When Their Mission Became Our Own

As time progressed in planning The Grateful American Road Trip we had all of the bigger details of the journey pretty well laid out. We knew we would travel to all 50 US states and volunteer in each one. We had a pretty good idea about the route we would take. We calculated the costs and planned ways to shore up the deficit we had.

But we really didn’t know when the journey would begin.


Who, exactly, we would serve as we volunteered in each state.


We knew that, for many reasons, our attempt to drive the Pan American Highway was a journey that was bigger than ourselves. There was no reason anyone in their thirties deserved the opportunity to travel, although we knew plenty of people our age who did. We were not retired or on our deathbed, so we could not excuse our trip based on any amount of financial freedom or an insistence on fulfilling items on our bucket list.

We wanted to travel simply because we truly felt called to wander. We believed that there was greater purpose calling us to the road and that the stories and impact we would have in the leaving would be far greater than in the staying.


In this time of “waiting” we started making lists of the kinds of people and organizations with whom we wanted to volunteer on our Grateful American Road Trip. It was heartbreaking, truly, to find that search after search was full of people in need.

Generally we knew that we wanted to focus on people who were sick, poor, orphaned or widowed.

But even then it was overwhelming to see so many people who fell into this criteria in EVERY city in which we planned to visit.

Then one thing became exceedingly clear: Our whole lives we have been called to serve children. Whether it was Chris teaching high school or Lindsay volunteering to help children ride horses for therapy or the two years we served as house parents and raised over two dozen kids, the common element was children.

So we went all in to find stories of children who were sick with either Crohn’s Disease or cancer, orphaned or in the foster system, or were living in poverty.

That too proved overwhelming, and continued to be heartbreaking, because the more we searched for children who were broken, the more we found children we wanted to serve. Yet we knew we had to narrow down each search to selecting one or possibly two children in each city to visit.


Knowing who we sought to serve made each child’s mission our own. While we have chosen to travel to some of the most beautiful places in the world, we find that our calling to wander is based on a purpose that is inexplicably tied to relationship with other people. Our mission is to use our desires and hopes of growing an audience that will then engage with the people we meet along the way.

This is why we need others to help us achieve our goal of raising at least $1,000 for each of the children we highlight along our journey. If we can find success in helping them reach their goals, then we will find success in reaching our own.

This is how we Travel With Purpose!!

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We have learned a LOT by studying the planning of others and feel that the least that we can do is to share the best resources that we have used.

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Welcome to the beautiful world as seen through Lindsay’s camera lens! With a touch or formal photography education combined with a whole lot of passion, Lindsay loves communicating the world she sees through her photographs.

Enjoy her photo essays below as we continue our journey to explore the world!

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Traveling With Crohn's Disease

Lindsay has Crohn’s Disease. It’s a dream killer for most people who want to travel long term. She’s not letting it kill her dreams though! And neither should you!

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