I was standing in the middle of REI’s flagship store in Seattle when I turned around and saw someone I recognized. I grew up in the Seattle area, so normally this wouldn’t be anything exceptional — but the person I saw happened to be a former co-worker from Dallas who was just passing through town.
I never once bumped into Darren in the DFW area, but 2,000 miles away from his home and there he was. He and wife Lindsey were a few months into a road trip across much of the country that had a two-fold mission: Find the unique and creative ways people are loving God and loving people, and find the beauty of God’s creation and represent it through photography. And so Darren quit his cushy designer job, Lindsey took a leave of absence at hers, they bought a 1972 VW Bus, and away they went.
On the nearly six-month journey, they covered 12,100 miles and met with dozens of nonprofits focused on a range of causes, from human trafficking in India to safe drinking water in Africa to at-risk youth in the U.S. It was a big gamble to leave everything behind, and not one everyone understood, especially given the unemployment numbers. And, of course, the trip was not without its challenges — 1972 VW Buses (without heat or A/C, I should add) aren’t known for their reliability — but both Darren and Lindsey say there was far more good than bad, and the kindness and generosity they met on the road is something that will always stick with them.
Although they’re back home in Denton, Texas, now, you can read all about their trip and see wonderful photography on their website at www.onthegoodroad.com. Their blog posts introduced me to a number of organizations I hadn’t heard of before, all of which are doing amazing work in their chosen areas.
It was happenstance that I ran into Darren and Lindsey, but I’m so glad that I did and that I was able to witness a tiny part of their time on the good road.