How To Prepare For Your Next Cross-Country Road Trip

Even if you haven't enjoyed road trips in the past, I'm convinced anyone can be a road trip person. If you prepare well, pack plenty of options, and commit to be entertained by something other than your iPhone, road trips can actually be really fun. 

Last week my mom and I finished a cross country road trip from Kansas to California, and just before that I made the drive from Texas to Kansas. You could say I went the long way, but we had plenty of stops to make. Ten days ago I packed up my life in little Waco, TX and started the trek out to Southern California with all my belongings packed in the back of my SUV. It was a bit of a squeeze, but we definitely had room for the essentials! 

1. Snacks

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Our first stop (besides the gas station, of course), was Trader Joe's. We picked up some Lara bars, Epic bars, yogurt (obsessed with the avocado citrus yogurt from TJ's), apples, bananas, lentil chips, pistachios, sweet potato chips, plenty of water, and lightly salted popcorn. This way if we went through a town that only offered fast food, we could make it by with the food we had in the car. 

When buying snacks for the road, avoid loading up on junk food - it will only make you feel worse! We tried to select a healthy mix of foods that would energize us and tide us over until the next stop. 

2. Music

The night before we left, I downloaded some new music so we wouldn't get bored of our choices in the car. I may have played one album twice, but the rest of the time we had something new!

Some of my favorite jams: Evolve by Imagine Dragons, Beautiful Surrender by Jonathan David and Melissa Helser, Wonder by Hillsong United, and Battles by Rita Springer. 

3. Podcasts

I'm a bit new to the podcast world, but thanks to the recommendations from several friends, we were set with several series. I love Shauna Niequist, so I knew I'd be a big fan of her podcast. It's refreshing, easy to listen to, deep at some points and light at others. She ends with questions about books and food - and who doesn't love talking about those things?! 

We also listened to a series called Up and Vanished and after one episode, we were hooked! The series is about a cold case in Georgia about a girl who went missing over ten years ago. It's fascinating and a bit eerie, but in a good way. 

Other podcasts I like: Awesome with Alison, Stuff You Missed in History Class, Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger, and Head to Heart by Christa Black Gifford. 

4. Move

When planning this trip, we purposefully picked places to stay where we could get out and do something active. This way we could move our bodies, get some fresh air, and stretch our legs before getting back in the car. Almost every morning of our drive we stayed some place with beautiful walking or running trails - this lifted our moods, gave us energy, and helped us not get stiff and groggy (isn't that the worst feeling in the car?). The best hike, by far, was the Grand Canyon. We hiked down a mile and up a mile and it was the perfect start to a long day in the car!

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Our stops: Denver, Colorado; St. Elmo, Colorado (near Buena Vista); The Grand Canyon, Arizona; Big Bear Lake, California; Pasadena, California. 

5. Family

My mom and I used this trip as an excuse to see lots of family along the way. We live pretty far from most of our family, which is something challenging to make time to see each other, so we took advantage of our stopping points to see some people we love. In Denver, my grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and in St. Elmo, we stayed at my mom's uncle's Bed & Breakfast in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. It was special to get to see them both. 

6. Connect

This might be one of my favorite things about road trips. Whenever you're in the car with someone for hours on end, there's no time limit or noise issue with the table behind you. It's a free space to connect, catch up, and have genuine conversation. I intentionally thought through the things I wanted to ask my mom and chat about so that I could take advantage of our interrupted time together. Try picking a few conversation topics or coming with some questions in your head before making the drive - you may not get this kind of time again! 

7. Spontaneity

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My mom graciously booked all of our stopping points and lodging, but agreed to leave a little room for some fun. One of my favorite last minute decisions from this trip, was our detour through Big Bear Lake. We decided to stay here on a whim after hiking the Grand Canyon because my mom had such fond memories here growing up. I quickly started researching hotel options online (don't worry, I wasn't driving at this point), and found a cheap condo on the lake that looked nice. Upon our arrival, we learned the booking company made a mistake and should have charged us over three times as much as we paid, and the condo was amazing. Two bedrooms, king-sized beds, full size kitchen, fireplace, living room, and access to the lake right off our back porch. It was pretty picture perfect. 

8. Document

The last tip I'll leave you with is to remember to document your trip! Take pictures of your favorite spots along the way and don't be afraid to pull over to snap a quick picture. We took a short little stop at both the Continental Divide and the Four Corners after coming down the mountains and it was well worth the photos. Do yourself a favor and document you trip so you can savor your memories later! 

Have you ever taken a cross country road trip before? Or are you planning one soon? I'd love to know where you've been or where you're going! 

 

Transition: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Two nights before I left for Peru I had a major freakout moment. My poor friends sat and listened to an unfolding of grief, frustration, anxiety, and doubt as tears spilled over and I began to ugly cry - and I mean ugly. Am I really going to move half way across the country? Do I have to start over? Why am I going to Peru, again? Shouldn't I be saving money? Am I going to lose all my friends? Who decides to pick up their life at the drop of a hat like it's no big deal? It is a big deal! Am I crazy?!

The questions began to surface and then everything spilled over, as if it was the first time I had allowed myself to actually feel all of the questions in the back of my head. To be honest, I almost backed out. But after listening to my emotional long winded rant, my two dear friends encouraged me and gave me space to be heard and to simply be. 

I could have chosen to say no to this next step. And it would have been ok. But years ago I decided I wanted to be a yes woman - no matter the cost, no matter the risk, no matter how my actions were perceived by others. So I said yes. And here I am an hour or two outside Pasadena at a sweet little condo at Big Bear Lake getting ready to move all my belongings into my new home. 

Transition has afforded sweet moments, too, to be sure. Two nights ago as my mom and I were driving into the Grand Canyon, we raced to the first viewpoint to arrive at the perfect moment to catch the last of the sunrise over the canyon. It served as a reminder that I'm catching the good moments, arriving at the perfect time. 

Throughout this cross-country journey, I've spent little pockets of space in some of the most beautiful places. We spent the night at a Bed & Breakfast in St. Elmo, Colorado, hiked the Grand Canyon, and walked the trails at Big Bear Lake. Whenever I pause, taking in the beauty of the space around me, it does something in my spirit. It's as if I'm reminded of how big the world is and how small I am. And it's good to feel small. 

More to come on my cross-country road trip (including my tips and recs for long drives!). Thank you for tagging along with my biggest adventure to date!

The Wholehearted Hero: Kamri Phillippi

Whenever I initiate with people for this series, I am always drawn to people who are vulnerable and open with their personal stories. Kamri does this so gracefully and sets others at ease with her blunt honesty, wit, and tact for making others laugh in the process. 

Kamri and I lived in the same neighborhood growing up and played soccer together for several years (although "playing" for me looked more like sitting on the bench... ;)). We "produced" plays with our neighborhood friends and had our own little girl gang going for a while. I also went to high school with her husband for a few years. Though we haven't connected in several years, I've been inspired and encouraged by her honest writing on her blog, Musings of a Mixex Wifey and new podcast series, Letting the Light In


1. Hi Kamri! I love following along with your life on social media and have been so inspired by your blog and podcast series! Can you give us a little snapshot into your life? How did you end up back in Wichita and what is this season of your life defined by? 

Hi Tori :) Thank you for your kind words. I would say this season has been characterized by rest. My husband, Taylor, and I moved back to Wichita (where we are both from) in August 2016 after living in Kansas City for two years. I taught middle school mathematics at a charter school there and it dramatically altered my perspective on race, our country, and the power of education. As incredible as that experience was, the days were long, and I carried a constant sense of not doing enough for my students. Ministry wise, we were also spending time in the projects weekly through an organization called Freedom Fire, which led to Tay and I spending more time pouring out, neglecting our need to be filled by the Lord. My husbands job brought us back here, and as much as the Lord knew I needed rest, He also knew I would have a hard time receiving that gift He was trying to give me. Its been a lot of beautiful tension in learning how to receive what He knew I needed after an intense two years. We also found out we were pregnant in early December, so a lot of that rest has been in preparation for a new sort of demand in the form of an infant! 

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2. A few weeks ago I listened to your podcast on pregnancy and was so inspired by your vulnerability. What makes you passionate about sharing so openly with others? And what is your vision for bringing others into the Light (like your podcast title suggests)? 

I am so honored you listened! I was a little long winded ;) I think it was C.S. Lewis that said the most powerful two words in the English language are "me too." I can only use these words after someone has shared something with me, and I can recall countless instances where I felt less lonely or embarrassed after someone was just honest with me. Specifically with pregnancy, I think because it took Tay and I a year, I try to share that as often as possible to normalize the struggle of waiting. The waiting is lonely enough, and it can be even rougher when you feel as though you're in isolation in that waiting, so my hope in sharing so much is to cast a little light into the dark places. I think Satan works most craftily when we believe we're alone. Lastly, I am most moved in both my marriage and in friendship when confessing and forgiving are a consistent part of our relationship. It's so terrifying, because you think that revealing these terrible, selfish, manipulative actions, words or thoughts will drive you further from the person, but it ALWAYS humbles me to do the same.

3. Can you let us into your pregnancy journey? I remember you saying you have long anticipated being a mother - where did this desire come from and how have you stewarded this through years of waiting? 

Through some common trends in friendships, both in high school and college, I started to realize that I am a (sometimes way overboard!) nurturer. I went to Zambia to intern at an orphanage the summer between my junior and senior year of college, and it was there that my desire and vision for being a mama took color. Ironically, that vision also included a man, and for all the years leading up to that, I just assumed I would adopt on my own. Teaching for two years gave me the sweetest gift of 60 kids each year that really felt like my kids, and it also taught me that my gifts aren't necessarily in drilling math content in a creative way, but rather in smothering them in love. We also got to "foster" a couple of kids we knew from our project ministry on the weekends, so that was sweet to have some trial and error experiences as their care givers, too. As soon as we got married, I would've been ready to start trying ;) but, of course, He knew exactly when and where to give us baby #1. It took a year to conceive, (I actually had an appointment scheduled with a fertility specialist when we found out we were pregnant), and I really cannot believe how fast the 9 months have flown. I've felt like my body has spoken more clearly about what it wants/doesn't want in order to grow this child, (like I started eating meat again after 9 years!) and feeling him move is the coolest thing. 

4. What does anticipation or expectancy mean to you? And how have you found peace and encountered God in the midst of it? 

Ahhh - such a good question. Obviously waiting for a spouse/child/answers to big prayers are easy examples to point to, and I learned SO much about His character through that waiting, but I think the more meaningful examples come on the smaller scale each day in my time with the Lord. To be blunt, I would say about 80% of the time I am not "jumping for joy" to get in the word or pray or journal. There have definitely been other times in my life that its looked a little more like 50/50, but right now, it is so much more out of expectancy for Him to come and change my heart and mind and spirit in that time. There are truths about God that allow me to believe He will show up every.single.time. Usually the first few lines of my daily journaling contain something like 'Come, Jesus. I know that you will, because you tell me that if I call to You, You will answer me." Now, I think that can be tricky, because He doesn't always show up in the way I am hoping or expecting. But simply knowing He promises to show up and change my heart and mind in the process is security and intimacy I crave. I think the times I am most anxious or lacking peace, it's simply because I have forgotten who He is. That in my waiting, His character doesn't change. 

5. Can you identify a life event that prompted you to start living in the Light and opening your doors (both spiritually and physically) to others? 

Hands down, 100%, my eating disorder my sophomore/junior year of college. I have never been more aware of my sin/wickedness during that time, which allowed me to experience and know God to the sweetest depths. Like literally, waking up each day, needing Him to get me through the day, because the desires of my flesh were to appease the idol of my body. There's a visual that the girl that discipled me in college showed me during that time, which I think put a picture to what I was feeling. At the top is God's holiness and character, and at the bottom is our sin and depravity. Connecting the two is the cross. As the our knowledge of the distance between the two expands (aka the more I see my sin, the more I realize how much I need God), the cross has to grow bigger to connect the two. There are trillions of miles between God and me, and the cross bridges that gap. I finally started to realize the truth behind 2 Corinthians 12:9: sufficient grace and His power made perfect in my weakness. I think that weakness also breaks down barriers between our relationships on earth too, because then we see people as vessels God shows His power in, instead of these amazing, talented, brilliant facades we so often put forth. When I share my crap, you see that everything good in me is Jesus, instead of Kamri. 

6. How do you practically bring others into your process? Or, in other words, what does walking in community mean to you? 

Oh, Tori. I wish I did a better job of this. Life on life contact is so much easier said than done!! I also think it is way less glamorous than people think.

I would say the truest example of this in my life lately is my in-laws living with us for the past couple of months. It has been incredible, and I feel like when you live that closely with people, you have no choice but to start carrying each others burdens. Also, your sin just shows. And there are so many more opportunities to talk about it.  I experienced community for the first time my freshman year of college through a bible study, so that has been something I have sought to cultivate living here in Wichita. Giving women a place to see what God says about the things we are experiencing on a weekly basis, and encouraging each other in the process. I've felt convicted with that though, just because that is only weekly. How much more powerful would it be to walk with those women daily, seeing their sin, and confessing to each other, kind of like the church in Acts. Tay and I try to hang weekly with another couple in Wichita, and I think thats important just as wife. Nan can call out things she sees me doing and hold me accountable because she seems us interact on a weekly basis, which has been sweet. 

7. What's it like being in an interracial relationship and marriage? I've seen you comment #whitehusband on many of your posts before and find your blunt honesty refreshing. What's this dynamic like for you? 

I love this question!!! I am so thankful you asked it :) Thankfully, I had one modeled my entire life (my mama is white, and my dad is black!) and I have been largely immersed in white culture for as long as I can remember, so I think we have had a few buffers.

My intention in using the #whitehusband hashtag is exactly how you phrased it; it's meant to be refreshing! Race is certainly a HEAVY topic, but I try to find little ways like silly hashtags to soften people's hearts a little to the discussion. I believe so fervently in what God does through difference. I think it demonstrates His power, since our comfort draws us to people that believe and live in ways similar to us.

My favorite podcaster, Jamie Ivey, always says that God does something incredible when races mix, using her mixed son Deacon and how stunning he is as an example. We haven't really experienced a ton of push back in our marriage thus far,  but I think a lot of that is because of where we live. Truthfully, I think if we lived in the South, it would be a different story. I still giggle when every now and then, the cashier at the grocery store will ask if we are "together" when checking out at the grocery store. But I am hopeful that when people see us, they'd ask, "Have I ever been attracted to another race? Why or why not? What does that reveal about how I value that particular group of people?" 

8. I always ask my guests about what sort of rhythms they put in place in their lives. It seems to me, those who are wholehearted aren't just simply floating through life, but walk with intention and purpose. What are some daily, weekly or even monthly rhythms you put in place to help facilitate the process and journey you've been on so far? 

Firstly, time with Jesus. I've been pretty flexible about the exact time of day, as I've heard a lot of mamas talk about how it has to be flexible when you have a baby, so most days it looks like 30 - 45 minutes in the afternoon. 

Secondly, I love to move my body and sweat. Up until 26 weeks, that looked like running, but now its walking, and it is magical. I really value that time, and will listen to podcasts/worship and feel like I have a full cup to start my day. 

Lastly, I love to cook. For the longest time, I didnt think I was creative because I couldn't draw/paint/play an instrument etc. But I've begun to embrace that creativity in cooking and experimenting with things you wouldn't typically put together. The podcast and blog have also been precious creative outlets that I am so thankful for. Writing has often felt worshipful, and interviewing people and hearing people's stories and seeing how sharing them with other people makes an impact has been really fun. 

9. What does living wholeheartedly mean to you? And how have your views on this sort of lifestyle evolved over time? 

I think living in surrender to Jesus and His Spirit is when I am living most fully. Seeing Him show up amidst my tendencies to choose the things I want to do or the way I want to spend my time. Also, embracing how He made me, and running confidently in that. That has certainly evolved over time. For the longest time, I would question why He made me a certain way, or focusing on the things I lacked, instead of realizing the unique Kamri ingredients He used to make me and using those to live more fully. I think He is most glorified when we are so satisfied in Him and how He made us. It's so beautiful to see people who know who they are and have accepted their strengths and weaknesses and live out of His affirmation instead of the world's. 

10. Is there anyone or anything that's been inspiring you to live wholeheartedly recently? Maybe a favorite author or podcast? 

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey is always a weekly highlight :) 

C.S. Lewis always seems to be able to put words to things we experience in life in a way I haven't seen replicated, so I adore him. 


I’m Kamri. I love a lot of things; Jesus, my husband, dancing to dirty rap while being creative in the kitchen, wit, writing, nicknames, and a mixed baby that is due to appear in August. ’ve been to and lived in hundreds of places and have somehow landed back home in Wichita, Kansas and (wo)man is it sweet. I fought its goodness and the magic of roots planted for far too long. 3 words have themed my life; Relationship, Reflection, and Redemption. I pray my life continues to be a humble expression of those things daily at work. 

There's No Place Like Home

Maybe it's because my team has started to feel like family, or maybe it's simply the charm or character of the city that's drawn my little heart in, but Cusco has started to feel like home. And for this Kansas girl, there's no place like home. With less than three weeks left, I want to capture my favorite things about this city and share them. Perhaps some of you will get the chance to visit some day and feel the same. 

As I'm writing this, our taxi driver who drove my friend Ben and I around to look at apartments four months ago sat down next to me, remembered my name, and asked me about our team and our time here. These people are so trusting, so generous, so family

I think that's the word I'd use to describe this culture compared to others I've interacted with before. From our landlords across the street, to the ministry partners we're working with in the city, our team has felt so included (almost to a fault), valued, and welcomed. Our landlords come over nearly every day - sometimes with good news, sometimes with bad, or sometimes just to say hello. Last week they even invited me to join their family vacation! 

After experiencing this culture (and weighing lots of options), I am so excited to start my Master's at Fuller Seminary in Intercultural Studies with a concentration in Race, Culture, and Reconciliation this Fall. I've always wanted to go back to school, and for the little explorer inside of me, this seems like the perfect fit. 

Traveling for me isn't simply about enjoying new places or adding to my bucket list; it's much more than that. It's about learning new things, challenging myself and ways of thinking, appreciating things about people I am different from, and developing a more holistic picture of our world and how we were made to function in it. 

Cusco has been no exception. I've learned to embrace people quickly (and quite literally through their familial greetings) and let my walls down. I've learned to allow more time for people and for tasks. I've learned a little Spanish and explored so many local gems. Though I will be sad to leave, I'm excited to step into what's next. 

Cusco feels like home, but soon, so will Pasadena, California. Next I'll be stepping into another culture, similar to my own, yet much different than my little Midwest hometown or my six years in the South. For me, experiencing new cultures is a way to keep learning, growing, and challenging myself as I step outside the box, explore, take new ground, and become who I was created to be. 

My Deepest Insecurity & Greatest Strength

Ya'll want to hear one of my deepest insecurities? Well, here goes. I've always been a mover, shaker, gotta keep going kind of girl. Oftentimes it's really hard for me to stay in the same place because I'm constantly dreaming of going or doing something new. So when someone says "you're all over the place", it cuts deep.

My life looks different than a lot of other people my age - I'm not married. I don't have a house. I haven't stayed in a job for more than two years at a time. I don't have kids. On the surface my life may seem "all over the place" or even irresponsible. But then I think to myself, my life is grounded in something unseen and in Someone much bigger than me. 

I signed up for a life of adventure and risk and I'd much rather keep moving than stay put and wake up one morning to find myself stuck. Don't get me wrong - there's nothing wrong with being married, having kids, working a steady job. All of those things are admirable in my opinion! But for some reason, my life has taken a different sort of turn and I wouldn't have it any other way. 

A friend told me recently that she wished she had the courage to take big risks like I did and I honestly didn't think much of it. But now I'm learning to embrace the risk-taker and dreamer inside of me as a strength. It's made me more acquainted with failure, that's for sure. I think we all need a dose of reality and must learn to persevere in the midst of failure. To get back up again and keep risking - that requires a hell of a lot of courage. 

I may be "all over the place", but I'm also courageous and willing to take risks. One such risk was my decision to spend the summer in Cusco, Peru this summer. Though I could have been working, saving money for my next transition (among a million other things), I decided to spend the summer giving my life away, surrendering my rights, adventuring into unknown places, and coming ALIVE in the process. 

The photos above were taken at Lake Titicaca last week. The lake sits on the border of Peru and Bolivia at over 12,500 feet, making it the highest lake in the world. If you're ever in Peru, I'd highly recommend making the trip. 

The Wholehearted Hero: Paige Forrest Martindell

I met Paige when she was a Junior at Kansas University. I remember sitting across from her over coffee and thinking 'this girl is going places'. She did some freelance design work for our church in Lawrence and I was always impressed with her commitment to excellence and creativity. She's a born leader and it's been such a joy to watch her (via social media) transition to and then thrive in Dallas. Paige has navigated her entrance into young adult life with grace and poise and has planted herself in a place to grow and remain. Cheers to you, Paige!


1. Hi Paige! Tell us a little bit about yourself, what you're doing in Dallas and how you got there. What prompted you to leave your full time job and work for a start-up? 

Hi Tori! I’m a full time Creative Lead for the tech/fitness startup StudioHop, I teach fitness before and after the work-day, and I am super active within the fitness and entrepreneurial communities in Dallas. To put it simply, I’m always on at least 5 different payrolls, I work from sun up to sun down, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.

2. I've been following you on social media for a few years and have been so impressed by a) the amount of encouraging content you're putting out there and b) the way you seem to be going for it - both professionally and personally! What has motivated you to pursue new opportunities, learn, grow, and take advantage of what's in front of you in this season? 

Honestly, the Lord. Alongside the encouragement and love I feel from Jesus and my faith, is the love Dallas has shown me as a city and new home. I moved to Dallas in June 2015, two weeks after college graduation, pursuing design at Fossil Headquarters. I knew I was excited about Dallas, but I had no idea what God had planned for me down here. Because of a long-distance relationship I was in at the time, I put a time-frame on Dallas and only thought I’d be here a year or two. Now being single, working for a different company, I feel the most alive I ever have before (and am getting far less sleep, so crazy how that works out). This city, it’s a REALLY special place. It was made for hungry young people like me, eager to be doing more and more.

3. When and how did you decide to leave your job at Fossil and what do you do with StudioHop? Can you identify some of the challenges and rewarding things about this decision process? 

Fossil was such a great home to me; I felt supported, invested in, and I genuinely liked going to work every day. After a year with the company, leadership was changing drastically which caused my position to get shuffled around. I found myself really dreading going into work, and was no longer satisfied in my creative work (I was pushed to production design because of budget cuts, and was tired of laying out the same ol’ box die line day after day) I was ready for a change. StudioHop was always the dream, but with the company being so young, there was no room to hire me on full time until October 2016 when the company had done enough fundraising to bring me on. I was scary – leaving such a large secure corporate company, to be the fourth full time employee at StudioHop, but I thought to myself, “Paige, you’re 23, it’s now or never. You’ll regret it if you don’t!” so I made the leap and left.

4. When you first moved to Dallas, how did you get connected to community? What did you go in looking for and how did you approach the transition?

I still find this so funny, but I made most of my first friends from Instagram. I found other young, creative women, and set up coffee dates with them. From there I joined Circle Seven Five which is a young professional network for women (and was SUCH an influential part of me growing my community at first). I knew after college, having such wonderful friends there, I wanted to make sure I was meeting the RIGHT people in Dallas. It can be easy when you move to a new city, to hang out with just about anyone so that you’re not lonely, but I fought those lies of loneliness and just waited until I felt genuinely connected to people – which is why my network grew so organically – they were true people, inside and out. I’m blessed with the absolute best community here.

5. What sort of advice would you offer to someone relocating to a new city? If we could learn from your journey, is there anything you would have done differently? Anything you'd recommend prioritizing? 

The biggest lesson I learned when I moved, like I said above, stay true to yourself. It’s just like in any transitional phase, you can bend your beliefs and morals to be ‘accepted’ by the general public, or you can remain exactly who you are & who you want to be, and pray it out during loneliness. The right people will fall into your life when they are supposed to. I highly recommend prioritizing work over anything else at first. Get plugged into your job, work hard, stay late, prove to those around you that you deserve to be in the position that you’re in. If you’re not happy, it is OKAY to look elsewhere. Don’t be public about it, but I like to think life is too short to be unhappy each and every day you go to work. 8-5 makes up SO much of your life – chase a career you’re passionate about and do not stop until you wake up each morning GRATEFUL to be going into the office. Also just be extra friendly – when you’re in a new city, friends can be made ANYWHERE. So jump on opportunities to make conversations with those who you make connections with.

6. What's your favorite part about working for a start-up? What does your job and daily responsibilities look like? 

My favorite part of working for a start-up, is that I get to wear so many hats. I can never predict a day, because I’m being pulled in so many directions, but it keeps me on my toes! I’ve learned more in the past 6 months about business, than I ever had throughout college and working for Fossil. Day in the life of Paige: wake up at 5 am to workout or teach a couple fitness classes, eat the Tupperware breakfast I packed once I arrive to the office around 8:30, design, photograph, email and problem-solve the day away until about 6pm when I head home! Of course that’s a very condensed version, but overall, I come home VERY tired every night.

7. How has your faith and outlook on life shifted or been affected through your transition to Dallas? Do you feel you reached new levels of ownership in your personal life as you entered into young adult world? If so, how? 

My faith has never been stronger. There is just something about being on your own – relying on God and God alone for strength and comfort. Over the past two years (exactly! My two year anniversary was last week) I have grown more than I have in all the years before combined. I feel so confident and strong in who I am, all thanks to God for the story He’s written for me.

8. What are some daily, weekly, or even monthly rhythms you put in place to help facilitate your personal, physical, and professional growth? 

I don’t think I’m ever on a strict rhythm, each and every week looks SO different but they all have one thing in common – they’re full. I work 8:30 – 5:30 and instruct in the mornings so that leaves lunch breaks and evenings to make plans. I’m usually booked two weeks out but I love that. I plan meetings with girlfriends, entrepreneurs, companies, new friends, etc. It’s so fun getting to connect in the middle of the day too – fuels my afternoon.

9. What does living wholeheartedly mean to you? And how have your views on this sort of lifestyle evolved over time? 

Living wholeheartedly to me means being authentic to yourself in every part of your life. Being true to who you are, how you’re feeling, being transparent but also having grace on the days when you have no energy left. I think it will always evolve for me, as I continue to take on whatever comes my way but I want to stay true to my roots. People have always meant the most to me – others are the reason I do everything I do. Without the ability to inspire and encourage, I wouldn’t have fuel.

10. Is there anyone or anything that's been inspiring you to live wholeheartedly recently? Maybe a favorite author or podcast? 

I’m inspired by my boss, Natalie Wolfe, who is the CEO of StudioHop and has grown our company from the bottom up over the past two years. I also cling to Jake Thompson of Compete Everyday, a close friend of mine and mentor, truly a rock star in all areas of life and pushes me to the be the absolute best person, teammate, designer, athlete and believer I can be.


Paige Forrest Martindell is a 24 year old Kansan currently living in Dallas, TX. She's a fitness instructor by morning, Creative Lead for StudioHop fitness/tech start-up by day, and freelance designer / amateur chef by night. She's always on the move, but she wouldn't have it any other way. A good sweat fills her soul, but she wouldn't be who she is today without Jesus, her loving parents, supportive siblings and the rest of her dynamic community. She recently began blogging, but loves keeping her focus on her digitally journal - good ol' Instagram. She uses these outlets as a form of encouragement and strives to shine light on everyone around her, even if it's for a 45 minute sweat sesh. | Follow along on her journey at paigeforrest.com