It was convenient that my favorite band, Needtobreathe, released their newest album just a few days before the beginning of my train trip. It’s amazing that it fits so perfectly with this season of life. For years I’ve thought these guys should get an award for “Best Road Trip Music”.
Here is my theme song, called “Happiness”, and also what they shared about the song in an interview just after its release:
Sometimes you leave the ones you love
But if it’s love, they won’t give up
Cause they know a war’s raging and you gotta choose
These days are tough, these days are long
Sometimes it’s hard, you carry on
But I hear a voice singing and I know it’s true
I got dreams that keep me up in the dead of night
Telling me I wasn’t made for the simple life
There’s a light I see, but it’s far in the distance
So I’m asking you to show me some forgiveness
It’s all for you in my pursuit of happiness
“[It’s] really about the sacrifices we have to make in order to change. I think that everyone who had to make major decisions in their lives knows that change is only worth it when you make the change for the right reasons.Happiness, after all, is clearly a fleeting thing; but, purpose is what brings real joy. In this band, we’ve been forced to make countless decisions about our schedules or plans that definitely mean a sacrifice for our families. And, that can be tough. But, I think this song and my life have shown me that the people who really do love you want you to pursue your passions and the things that God wants you to do.”
–Bear Rinehart, quoted from an interview at Air1.
The whole album has become the soundtrack for my trek through the country, and interactions with friends old and new.
To go with the music, here are a few of my favorite captured iPhone moments, Denver through to Austin. They might not be glamorous, but they are just my favorites so far! Okay, there are more than a few. I’ll buy you a coffee if you make it to the end:
Meeting Erin and Chad’s baby girl for the first time. Another I claim as “Auntie Kathryn”. She has mastered the duck lips for her selfies already.
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Being Erin’s wedding date to our friend’s wedding. Love this girl.
Erin did her best to capture my excitement for the beginning of the trip. My hair was also fabulous, which is always worth documenting, right?
Crossing over the Mississippi River on the Amtrak for the first time. I later saw it like 4 more times.
When in Chicago…
The quick tour of the city and time with Abby! And the Bean, of course. Duh.
My first ever in my life experience of Chicago pizza. YES, it was as amazing as I’ve always heard.
A week in St. Paul, Minnesota, doing ministry pre-field training with a huge group of passionate fellow missionaries. My cup was filled up and I left inspired and with a ton of new Facebook friends! I mean, real friends.
Kayaking in the Chesapeake Bay with Jenny. I got a brutal sunburn on my shins, but it was worth it!
Chesapeake Bay kayaking.
A Waldon kid. He was super fun! It was my first time meeting this guy.
These girls. Fabulous. More Waldons. They’ve now got a “clan”, it’s official.
Lake Tillery, North Carolina. I also got sunburned here. But the water was so perfect and I stayed in until I was pruny. Time hanging out with the Duggans, some of the ReachGlobal leadership.
Sunset kayaking in North Carolina. Also, perfect.
My favorite swimsuit, about to bite the dust…bah. It’s been so well loved. Thankfully, someone just gifted me one, so I’m all set to carry on.
Sunset on Lake Tillery, North Carolina.
“Dive in Movie” with Joanna at her apartment complex in Charlotte.
North Georgia mountains at sunrise. Incredible!
The train tracks in the deep South were so different than the ones in the midwest, just a different feel. Much more photogenic, I think.
Listening to books on Audible has allowed for lots and lots of doodling time. Forget the coloring books, I’ll draw my own!
This conductor was the friendliest of all, and he wanted to hear my life story and be my new bff. It was fun.
Ending just as I started, no worse for the wear!
Paddle boarding on Ladybird Lake in Austin with Will and Jodi. Hot! Warm water. Happy heart. I tried to do yoga on my board and fell in every time.
Texas BBQ! The Salt Lick, Driftwood, Texas. My tastebuds sang a hallelujah chorus.