About

Welcome to our travel blog!

Once a month we write about our adventures.

As one of our readers said recently, “I love that you take me on a mini-vacation each month.”

Consider following us, it is easy to join in, on the right of this post is a button that says follow, in a few easy steps you can receive updates when new material is posted. Just type in your email address, and a note will be sent to your email, once you confirm you’ll be all set.

Below you will learn about our cast of characters.

 Meet: Abbey

Abbey 2004, photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Abbey 2004, Oklahoma, photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

Who is Abbey? Abbey was our first dream maker, base camp and sanctuary. Abbey was a 1988 VW Vanagon camper van. When Abbey was in stealth mode she looked like an unassuming VW mini-van. But once she was in a campground she became our RV. She had storage cabinets on one side along with a two-burner stove, small refrigerator and sink. The backseat could be pulled out like a futon to create a bed and with the top popped up I could stand inside. Also with the top up, this created a tent area with a loft bed. If electricity was available she could be hooked up to run the lights and the one electrical outlet in the van rather than off the battery for the engine. In 2004 when we had a chance to drive cross-country (East to West coast in the US), we decided we didn’t want to stay in hotels or deal with putting up a tent each night. This was how our relationship with Abbey began. Abbey allowed us to have a few more comforts in life, compared to backpacking, while still having a small energy footprint. She also provided transportation. We lived in Abbey for 12 weeks.

Abbey II, photo by Jelane A. Kennedy

After having enjoyed Abbey for three years we decided that we needed a little larger vehicle for the two of us, plus our elderly golden retriever, who was now traveling with us. So in 2007 we purchased a 2003 GTRV. The new Abbey II became part of the family. She is very similar to the VW except the camper is on the bigger frame of a full-sized van and is easy to have serviced at any Ford dealership across the country. The larger size made it easier for the three of us to all stay inside on a rainy day and we had the added comfort of A/C while driving or staying someplace where the heat and humidity was high. We have found Abbey II to be a bit less quirky when it comes to overall maintenance. As Eileen likes to say, “Setting up camp is like opening an umbrella, it ‘s that easy.”

Come join us!

Eileen

Photo by Jelane A. Kennedy, Crown Point Campground

How long before a dream comes true? For me, it was thirty-three years. You might have shared the same dream … to travel across the US in a VW van.

Who am I? Not sure. I know I’m not who I use to be… and I’m not yet who I want to be… guess I’m “on –the-road” to find out. Could my confusion come from being raised Irish Catholic? One of the challenges of growing-up in an Irish Catholic family is that there are too many other Irish Catholics living there. Ten people sharing one bathroom in a small house doesn’t leave a lot of room for quiet, contemplative self-reflection. Anyhow, I’ve always had a sense of adventure and desire to travel (or escape).

I left for college in 1971 and traveled abroad as a Recreation Major. I studied the Art of Leisure. Yes, it is an art and one I have a degree in. I discovered that many European cultures in existence long before America have a seasoned view of free time. They value it. Rest and rejuvenation are rituals celebrated through daily practices such as standard tea time and pub time. Banks, businesses, and schools close down (some up to five weeks) and families go on “Holiday”. These traditions are not only accepted, they are expected. Employees are required to take a break from work and pursue other human needs of the heart, mind and spirit. Pub times a daily necessity? You can see how this philosophy applied to my Irish heritage.

Now that I’ve established I like to play, my other love is nature. I worked as an Outdoor Educator in Canada, Maine and New York after college. Employment predictions were optimistic in the seventies. They foretold public schools across the country incorporating Outdoor Education lessons into their curriculums. Instead, the eighties brought a change in politics and philosophy. Funding dried-up and jobs disappeared. In my last position in the “outdoor” field, I worked as a Wilderness Instructor and Guide for an Alternative High School. I led groups of adolescents on 27-day backpacking trips from the foothills to the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

I returned to college and earned a degree as a Counselor Educator. Did I mention I like working with kids? I created an adventure-based program designed to develop social skills in children. I taught thousands of kids from public schools over an eighteen-year period.

I have embarked on a new career—writing for children. So there you have it—my love of travel, nature and kids. Now let’s see how I put it all together!

Jelane

Photo by Eileen A. McFerran, Pyramid Life Center, NY

Hi, I’m Jelane Kennedy and here is a little about me.

I’ve kept travel journals since my first overseas trip to Belgium. I was living with a host family for several weeks one summer through a program sponsored by the local Lion’s Club in my hometown. My first attempt to publish anything on the web came in 1997 when my partner at the time decided it would be fun to create a website about our upcoming hiking trip to Alaska. We joined a group of women from Anchorage to hike the Chilkoot trail (only about 10% of women have hiked this trail). On our website I posted journal entries (nowadays blog entries) of our getting ready, the entries included what training we were doing, taste testing freeze dried meals and such. Afterwards I update the posts with information from our hiking days on the trail. The website went down in 2002.

I’ve been interested in the out of doors and travel since I was little. As a small child my family lived in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan and during my school years we lived in the Lower Peninsula. From elementary school through high school I was an active member of the Girl Scouts. In college I participated in many outings from cross-country skiing, tenting, hiking, and canoeing. If there was a chance to be out in nature, I was there. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Leisure Services (yes that is a real major!). I have also lived in Ohio and Virginia (while in both State’s I earned a couple more degree’s). Finally ended up in Upstate New York.

In 2004 Eileen, (my partner) and I had the opportunity to travel across country for a work related project, which led us to venture into the world of RV’s. We planned to be gone multiple weeks and knew we didn’t want to stay in hotels the whole time. We also knew that we wanted something a little easier than putting up a tent each night. So we ended up buying a 1988 VW Vanagon camper van (Abbey). This became our base camp.

In my other career life I have written academic articles for publications like: Arizona Counseling Journal, Initiatives, The Journal for the Professional Counselor, NASPA journal, Multicultural Learning and Teaching journal, etc. I have written about diversity issues, ethics and topics in the field of College Student Personnel. I am also on the editorial board for two academic journals.

To read or listen so some of my other writing work you can go Times Union archives for Life Stories (9/30/2007) and visit two posts in National Public Radio, WAMC, 51% (51% Show # 1008 | WAMC and 51% Show # 1009 | WAMC ).

Come join us on our travels! We’d love to hear from you.

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13 Responses to About

  1. sherri Kolko says:

    This is great! I am so proud of you. Just so you know…I am having surgery on Friday-I have breast cancer. I will let you know how things go.

    Love you,

    Sher

  2. Ok…I found you…will be “following” your adventures….congratulations…sounds great!

  3. gkygrl22 says:

    Hi Ladies, so happy you two are enjoying life and doing what you love to do. Sending good thoughts and prayers for your journey. Diana

  4. I truly love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Im looking to create my own personal site and would like to know where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Appreciate it! criminal case hack

  5. Myriam says:

    I’ve found you! Someone forwarded me the chili cook off blog, and I am hooked. Love to read about your travels. Thank you,

  6. Just had a great visit around your website. Look forward to following your adventures with Abbey.

  7. Pingback: Take me for a ride in you car, car (Artists on the Road) | Arts Enclave's Blog

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