A look into Mindi’s adventures


Fine ocean views!

Rider Lawhorn, Contributor

Mindi Jenkins has had a very fun and exciting last couple of years of her life.

“I have always wanted to go around to different parts of the world, and now that my kids are growing older, I actually have time to do that stuff.” So let’s dive into some of her breathtaking adventures!

For her first big trip, she and my stepdad (Troy) went to England and Rome. My aunt (Ashley) lived in England for 3 years because my uncle (Gabe) is in the United States Air Force and that was where he was sent for his next assignment. She almost waited too long to go because they were scheduled to return to the United States in May of 2019. Mindi ended up going there in March of 2019. It was approximately an 8-hour flight, but it was all completely worth it.

“Going to Rome is an experience that I will never forget. It was truly beautiful.” She ended up visiting a bunch of places, which included the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine, Palatine Hill, Piazza Navona, Santa Maria Maggiore, The Pantheon, Vatican City, Centro Storico, and the Trevi Fountain.

Mindi personally liked Rome more than England, but they ended up going to London and Birmingham, where Ashley and the rest of the family were. I asked Ashley how she felt about England, and she said, “It is a completely different way of living and takes time to get used to, but it is a very cool experience.” They only had two days to do everything, so they were nonstop busy. They ended up visiting Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, London Eye, Kensington Palace, The Shard, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, and last but not least, Westminster Abbey.  I personally really want to go visit the Big Ben clock tower because it is such an iconic piece in many different movies.

Now, the coolest and most exciting place that Mindi and Troy went to would be St. John, which is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. They wanted to take a getaway trip for their honeymoon without us kids, obviously. They visited some other little towns like St. Croix and St. Thomas. I asked Mindi how she felt about being surrounded by the ocean, and she told me, “I have always had a fear of the ocean, which seems silly since I would love to live on a beach somewhere, but it was the fear of not knowing what was below me in the water, not being able to touch the bottom, and being surrounded by so much water.”

Troy said, “I love being out in the water. It is super relaxing for me.”

One of the most exciting activities that Troy and Mindi did was go snorkeling in St. Croix. They ended up going to a place called Buck Island. It is an 880-acre national monument that includes 176 acres of land surrounded by 704 acres of water and a coral reef system. This is where Mindi learned to snorkel, and at first, she had a difficult time getting the hang of it. After about 45 minutes of practicing, she was finally ready to go way out in the middle of the ocean. She had the best time of her life. All of the coral reefs in the ocean were so beautiful, and seeing some of the animals was amazing. After this time in St. Croix, they went back to St. John to go snuba diving, which is a mixture of scuba diving and snorkeling. St. John had way rougher waters than St. Croix, so Mindi was really scared to go way out in the ocean. She told the instructor about how much the ocean really scares her, but the instructor said, “Trust me, you will enjoy this.” She did it, and even swam with a bunch of sea turtles!

Mindi and Troy have had an incredible time traveling to different parts of the world. They both love to travel, and they plan on continuing to do that this year in 2022. I am very jealous of their trips, but eventually, I will also be able to travel.