Initially I’d planned to fly to The Relevant Conference, alone. However, my 16-year-old son created a bond with the folks from DaySpring in January when he traveled with me to BlissDom and worked with them in January. They wanted him to go and he wanted to go, so it was settled.

Unfortunately, I delayed buying plane tickets when the AC went out in our van and then prices increased too much to justify paying for two. I finally got a good attitude about the 1400-mile round trip knowing I’d have good company and the fall leaves should be at peak, but I worried about making the trip in our 2001 Taurus with 200k+ miles. If we had trouble, we’d be nowhere near home and help.


A frantic search for a sponsored car put me behind the wheel of a car. Not just any car, but a new Kia Sportage decked out with GPS, satellite radio, and dual sunroofs.

Truly, it was my first 21st century driving experience.

Kia Sportage

Because of the size of our family, I drive a vehicle that’s purely utilitarian. It’s all function and little form, the same van that’s used for daycares and airport shuttles. How many people’s car manuals contain instructions for converting it into an ambulance? Mine does.

111030_Relevant_061We didn’t even plot the route of our trip through 7 states, but just plugged the final address in the car’s GPS and it showed the way. A built-in cable connected to my iPhone, enabling me to listen to music and charge the phone at the same time. I’m used to hauling CDs, so I loved having access to all the music in my iTunes library.

On the way home we stopped at a drive through for sweet tea and the girl at the first window told me that she liked the headlights on my car (and no, I didn’t admit that it wasn’t mine), that they looked like they were wearing eyeliner. At the second window the kid handed us our food and grinned, “Here you go, cool kids!”

We were tired after 5 days on the road; surely the car was the only thing about us emitting any degree of cool.

The Sportage was so much fun that honestly, I didn’t want to give it back. I’ve spent the rest of the week reaching for non-existent volume controls on my van’s steering wheel and I even checked the treble and bass settings on the radio because it just sounds so very bleh.

That Kia seriously spoiled me.

The late October leaves of scarlet, orange, and gold were breathtaking—especially Interstate 81 through Virginia—and I’m thankful to have experienced it firsthand with my son. Two days’ worth of time to laugh, listen, and relax in our Kia was quality mother/son time at its best. Thank you Kia for making it possible!

Our Road Trip to Relevant was sponsored by:

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