img_1630About Stacey…

I was born in Kansas and I’m a country girl at heart. I feel at home in wide open spaces, though I do love the city and the many things that it offers. But, when I need to “get away”, the pull has always been to places where there are fewer people, providing space for walks, relaxation, contemplation, thought and prayer. In the U.S. I have called Kansas, California, Wyoming, Florida, upstate New York, Washington DC and Arizona “home”, in addition to summer stays in Missouri and Colorado. Internationally, I’ve also lived in Germany and the UK.

I am passionate about many things: family and friends, rescue dogs, singleness, travel, public speaking, my faith, music and, of course, photography. I love to laugh with my family until my stomach hurts, sing with them, completely annihilate them in rousing games of cards (you might say we are a little competitive), and enjoy one-on-one talks over coffee on quiet mornings. 

I am a faithful and caring friend and have been told that I know how to put together great gifts! I love to plan a good party and crafting ideas that will put a smile on others’ faces. 

Photography was one of my first loves! This passion was ignited in a photography class I took during my sophomore year in high school. My parents bought me my first “serious” camera for my high school graduation. In the past ten years I have once again picked up the camera – an upgraded one at this point – and now I would love to live my life behind the lens! Photography is the stress reliever and creative outlet that breathes life back into my soul. 

img_1515There is also a decidedly compassionate element to who I am. I cannot watch one of the ASPCA commercials without a gut-wrenching sob, continually needing to resist the urge to jump into my car to go adopt all of the dogs at the nearest animal shelter!  I had a rescue dog for 12 years and he was a bright spot in my life until his very last breath. I learned so much from him. I will certainly “adopt” and not “shop” for my next fur baby! 

One aspect of my life tends to catch people off guard: I am passionate about my singleness! This has not always been the case, but in time, I have come to see it as a gift, when so many see it as a curse. I have been told as much! The most hurtful comments ever made to my face have been about being single. For instance, “It would have been better for you to have married and divorced than not to marry, because then you would know that someone has loved you once.”

Merriam-Webster’s definition of the word single is, “consisting of a separate unique whole.”  That is how I see myself as a single woman – a separate (and definitely) unique whole! 

Believe it or not, I am one of “those people” who finds public speaking invigorating!  I know … call me crazy!  I enjoy the thrill that comes from standing in front of people, sharing and interacting with a crowd. Speaking has also allowed me to travel and explore new places. The people. The food. The culture. The smells. Local hang outs. Checking with locals about the best places for photography in their area. Asking to sit with complete strangers over dinner to hear about their lives and why they have chosen to live in this certain location. 

My faith is the grounding of my life and always will be. It is steadfast life, hope, peace, love, healing and so much more to me. I’ve realized for some time that my faith and love for music are intertwined. I am a fan of many types of music and each genre speaks to me at different times of day, at various points in my life, and is dependent on the space my mind and heart are in each day. I have road trip music, which is music from my adolescence. I have music that I play when I pray for others, music for my personal time of worship, and music which allows me to contemplate. I have music that will pull me out of a hard day, and music that reminds me of times in my life when I did not have a care in the world. There is also music that helps to bring me out of many cares.   

Now that I have shared all of that, I hope we can get to know each other! And, I hope that we enjoy the ride together!  (Pun intended)


About the trip…

Ever since I can remember I have loved road trips!  Maybe not so much in my childhood, as I had two older brothers, who would take more than their third of the backseat of the family Buick! 

My childhood was filled with camping trips to nearby lakes, snow skiing trips to Colorado, annual summer trips to Beaver Lake, Arkansas with three other families to waterski from sun up to sun down, and many trips to Oklahoma to spend time with extended family. As I recall, Dad had the mindset: “let’s get packed the night before and leave before the sun comes up. That way we only “need” to stop once, including filling the gas tank, eating, using the restroom and getting back onto the road!”  Mom was more laid-back, angling to leave when we were ready, no need to rush, let’s enjoy the drive, let’s stop for pie along the way, because she had read somewhere that this particular restaurant at this specific exit has fabulous pie! My vivid memories of family road trips have clearly left an impression on me to this day.

Fast forward: in February 2016, I received news from my supervisor that significant changes were coming at work. Each one of us had the choice to stay in our current positions and accept the changes, or to look for employment elsewhere. I was devastated, yet relieved at the same time. It was a way out! It was difficult to leave my job because of the people that I worked with and for, but it set me on a new path of change. That’s when I decided that, since I was turning 50, I would take the ultimate road trip! And so the vision of traveling to all 50 states in my 50th year of life was born. 

I am working until the end of December 2016, then plan to leave on January 17, 2017, aiming to visit all 50 states of the USA. When I arrive in California I will have to fly (obviously) to Hawaii. I hope to end the trip in Washington state and then ferry/cruise to Alaska.

At this point I plan on using social media – mainly friends on Facebook – to arrange overnighting in different cities along the way. In addition, I plan to have a small trailer to camp when there are no other overnighting options. An exhilarating element of this vision is how it will incorporate photography. I will post photos on Instagram and Facebook daily, looking forward to hearing from many friends along the way, and to meeting many of you I don’t yet know. It will be a trip – literally!

Here are the cities that I’m planning to visit (listed alphabetically):

  • Abilene, TX
  • Alamogordo, NM
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Bar Harbor, ME
  • Beckley, WV
  • Billings, MT
  • Bismarck, ND
  • Boise, ID
  • Boston, MA
  • Branson, MO
  • Bridgeport, CT
  • Burlington, VT
  • Canton, OH
  • Charleston, SC
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Chicago, IL
  • Cody, WY
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Coos Bay, OR
  • Destin Beach, FL
  • Detroit, MI
  • Dover, DE
  • Dubois, WY
  • Durango, CO
  • Edmond, OK
  • Fort Worth, TX
  • Franklin, NC
  • Fremont, NE
  • Fresno, CA
  • Goshen, IN
  • Haddon Heights, NJ
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Jackson, MS
  • Lake Placid, NY
  • Lakin, Kansas
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • La Verne, CA
  • Lexington, KY
  • Little Rock, AR
  • Manlius, NY
  • Melbourne, FL
  • Menlo Park, CA
  • Moab, UT
  • Monterey, CA
  • Montgomery, AL
  • Mountain Lake, MN
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • Nashville, TN
  • New Berlin, WI
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Newport, OR
  • Newport, RI
  • New York City, NY
  • Olney, MD
  • Page, AZ
  • Pensacola, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Pierre, SD
  • Ponca City, OK
  • Portland, OR
  • Portsmouth, NH
  • Pismo Beach, CA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Savannah, GA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Selma, AL
  • Sheridan, WY
  • Shreveport, LA
  • Sioux City, IA
  • Tampa, FL
  • Vancouver, WA
  • Waco, TX
  • Watertown, NY