • Branson-Southwest Baptist (Bolivar, MO)-Branson: 148 miles
  • Branson-Missouri State (Springfield, MO)-Branson: 85 miles
  • Branson-Drury/Evangel (Springfield, MO)-Branson: 100 miles
  • Branson-Missouri University of Science & Tech (Rolla, MO)-Branson: 294 miles
  • 8,158 miles in the fall…plus next week…
  • Branson-Kansas State (Manhattan, KS): 329 miles
  • K-State-KU (Lawrence, KS): 85 miles
  • KU-Arkansas (Fayetteville): 265 miles
  • Arkansas-Mizzou (Columbia, MO): 311 miles
  • Mizzou-Branson: 204 miles

9,352 miles. I didn’t quite make it to 10,000 with work travel, but sprinkle in all the driving we did around the cities once we were there and I bet it was close! Plus if I throw in my treks to Stillwater for the K-State and Bedlam games, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’m sitting at 11,888 miles. Wow. That is A LOT of miles! Good thing I’m still enjoying you!

Excited to get back on the road next week,

Extensive traveler (who still wants a really cool U.S. map for my wall to track where all I’ve been)

Letter #121: Tracking My Travels

Dear personal odometer,

If I got frequent flyer miles for the 10 weeks I traveled this year, I’d be flying free ALL over the world. Too bad I didn’t fly to begin with nor do I get rewards for the thousands of miles I traveled.

My traveling days have ceased, meaning it’s time to put you to rest for good. First, we need to see how much damage we did this year.

The past three weeks have brought many adventures as well as 4,253.1 miles.

Unbelievable. This just in…we have officially traveled 13 states and 12,372.8 miles. This means we averaged about 250 miles a day over a 10 week period. We could essentially have made it from Branson to Jerusalem and back in the amount of miles we’ve traveled.

This blows my mind. That is SO MUCH time on the road, yet I wouldn’t have traded one mile for the hundreds of people I was able to meet, interview, challenge and encourage or the friends I was able to reunite with along the way. With stops and an average of about 65 mph, it likely took the 15 passenger two hours to travel 100 miles. Thankfully, with the inventions of cell phones, 3G and old fashioned pen and paper, I was able to be fairly productive while spending 248ish hours in the van.

676.8 miles: Branson-Fayetteville-Edmond-Lubbock

146.5 miles: Lubbock-Odessa

62.9 miles: Odessa-Seminole

443.5 miles: Seminole-Edmond

325.9 miles: Edmond-Branson

411.9 miles: Branson-University of Nebraska (Lincoln)

323.9 miles: Nebraska-Mt. Vernon, IA

136.3 miles: Mt. Vernon-Des Moines

208.7 miles: Des Moines-Quincy, IL

391.5 miles: Quincy-Branson

356.5 miles: Branson-Oxford (family show)

97.5 miles: Oxford-Mississippi State (Starkville)

137.4 miles: State-Mississippi College (Clinton)

177.3 miles: MC-Ole Miss (Oxford)

356.5 miles: Ole Miss-Branson

I never dreamed I’d ever travel like this for my job. I often compared our travels with truck drivers. I was on the road about as much. There’s one huge difference though. I have something exciting to look forward to at each stop. I was going to get to spend time with people and see old friends. Truck drivers simply drop off and pick up new material to be transported. This is such a great testament of the importance of having purpose behind what we do. These 10 weeks of travel have been unexplainably wonderful. However, my stomach is excited to have groceries and my sleeping schedule is looking forward to consistency.

What will I do with my next 248 hours?!

Nation traveler