A couple weeks ago one of our new friends, Kristen, stopped by MudLOVE with an incredible story. We’ve always been proud of how people all over the country use our products to inspire others. Little did we know that some of our bracelets travelled around the globe.
Welcome to MudLOVE! Tell us who you are and what you’re about.
My name is Kristen Hills. I am from Mishawaka, Indiana and I grew up wanting to travel and explore the world. For the last few years, I have been traveling on a trip called the World Race. I never thought it would be possible, but God let it unfold, and I am so grateful. My first World Race was to 11 countries in 11 months. My second was to 6 countries in 9 months.
That’s a lot of airplane rides. Which bracelets did you take with you during your first trip?
On my first trip, I carried two MudLove bracelets that reminded me of good things - “joy” and “hope.” They served as a visual reminder that I needed to pursue joy and hope for things that I couldn’t always see in front of me.
Great reminders when you’re far away from home. What about the second trip?
Before my second trip, the World Race Gap Year, I had my close friends and family choose words for custom bracelets. These bracelets would serve as a reminder of the things that they hold as important ideals as I was away. My best childhood friend chose “live OtB.” which stands for “Live Outside the Box.” My college roommates chose “avanti.” which is Italian for “onwards” or “forward.” My family chose “entwined.” to remind me that we are connected despite the physical space between us. Lastly, I chose “do hard things.” as a reminder to push through and do the things that are right, even if they are difficult.
What a neat idea. How did these words have an impact on you?
I wore them almost every day during my 9 months away. They were constant reminders through the ups and downs of life. Early on in my second stint of travel, I realized that I also wanted a way to give back to the people that inspired each of them. I took a little time in each place to photograph scenes, objects, or people that reminded me of what that word meant. I was also able to sit with those people to ask for their perspective on the word.
There were points in my trip where I wasn’t the only traveler to benefit either. When a good friend needed a boost of confidence, I handed over the “do hard things.” bracelet. When we couldn’t find a way around something in our thinking and needed new perspective, I handed over the “live OtB.” They served their purpose well.
Thank you for sharing your story, Kristen! Check out photos from Kristen’s trip below. To create your own custom bracelet and start living outside the box, tap here.
Pastor Obed, and his wife were at their home, about a 5 minute walk from our mission house. We had the task of bringing tools back to their home, so I thought I would stop and talk to them for a moment. They are a great couple that loves unconditionally and wants the best for the people that surround them. I asked, “what does entwined mean to you?
“Connections come from common features and characteristics. You have to find similarities.”
“How do those connections play out in life?”
“It’s security. It’s the act of loving. You have to find balance in everything, and those connections help… and connection doesn’t happen in a vacuum.”
Mapakela, AKA Janet, is a worker at the coffee shop at the Malealea Lodge. She works diligently for the guests at this lodge, providing them with warmth in the cold, coffee in their hands, and carrot cake and sandwiches for their hungry bellies.
“[Entwined] is a good thing. Everything that I am is because of my family. They are the ones that made me to be grown up and educated. Another thing! When you have a problem, your parents can solve your problems and feel pity for you.”
"Entwined. It reminds me of twins. We can be from so far away, but we share lots of similarities."
“For example, there are people that you feel more comfortable around and you can share different things. We can talk about things and we can have a good connection, even in the first moment. That is the meaning for me. In the world, there are many people, but you can find just a few people that you feel good around. this is difficult for me to find people that you can feel well around. It’s like a best friend.”