How Do YOU Adventure?

So who’s traveling for the holidays? *raises hand* Yup. Hubby and I are road-tripping 40 hours to spend Christmas with my family. We plan to read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy four times through by the end of it. 😉 BUT…because I’m traveling and it’s really hard to balance a desktop on my lap in the car, I’ve invited the lovely Katie Clark, author of The Enslaved Series, to pop by and guest post on the lovely topic of…ADVENTURE. (My favorite!)

(Whisper: “I hear she’s also giving away one of her books at the end of this post!” <3 )

Please give her a round of applause (or throw confetti in her face. You have my permission for either.) and leave her some comment love. 🙂 I know you’ll take care of her.

So, without further ado…I give you the Courageous, Creative, and Clever Katie Clark! (Say that five times fast.)

The Travel Adventures of Katie Clark

Travel adventures can be so fun! New places, new experiences…they can be awesome. Thinking back over the years, I realized I have been blessed to be able to travel to lots of great places. One month that stands out in my memory is the April of my senior year of high school. That particular April, I went on two different adventures—at the beginning of the month I took my first solo cross country trip, and it was my first time to leave the country (we went into Mexico). Then, at the end of the month my senior class traveled to Canada (second country visited in a month! Fun!). Both trips were definite adventures filled with tons of eye opening experiences.

I was seventeen years old that April when I hopped a plane to New Mexico for a week-long adventure with my childhood bestie, Jennifer, and her family. They lived in southern New Mexico, near the Texas-New Mexico-Mexico borders. It was an awesome—and sometimes scary—adventure. Awesome because the trip was jam packed with new experiences. Scary because the trip was jam packed with new experiences. (Ha!)

I lived in Alabama, and while I had flown lots of other times, I had never flown all by lonesome. I packed my favorite book for the plane ride, but I never read a single page. Way too nervous! But before long I had landed in El Paso, TX, and was meeting my friend in the airport.

The week was filled with lots of adventures—seeing how people in a totally different type of city lived, going down into Mexico and witnessing the lifestyles in a different country, and seeing national parks like the Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad, NM.

Going into Mexico was a learning experience, for sure. For example, I didn’t understand the religious customs, but I learned. A native was dancing in the street—it was some type of ceremonial dance. I tried to take a picture, but my friend quickly stopped me. She explained it was considered disrespectful.

At the end of the week, I returned home with a lot more life experience than when I’d left. Travel is learning. It’s fun yet scary, but it’s also educational.

And I didn’t have long before embarking on a totally new adventure. My senior class trip!

Traveling with friends can be one of the best experiences of your life. For my high school senior trip, our class travelled from Alabama to Niagara Falls, Canada. It was a small school, so a small group on the trip, but we had big time fun.

Going into Canada marked the second foreign country I’d visited that month. But for most of the other students, it was their first time flying in an airplane period, let alone traveling to a different country. We flew into Buffalo, NY, then drove into Canada. We were stopped at the border where our van was searched thoroughly (that was a little scary, to be honest). Then we drove into Canada to find our hotel.

It was fun being in a new place, even one that was literally a hop, skip, and a jump away from the good old USA. Different money (and adjusting to the currency exchange rate), different music, different accents, and different cultural norms. It was even more fun doing it with a group of friends! One of my classmates got completely ripped off at a restaurant when he didn’t understand the currency exchange rate, and I remember seeing some questionable behaviors over in Canada that I was pretty sure would be completely illegal to do in public back home in America.

With all of these experiences combined, it was a memorable trip filled with great stories to tell everyone back home.

What about you? Have you ever traveled? (Tweet this)


It doesn’t have to have been out of the country to be an adventure. Other places I travelled throughout my teen years? Three different states for three different summer camps; two states over for a teen church revival (we stayed with a local family at their bona fide horse ranch for that trip!); and lots of trips to visit family in the state where I was born (a 12-hour drive).

* * Giveaway! * *

Tell me about your travel adventures in the comments, and in one week I’ll choose a random commenter to win a copy of my latest YA novel, Shadowed Eden (your choice of hard copy or ebook)!


Eye opening is exactly the experience the characters in Katie’s latest teen novel, Shadowed Eden, end up in. When they travel to the Middle East for a mission trip to build a school, their worlds are turned upside down as they’re dumped into a strange and mysterious jungle with no way out. They’re on a trip without their parents—some for the first time in their lives—and they quickly learn what they’re really made of.


Click to Tweet about the giveaway!



About the Courageous, Creative, and Clever Katie Clark:

KATIE CLARK started reading fantastical stories in grade school and her love for books never died. Today she reads in all genres; her only requirement is an awesome story! She writes young adult speculative fiction, including her YA supernatural novel, Shadowed Eden, as well as The Enslaved Series. You can connect with her at her website, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Nadine here. Thanks for being awesome and talking adventure with Katie.

Where have you traveled? Tell us a travel story in the comments!

How do you feel about traveling? Love it? Hate it? Don’t know?

Remember, all you need to do is leave a comment to be entered into Katie’s giveaway! 🙂





About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. Great post 🙂

    My family has traveled across the U.S. multiple times because of moves. We always try to stop at National parks and other cool landmarks. Last summer we did it again and took a northerly route, stopping at Yellowstone and the Grande Tetons.

  2. sierrafaith327

    I haven’t traveled very many places! But when I was 8 I went to Chicago with my best friends and we went to the American Girl Doll store! And I remember being so happy because it was one of my first times without my booster seat, BUT since I didn’t have my booster seat I couldn’t really see out the window… i don’t know why I remember that but I do 😀

    • I can understand being excited about the booster seat! haha Both of my girls were super happy the day I said they could stop sitting in one :D.

  3. Thank you Katie Clark for a great post! Surprisingly I have been to more countries than I have states….just a little weird. When I was a couple months old I went on a cruise to Canada (now I don’t remember it AT All, so it doesn’t really count).
    At three years old, I traveled to Finland to see my Mom’s family. It was during the winter, and Scandinavia during the winter is no bueno. Don’t even mention the fact you have to pack twice as much.
    At 5 and 7 I also went to Finland. Which I don’t remember all to well. But it was good. Along those trips we stopped in Denmark and Iceland which was,pretty cool.
    2015 summer, I finally hopped back on a plane, pit stopped in Amsterdam (which was epic) and landed in Finland. This time, I was old enough to really remember it all. I had a great time with cousin, uncles, aunts. My grandparents even have their own tiny traditional finnish island! We then toured Stockholm in Sweden and learned about the history (we walked up my aunts house built in the 1600’s!).
    It was cool to see new culture and more traditional ones at that. But it made me realize how big this world is, and how much everybody needs God.

    • That sounds amazing! I want to travel to Europe and other places across the oceans, but I’m a big chicken. The idea of being on a plane for such long flights terrifies me (how’s that for adventurous?!).

  4. My dad was Air Force so we lived in Italy for 4 years from when I was 5 through 8. I remember bits of it very vividly – especially the beggars in Florence. That was my first exposure to the heartbreaking poverty that exists in this world. Then when I was a teen I went on two separate mission trips with Teen Missions to Ecuador (though different locations in Ecuador). We got to go to Shell and see the Nate Saint house and visit the Mission Aviation Fellowship facility and the Mission hospital. And we went to Quito and visited HCJB, the first Christian missionary radio station in the world. I’ve learned I need a bargaining buddy as I just can’t bargain at all. And traveling is scary but also exciting. I love learning about cultures.

  5. I love traveling and have been blessed to have traveled a lot. I’ve been to all 50 states, most Canadian provinces (except PEI, Labrador, & Northwest Territory), and over 20 countries. Family lore is that I took my first steps in British Columbia.
    My craziest adventure was probably arriving in Okinawa, Japan for a month long business trip with only my passport, plane tickets, luggage but no money or credit cards. My wallet was stolen in the San Francisco airport. Fortunately I was able to get my cards replaced and my husband wired me money since that took a few days. This year we’re making our at least annual trip across country to Indiana. Fortunately my husband and kids love to travel!

    • That sounds amazing! Well, not the getting your wallet stolen part, but all the rest ;). I would love to go to PEI.

  6. Thanks for having me, Nadine!

  7. I have never traveled out of the country, but just this year I went on a solo road trip to pick up my sister from where she qas staying with relatives, it is four hours away but took me 6. I started as the sun rose, except it didn’t because it was so foggy. And I stopped to photograph the scenery, cool mailboxes or anything at all that caught my eye, it was great, and the sun came out later too, and I eventually arrived at the farm, then got to do the trip allover again, the next day, but with my little sister, and we did not stop quite so many times.

  8. Natasha Durbano

    Being an air force brat, I’ve traveled all my life and I’ve lived in Japan, Germany, Taiwan, the Philippines, and the US. The last trip overseas was to Taiwan in 2012 . I hadn’t been back since I graduated high school in 1991 and it was cool to see how the country had changed and it was wonderful to show my son where I went to school for five years. I would love to visit Europe again someday.

  9. Anna Bourassa

    I’ve loved the idea of travel since I was a toddler, but I’ve never made it any further than California. This summer I took my first *airplane* trip and THAT was an adventure for me. Mind you, I’m in my mid-twenties, so having waited all these years to fly made it a BIG deal.
    The best part was takeoff! Boy, oh boy, I loved that part. After that…well, it was just too cold up there. But I loved feeling close to the stars (my childhood dream was to hop a space ship to the moon).
    The San Francisco airport is SO cool. I loved the eating area in the circular…what would you call it? Core of the airport? Main lobby? I have no idea, but there was every food option I could imagine. *sigh*
    Then I went whale watching for the first time with my sister, whom I was visiting in sunny CA. A giant humpback surfaced several times!
    That’s about it. Thanks for letting me share!

    • That sounds great! I hate flying. My favorite part is landing :p. But I would love to do whale watching.

      • Yah! Whales are so neat. I don’t blame you for hating flying 😉 It’s an odd feeling for sure.

  10. Eight people. Forty-foot RV. Adventures, anyone? 🙂

    My family and I are a gospel music group that tours the US. So traveling is really part of the job. I love traveling! My personal favorites are: Minnesota (home is always best), Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and South Dakota.

    After traveling for almost nine years, and visiting over half the states (from California to Florida and most in between), I’ve got way too many stories to share. From God using circumstances to uproot us from our home and send us across the continent to meet one old man, to finally visiting the place of my dreams exactly ten years from my first wish, they could fill multiple books, let alone hundreds of super long comments on a website. 🙂

    But I do have one favorite. My first time in Colorado. Oh, nearly thirteen years ago, when I was much smaller, our family was traveling up from New Mexico to Colorado on our way home. To ease the long trip, Mom had given us some gum to chew. I was just mastering the art of blowing bubbles and happily occupied myself for the first part of the trip. Then we reached the border, drove over a hill, and there, spread out to my shocked eyes were the Rockies. Snow-covered, majestic, huge. Most natural human reaction to shock? Drop jaw. Out comes gum and into hair. Stuck in my hair, hopelessly stuck! At last, Mom told me to stop trying to pull it out. We’d cut it out once we got to our campground. That’s not where we cut it out.

    After watching the Rockies as we drove through, and being torn with focusing on the slimy ball of pink gum slapping against my neck, one of the most frightening events ever while traveling occurred. The highway or interstate (whatever it was) was split. Our lane was high up on a cliff with the next lane down below us on a extreme drop-off. I looked as far as I could and still couldn’t see the other lane. A bolder had smashed onto our lane from the cliff above, broken in two pieces, and had left no room for two cars driving abreast on the road. With no shoulder and the drop-off, Dad roared out, “HOLD ON!” Brown pieces of rock flashed past our windows as Dad took us right through the middle of the bolder. We had to drive on until we could safely pull off and see the damage. One wheel was punctured on our travel trailer and the others had brown scrapes on them. We had come just centimeters from a horrible accident. And while we waited for the mechanic to arrive with new tires, Mom cut the gum out of my hair.

  11. I love travelling! Well, sometimes not the actual traveling part, but I love visiting other places. One of my favorite recent travel memories was my mission trip team trying to find a Walmart in Nova Scotia, Canada this past summer. The things you take for granted…no cell phone data up in Canada to Google directions! 😉 It was a laughter-filled trip.

    • Not being able to Google directions?! Inconceivable! The things we’ve become so used to, huh? I’m so used to my GPS, I don’t know what I’d do without one.

I love hearing from you!