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 #374: Where’s Next?!

Dear trail,

The first 15 days we spent together were an absolute blast. I can’t think of a better way to have started this year’s traveling. Before that stint of you was said and done, I spent significant time in five different states and drove through at least three more. Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee. I don’t even want to begin calculating the number of hours I spent in a van! Regardless you were a blast, and I’m excited to tackle more adventures on you.

Today’s my last day in Branson after a week off from the road. I pick you back up tomorrow. Laundry, school, friends and OSU football will be at the top of my list of things to complete today. Tomorrow I head out on you again. The question is where do I get to go next?! Well, I’m here to tell you…

  • Oct. 17-21st: St. Louis (family shows and I think I’ll interview at St. Louis University and Greenville College the 18th and 22nd respectively)
  • Oct. 22nd: Branson
  • Oct. 23rd: University of Tennessee
  • Oct. 24th: Tennessee Tech
  • Oct. 25th: Carson Newman
  • Oct. 26th: Lee University
  • Oct. 27th: Covenant College

Here’s the glimpse into our next two weeks. Lots of people I’m excited to see and tons of adventure calling my name. You sure do make my life exciting and fun.

Go Pokes,
Professional Traveler
P.S. What do I need to do while I’m in St. Louis?! I’ve never spent time there and am excited to experience it first hand! World Series game?!?!

Letter #356: Trail Beginnings…

Dear trail,

It’s time to release our traveling schedule again. Where oh where will my travels take me this year? Well, for now I’ll divulge my first two weeks. Based on these places and even more the people I’ll get to spend time with at these places, we’re going to be off to a good start this year!

I had the choice of going to interview at either A&M/Baylor or OSU/OU for my first week out. Seriously, what a choice. Of course my loyalties lie in Oklahoma, but probably 40% of K-West’s staff goes to school in Texas. I was hardcore struggling to decide, but then my scheming side took over. I realized OSU played at A&M this past weekend. The second this hit me I started dreaming up possibilities. What if I flew down early and could make it to the game? I let the idea stew for a bit, ran it by Beth, my director, and she thought it was awesome. The second she told me I wasn’t crazy for thinking up this scheme, I took it more seriously. After a few conversations with A&M friends, we decided it was doable. I found a flight; they graciously found me a ticket; here I am in College Station having a blast! The rest of my team will arrive Wednesday to interview staff and begin trail for real! This explains my huge stint in College Station and my 15 day journey!

  • Sept. 23-28th: Texas A&M
  • Sept. 29th: Baylor
  • Sept. 30th: Dallas Kanakuk Staff Reunion (Watermark Church, 8-11 p.m., be there!)
  • Hang in Dallas with friends
  • Oct. 3rd: Auburn
  • Oct. 4th: Samford
  • Oct. 5-7th: Catalyst Conference, Atlanta (I’ve heard raving reviews about this guy and am stoked to see what it’s all about. And Dave Ramsey’s one of the speakers!!!!)

So there you have it. The first two weeks of you look to be an adventure filled with fun reunions, meaningful conversations and unforgettable memories. In the midst of all this, I’ll be praying for three specific things: discernment and direction while interviewing; purposeful and intentional time with friends/staff; refinement and growth in my walk with the Lord in the midst of my crazy schedule.

On the road again,

Texas, Alabama and Georgia visitor

Letter #353: Traveling Gypsie


Dear traveling,

So you begin. It’s crazy that it’s that time of year again, but I’m stoked. You are my favorite part of my job in the fall. Good thing. If you weren’t I’d be one miserable girl! Especially considering my first stint out is for 15 days!

Let me explain. I work for Kanakuk Kamps. We’re a Christian, sports camp whose mission is to develop dynamic Christian leaders through life-changing experiences, godly relationships and spiritual training. In order for this to happen, we must have campers coming to camp as well as staff to make camp happen. Thus, we have winter trail where all the directors travel the country interviewing staff and telling families about Kanakuk.

I am lucky enough to get to be part of winter trail and because I’m single and childless I spend LOTS of time on the road. Like 10 plus weeks. At this stage in my life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Living out of a suitcase and sleeping in a different place every night doesn’t stress me out in the least. Getting to see friends, campers and interview along the way excites me. The trickiest and most dreadful part for me is packing. Packing for 15 days with temperatures varying from 45-95 degrees and activities from tailgating and football games to work engagements and a conference…strategy is necessary. Based on the above picture, I’m not sure how much strategy occurred!

After lots of laundry and finally just selling out to finishing, I’m packed and ready to go. Flight leaves at 1:15, and I’m College Station bound! I’ll detail my adventure more in a later post, but for now all you need to know is I’ll be wearing orange amongst the Aggies!

So it begins,

Traveling gypsie

P.S. Happy First Day of Fall to the best readers in the world!

Letter #347: Traveling Junkie

Dear trail,

You are coming so quickly. I’m looking forward to traveling again this year and am anxiously awaiting to find out exactly where I get to go. You see, of all the people who travel for Kanakuk, my life is the least complicated. I only have to take care of me where as all the other people are either engaged, married or married with multiple children. Thus, travels get a little tricky trying to space out dad’s time away from their families and whether or not the moms can travel at all because of their little minions.

Then there’s me. No strings attached. Send me wherever because I’ll be happy to go and nobody else is affected. I love this part of my job. It’s hands down the highlight of my non-summer months. I get to see the country, visit places I never would otherwise and spend time with friends all over the USA. You’re a blast; you challenge me; you allow me to meet really neat personalities during interviews; you bring adventure to my life.

So, this is my last week in Shady B for awhile. I don’t know exactly where I’m going yet, but this Friday I depart (more on that soon). With that being said, this is my last weekend at home for a bit. Here’s to getting a ton done, enjoying some rest and having home-cooked food for one more week!

Excited for you this year,

Traveling junkie

Letter #106: Perspective

Dear perspective,

You have been gained this week. Saturday, I left for another week of trail. Big deal, it’s my eighth week, but this week was different. I was doing family shows instead of college. I was interacting with adults, moms, dads, lawyers, teachers, kampers, babies and the list goes on. These weren’t college kids wanting to explore their faith and summer options. These are adults, parents who are deciding how to invest their money, time and efforts into the development of their children. Kanakuk is an investment, one I believe is worth it. Families make huge sacrifices throughout the year to get their kids to kamp because they believe in the truths instilled at kamp and the life change that can happen because of the Lord there.

All that being said, interacting with college students is comfortable for me. I can relate. I don’t understand what it means to send my kid to kamp and be away for weeks at a time. I don’t understand a parent’s love for a child. This isn’t my comfort zone. It’s not a natural setting for me. However, I had the best week!

I LOVED getting to meet West Texas families. Good thing, I’m doing them all next week too! I loved getting to do life with them for a bit. I loved playing and chatting with kids and dropping them off at school! I valued the conversations I was able to have with parents. The Lord used this week to open my eyes in so many ways.

First of all, I semi live in a bubble. I don’t always see or understand how “normal’ American families do life because I’m surrounded by people who live on kamp schedules. It’s refreshing to see people from every occupation, economic status and location being completely sold out for the Lord in their everyday “normal’ American lives. Secondly, I was able to see from a whole new you why we do what we do at Kanakuk. Kamp plays a HUGE role in kids’ lives, and I was able to see this in a new light. Kamp changes lives. Entire families. Kids spend time in the Word because they saw their counselor do it. Kids are mentoring younger students because a kitchie took time to invest in them.

My expectations of what this week would be were blown out of the water. I was refreshed, challenged professionally and personally, invested in and loved on all while telling potential families about kamp. I have a better grasp on my purpose today than I did last week. I will continue to invest in staff and kids’ lives praying Christ would change them and in turn communities can be different.

Twenty-three and loving doing life with families,

Gainer of you