What Have You Been Up To? What’s Next?

Campaign Sign

This morning I was on Marco Polo catching up with a friend when the conversation turned to what I’ve been up to and what is next for me. Then a few hours later, I fell into another conversation about plans for the future. It seems the universe is telling me this a topic I need to spend some time on, so here we are with a personal update post.

Crysta Parkinson for Williston's Future

The Campaign

Many of you will already know that I just wrapped up a campaign for the North Dakota State House of Representatives. It was a wild and crazy ride, and basically sucked up every spare moment I had for eight months or so! That means I have been pretty absent in this space, while I was knocking every door and attending every event to start a conversation in the community we call home when we aren’t traveling.

November 6 has come and gone, and now that the dust has settled (along with a bout of pneumonia that caught up to me about November 7, and a weekend away to recuperate at Great Wolf Lodge in Minnesota), it’s back to the routines and back to the irons I pulled from the fire while on that mission.

We weren’t successful in the bid for the seat, but we did accomplish a list of things I’m very proud of, including activating a community that very much needed a boost. So what am I up to now? Never one to sit still (despite my body’s pleas), I have a few things going on as I head into 2019.

Focus on Homeschooling

First and foremost on my to do list, always, is the education of our now nine-year-old daughter, Bria.

We identify as a worldschooling / unschooling / homeschooling family, which basically means we don’t love labels but we educate at home and in the world. If you want to learn more, you can read an essay Justin wrote on our educational philosophy here.

We spend a lot of time focusing on projects and hands-on learning a la this great quote: “Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.” ~John Dewey

Bria with cat Ruby

Right now Bria’s projects including working on an illustrated book about her cat Ruby, sewing everything and anything, and exploring growth mindsets. She’s also learning the states and U.S. history, using tons of tools we continue to gather. Her current favorites include Crash Course U.S. History, History Pockets: The American Revolution, and the 50 States Online Quiz.

We’re loving Elephant Learning for developing math skills, and she practices her violin daily, along with learning to read music through games and apps. January 1 we are starting the Read-Aloud Revival 31-Day Read-Aloud Challenge, we enjoy taking classes through Outschool, and YouTube is a constant source of new and interesting information.

I could go on and on, but one of our plans for 2019 is to blog about home educating more, so I’ll save that for another day! If you have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments and I will address them in a future post.

The Parkinson Family

Our Businesses

In addition to homeschooling our tiny Renaissance woman, I run our two businesses. A lot of people have asked me about the time flexibility we enjoy, and tada – here’s the answer!

Our primary pursuit is our doTERRA essential oil business. We love supporting families in bringing natural solutions into their lives, and helping those who want the independence of a business that allows them to make their own choices.

This business has given us so much. Check out our oil story here. <<link>>

While it is taking up less of my time these days than in the past, since leaving the newspaper world more than a decade ago, I am also a freelance writer, focusing on personal development, travel, and ghostwriting. My writing site is here.

Travel Plans

Of course the main focus of this blog is travel, so you want to know what we have coming up.

We do have some domestic travel planned for the next few months. First up, Bria and I are taking a trip to the Northeastern United States at the end of January, then in March we are headed to the Pacific Northwest. We can’t wait to share all about that trip with you.

Thanks for following our journey!


  1. I would love to hear more about your homeschooling journey. It’s an option that we are considering for our boys as well.

  2. I think this was a great wrap up/ catch up post. I feel like a friend I haven’t seen in a while was giving me a rundown so we can continue our chat. I’m really interested in your homeschooling/world schooling approach. It seems very interesting and stimulating.

  3. Fun year ahead for you! I love that John Dewey quote, and even moreso as a philosophy for homeschooling. Have fun visiting the PNW!

  4. Such a great post. Would love to read more about home schooling. It’s something I would like to do with my kids too when I have them 🙂 <3

  5. krystal

    I always wanted to work in politics – what a cool gig! I may homeschool in the future – it seems like it would be interesting.

  6. Sounds like you had a busy 2018 and an exciting 2019 planned. Can’t wait to see where your new adventures and travels take you.

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