Adventure can take you to some pretty crazy places. Crazy big, crazy beautiful, crazy far from home.
Our latest adventure has brought us to Kansas. Now, you might be thinking…. How is Kansas an adventurous spot?
It’s true, there may not be a ton of typical adventurous things to do. The adventure that drew Brandon and I here is prepping for the adventures that come out of financial freedom and the eager wish to start a family in the next couple of years.
Since the beginning of this year, we have been actively chipping away at our debt so larger adventures can be had. But even with the large difference between Kansas and our adventures in California, we are able to find adventures such as hiking and driving around exploring the surrounding areas.
This past wednesday was my 24th birthday– WOOOOHOOOO!
As I reflect back on that day- my colleagues decorating my office space and bringing snacks for the day, going out to eat with Brandon, driving around Kansas at sunset and then CRUSHING Brandon at Spaceopoly (that’s right, I CRUSHED him!)- I started thinking about how strange it was to be in Kansas.
Being a twin, my birthday has always been a shared event spent with family. In the Koebel clan, we celebrate birthdays with a birthday dinner with the whole family– parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.
My last two birthdays have not followed this trend.
Last year, Brandon and I were living in California. Leading up to my birthday, it was really hard thinking about being away from my twin sister for our birthday. I had never celebrated our birthday alone and it was a really hard pill to swallow knowing we would be apart.
Brandon being the wonderful man that he is, planned a trip for us back to Wisconsin around my birthday to go camping with my family. This was HUGE for me, knowing that even though I wouldn’t be with my family for my birthday, we would be with them shortly after.
This year, we are also away from my family (although Kansas is definitely closer.) In a couple weeks we will be going to Wisconsin to be in a wedding for some of our best friends (CANNOT WAIT!!!) and will get to celebrate then along with my younger brother who is graduating high school (where has the time gone??)
Being in Kansas for my birthday this year, I spent a lot of time reflecting on life and where we are now. Honestly, sometimes it is really hard being here. We haven’t made many friends here (none outside of work.) which is hard for both of us. We also think a lot about California and the work we were doing there.
Brandon has had a number of jobs that weren’t a good fit for him. While we were dating and engaged, he held some positions where people didn’t value him or see his worth, he worked with really difficult people and he was just generally bored with the work he was doing. It was really hard for me to see him doing things that he didn’t love. The work or lack of work would bore him.
But being naturalists in California really brought Brandon to life. If you know Brandon, you know he is a huge extrovert. He LOVES people! Being outside with students, wandering through the woods and running challenge courses brought excitement to both of our lives. Brandon would actually be BEAMING when talking about how he helped a student through their fears at a challenge course or when the students would understand the science class material that he was teaching.
Being a naturalist is so clearly something that Brandon loved to do!
Even though Kansas may not be providing that same excitement in terms of work for Brandon, I am really enjoying my position with the University. The office I work in is small and allows for my coworkers and I to get to know each other more. That is something that is really important to me since we don’t have friends nearby. I have a strong desire to be known and a smaller office provides that opportunity.
Kansas may not be the most thrilling place we have ever been, but it is where God has us right now. We know this is where we need to be in order to pursue our other life adventures.
Sometimes, it comes down to taking off our blinders and not being so judgemental about a place. Kansas has an amazing open sky and gorgeous sunsets like none I have ever seen before. God creates beauty all around us– be bold enough to seek it out when it isn’t obvious to you.
Praying for lots more adventures in this 24th year of my life 🙂