hmm... thoughts

Paris? As in France?

As I write this, Kristen is on her way to meet me in New York so we can continue on to Paris, France (for Open Paris) and St. Andrews, Scotland. (to visit friends)

That’s as weird a sentence to write as it likely is for readers to read. 

It’s Always a Big Deal

This year I’m scheduled to travel 93 days to 53 cities and 6 countries totally a little over 63,000 miles of travel.

It’s weird for me to admit but I’m pretty much used to the routine of work travel. While this year has been particularly travel-heavy (thank you, Snapchat) this year has had large stretches where I’m not on the road at all.

I like to say my day-to-day life is “big” and “small.” I’m either on the road, speaking or hosting an event… something “big” or I’m at home, where my normal day consists of a 25 foot commute to the living room and trip to the post office.

But travel, even normal work travel– is a big deal to me. I hope it’s always a big deal to me. In some ways I hope it’s always something special, otherwise it’s not really worth doing.

  • Going new places is a big deal.
  • Meeting new people is a big deal.
  • Getting the opportunity to train youth workers is a big deal.
  • Talking with students is a big deal.
  • Doing a workshop for parents is a big deal.

These things are privileges and, not to sound cheesy, I’m honored to get to do it.

Circled in Red

But this trip, these next 7 days… are special. Every trip is special. But this trip is extra special.

Earlier this year we landed on dates for Open Paris. The plan on all the Open events is that I’ll go the first two years and hopefully after that they’ll be self-sustaining enough where I don’t have to go. In hopes of keeping Open organic and simple we’ve made the decision that any travel for our (The Youth Cartel team) is a personal expense, meaning even though it’s “work” we’re paying for our travel out of our personal funds and not company money. Our logic is that if no one is getting paid or getting their expenses paid for by speaking, we should do the same for everyone… even our team.

At about the same time I was invited to speak at Kellenberg High School in Long Island, NY. So the trip got a little more complicated because I could just fly to Paris and back quickly. (Which sounds weird, but I really am trying to be home as many days as I can.)

Then, basically that week, Kristen got a letter from an old employer in Chicago, letting her know that they had sold their business to someone else and had to liquidate her 401k. A 401k we’d completely forgotten about! So, instead of just rolling those funds over into our IRA, we decided Kristen (by far the most frugal person in my life) should get a little bit of a slush fund to do whatever she wanted with this unbudgeted windfall.

You see where this is going. I asked Kristen if she wanted to go with me to Open Paris… becauseParis. Shortly after that, we decided to add-on a 3-day excursion to visit our friends in Scotland.

That all happened casually and always seemed like something way off in the distance until about 2 weeks ago when Kristen and I were on a date. She said, “Hey, in two weeks we’ll be in Paris.”

Wait. What?!?! How did that happen.

Kristen and Adam… on a trip to Europe… without kids.


I’ve spent the first half of this week in Long Island, speaking at Kellenberg and enjoying (greatly) the opportunity to learn a bit about this ministry.

And now, I’m super excited to spend this time with Kristen. Such a treat. And oh yeah, we’re going cool places, too.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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