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Where will these little feet go? As I sit here feeding you, I wonder this.

Soon these little feet will run laps all around our house, giving Mama a workout as she chases you around. They’ll excitedly run into the grandparents’ homes and race toward aunts and uncles who love you.

They’ll dash around parks and playgrounds and zoos. They’ll walk you through libraries as you pick out bright, colorful books.

They’ll carry you into children’s church on Sundays. They’ll walk you into your very first day of school.

These little pudgy feet will kick excitedly during your first swim lesson and pedal fiercely on your first bike. They’ll chase Daddy around the yard in endless rounds of hide and seek and tag and tickle fights. …

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After 28 months of living like nomads, traveling the country selling chicken, and answering the question “So what do you do all day?,” we are officially saying goodbye to full-time travel. (Part of me still can’t believe we ever said hello to such a crazy thing to begin with, but here we are now, with a wealth of experiences and travel stories to prove that we did.)

It may seem like this transition back to “normal” life should be an easy thing that we’re looking forward to without an ounce of trepidation. But our exit from LDP (this travel program) isn’t looking exactly like what we’d always imagined it would — we thought we’d only be heading back to Georgia for a few months and then off to wherever our future restaurant would be, we thought we’d have a pretty good idea of where that might be by now, we didn’t expect to be exiting with a baby well on the way, and we certainly never imagined we would be settling back down into a completely unsettled world that’s reeling from a world-wide pandemic. But we are trusting that none of this is outside of God’s control. He is surprised by none of it, and He has a path in mind for us. And we are so very ready for a home that doesn’t change every few months or less, for a community we don’t have to abandon just as often, for the chance to live near family and close friends for the first time in our marriage, and for some stability. …

When my husband Kaleb and I were new to Maryland, a kind lady in the church we were visiting took us under her wing. She made us feel welcome, learned our stories and shared her own, and connected us with the opportunities we were looking for. What’s amazing is that she did all this without ever needing to clean her home, cook a big meal, and have us over.

This lady was the first of many to show us that hospitality isn’t confined to the four walls of a home.

Kaleb and I particularly appreciate the power of this idea, because we don’t currently own a home. Or even an apartment. Right now, we live in a single hotel room, which doesn’t easily lend itself to hosting. …

During these past 19 months of nomadic living, we’ve had some hard moments — long weary days with roadblock after roadblock, sickness in an unfamiliar place, less than ideal living situations, seasons of loneliness, and more. I’ve heard other travelers talk about how a normal bad day at home feels far worse when you’re in unfamiliar territory with few or no friends nearby to walk through it with you.

You don’t have to travel as a lifestyle to experience this. Ever been on vacation with the family, and one of you gets really sick while you’re away from home or perhaps even away from a pharmacy? …

Eighteen months ago, my husband got the job he had been preparing for throughout the previous two years. The news was exciting but also terrifying. It meant we had to give up the stability of home and nearby friends and family in exchange for moving to a new place every month.

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Celebrating his new job

As we began preparing for this major life change, I also began struggling with the uncertainty and stress of moving so often. …

In the past sixteen months, I have lived in twelve different cities and nine different states. I’ve walked the old streets of Montreal, climbed below deck of the famous warship Old Ironsides, lived in Blake Shelton’s hometown, worked out of dozens of local coffee shops, seen alligators up close (and NOT in a zoo), eaten in the original Cheers, visited the scene of the Salem Witch trials, and taken road trips in the New England fall.

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Moving Day!

Because of my husband Kaleb’s job, we travel the USA full-time. We don’t own a home. Or a car. Or anything of much value for that matter. We move to a new place every month or so, take in all the touristy things we can, and learn the area as much as possible before leaving. …

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If I asked whether you want to blend in with everyone else in your industry or stand out, you would probably say the latter. I know I want to be different than the billion other copywriters and content strategists out there.

Lots of us want to stand out from the crowd, but not all of us are willing to make it happen. Because being original — disrupting the status quo and doing something different — is hard.

Blending in and doing things the way everyone else is doing them is much easier. It also seems safer. And for the short term, it may well be. …

We just wrapped up a month-long stay in Clermont, Florida for our ninth Chick-fil-A opening. (Clermont is a residential area 30 or so minutes from Disney World. It’s a surprisingly calm and non-touristy place for being so close to a major tourist destination.)

Sometimes, travel day (when we move from one assignment to the next) is a relief. This time, it was a little sad.

It’s always a little sad to leave a place where we know all the street names and can finally get around without a GPS. It’s also sad to leave behind a place where we’ve found favorite spots that we frequent often. In this case, I was sad to leave an assignment that Kaleb flourished in, one that made him feel so empowered, respected, and appreciated. …

“Hi, I’m Kara,” says the short brunette lady standing in front of my husband and me.

“Hi Kara. I’m Jessica, and this is my husband Kaleb,” I respond with a smile.

“Is this your first time at our church?” she asks.

We give what’s becoming our standard answer: “We’re new to the Boston area and will only be here a month or so for Kaleb’s job. We travel the country so he can help open new Chick-fil-A locations for Chick-fil-A’s corporate office, and we like to find a church to attend in each new place to help us meet people.”

Further into the conversation, she mentions that she is newer to the area too and wants to explore the city more. I immediately jump in and say, “Well, we should explore together then! …

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Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. And the list goes on. With so many social networks to choose from, how do you know which ones your business should join? Not every network will be right for your audience or your business, so it’s important to carefully choose where you will invest your time.

Perhaps you’ve already joined and grown one or two other social channels, and now you’re wondering about Twitter. To join or not to join? As you decide whether or not to join the Twitterverse, consider these five questions about your business.

Do you receive many customer service requests?

Are your customer service phone lines always busy? If so, you may find a powerful ally in Twitter. According to a Twitter representative, “80% of social customer service requests come from Twitter.” …


Jessica Swanda

Freelance writer. Travels the USA full time with her husband. Writes about travel, faith, books, and business. More about me:

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