Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome Letter

Happy Tuesday folks! Welcome to the Gravel-Roadin' Guru blog. Today marks my arrival into the world of blogging. Bare with me as I am learning and updating and adding and fixing. You get the picture. Let me begin with an formal howdy and hello (aka introduction) of myself. My name is Amanda but you can call me Pan. I know, Pan? Let me explain. I am the queen of nicknames for my family. Amanda became Panda Bear, which became Panda, then Pan. I am going to turn 30 this year (I'm ok with it. Really!). My parents are wonderful people who raised me right; instilling strong morals, a level head, and some common sense in me. I am also the youngest of five children (yep, there's really five of us). I am married to a wonderful man and just 5 months ago we were blessed with our first child, Olivia Grace. Who has no grace about her, go figure. I have a Business Management degree from the University of Missouri but after a short stint trying (that's right, trying) to sell real estate, I went back to school and spent two sleep-deprived years earning my nursing degree. I've spent the last four years employed in Emergency medicine. I do love my job but lately (after childbirth really), I've been doing some soul searching. I feel the need for something else in my life, something bigger. Here enters The Gravel-Roadin' Guru blog (thanks to two hours in the middle of the night I spent wide awake dreaming up this idea). This is my personal outlet to combine my love of travel (duh), kayaking, photography, adventure, and knowledge. I grew up in Central Missouri and after being here and there, I have remained within a half hour of my hometown. My high school was small enough that I knew everyone in all four grades (and knew all their business too). We came from a place and time where we created our own entertainment. "Gravel-roadin'" being one of the popular weekend to-do's. The backroads provided fun, trouble, and a chance to meet up with friends (because five full days a week wasn't enough time to see them I suppose). My husband comes from here too, with just the Mighty Missouri as the divider. On the west side (namely, his side) cruising the backroads is known as road-trippin'. However, this is my blog and it's gravel-roading. That's right, Robby. GRAVEL-ROADIN'. You hear me? Several years back, Robby and I jumped in the car on a dreary, rainy, winter day and just started driving. We had so much fun it quickly became our weekend ritual. My rose-colored glasses flew off in the wind at the realization that small towns really have much to offer. Up to this point, small towns, in my mind, had been dull and lifeless. But (I know you're not supposed to start a sentence with but, but I didn't promise proper English here did I?) we happened upon so many fascinating byways that it became our passion. These, I wish to share. I hope to inspire a love of travel, exploration, and learning (gasp!) of a culture and a way of life. Thank you for joining me in this journey. Please post lots of comments and get involved. Tell all your friends about me too! So here we go... Let's get traveling! Yours truly, The Gravel-Roadin' Guru, Pan

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