Meet Gina

How many countries have you visited? How many countries do you think you will have the opportunity to visit in your lifetime? I know several readers of this blog are fairly well-traveled, but not many people can say they’ve visited 11 countries. (Even some who visit a number of different countries during a Europe trip can’t claim 11).

Well, my friend Gina got accepted into the World Race, which sounds a lot like the Amazing Race but I’m not sure if it’s even a race at all. She will be touring 11 countries in 11 months and will be doing missionary service projects in all of them. She is not allowed to be in a relationship prior to or during the race, and the whole point of the experience is to live a radically different, fairly nomadic lifestyle. Some of the countries haven’t even been selected yet–the team will be led to choose them while on the trip.

Gina in India (a couple of years ago)

No “home base,” no apartment, and no job other than helping those around her. Those who have completed the World Race, after almost a year of living this way, will never be the same again.

In order to support herself for 11 months, she needs to raise 14,000 dollars between now and September, the month of her departure. There is a link on her blog if you would like to support her endeavor.

Her blog can be found here, and has been added to my links on the side.

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Approximately 15 miles north of McPherson nestled on the Smokey Hill river resides the small community of Lindsborg. In all my years of living in this area I have always found this town to be a simple, quaint place with a lot more to offer than meets the eye. Swedish settlers established it in 1869 and these roots are still very evident today in many of the shops, street names, and the ubiquitous dala horse.

My roommate, a friend and I decided that a walk to Lindsborg would be a doable endeavor so we set out this morning around 9:30 from school on the south side of McPherson. After a quick stop to procure some sustenance for the trek, we left town on 81 highway heading due north. We shortly decided that walking on the gravel road one mile to the west would be more fun so we headed that way. The weather was great today (no wind which was great because that’s normally Kansas’ M.O.) and we were all alone with the vast countryside surrounding us for the majority of the walk there. We stopped in a wooded area off the road for lunch and took a short nap in the grass. While lying in the grass in the silence and stillness of the area, we could hear all sorts of subtle sounds of nature that one usually doesn’t unless they’re listening for them. It was as beautiful as it was simple.

The last stretch of road seemed to go on forever, and as the town came in to view the last few miles really dragged by. We were all getting pretty tired and sore (my knee was and still is killing me) but we finally arrived, crossing the Smoky Hill as a sort of victory and finishing point. All in all, with some winding and course diversions the trip was probably an 18 mile walk. It was very taxing, but I feel satisfied as it was a great experience, a way to get away from everyday life and do something out of the ordinary.