Battle Ground residents embark on trip across Pan American highway

Sebastian Rubino / sebastian@thereflector.com

Battle Ground residents Andi and Kevin Crockford are travel enthusiasts with their own company, Kendi World Adventures.

The couple is currently on a trip across the Pan American highway. They started at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and will end in Ushuaia, Argentina.

The Crockfords embarked on their trip after their daughter came up with the idea. They’re traveling in a short bus they converted into an RV and were recently in Alaska.

“We traveled through Columbia, Ecuador, (and) Peru with her and in Peru, we met a couple who were traveling the Pan American highway,” Andi said. “So we thought, ‘that sounds like a great adventure.’”

Once they bought their bus, they spent three years renovating it into an RV, Andi said.

In 2020, Andi released a book called “No Return Ticket” on Amazon as a memoir on a backpacking trip she took with Kevin ,which took the couple around the world in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

During that trip, Andi said they painted a pre-school in Laos and went on a 10-day silent meditation retreat in Thailand.

“It’s a heartwarming book in a lot of ways, and in some stories they’re sad, some joyous for the funny antics that we did … so it’s got a whole bunch of short stories about relationships and fun we had along the way, learned along the way about religion in the Middle East,” Kevin said.

He added the book’s title holds deep meaning because they traveled with their daughter using a one-way ticket.

Andi said her favorite part of traveling is “meeting new people, learning about new cultures, religions, and different ways of life.”

The creation of Kendi World Adventures came from the couple’s desire to share what they’ve experienced with others.

“We had so many people asking ‘how do you travel on a budget?’ and so many questions, and so I suggested to my husband, ‘let’s show people,’” Andi said. “So we started Kendi World Adventures.”

She added that Kendi is a travel company and the Crockfords go on the tours themselves. They have taken tours to Costa Rica and did one trip to India before the COVID-19 pandemic started, she said. The trips are for 10 days and the group stays in locally-owned hotels and restaurants.

“We only stay in locally-owned hotels and eat at locally-owned restaurants because we like to travel with a smaller footprint, and we wanted to keep the money that we brought in to Costa Rica and India within the community, as we figure the Hiltons probably have enough,” Andi said.

Andi recalled having a revelatory experience when traveling in Cairo.

“In the United States, we have an outlook on what Islam is. We were open and we learned about it. We stayed with a Muslim family in Cairo, Egypt for several weeks. … It’s actually a very gentle religion and we’re just not taught about different religions in this country very much,” Andi explained.

If people have doubts about a particular culture, Andi encourages them to travel and see those places for themselves.

“Unless you travel with an open mind and open heart, there’s just so much to learn,” she said.

“No Return Ticket” can be purchased online at amazon.com/No-Return-Ticket-Two-Year-Learning/dp/173425601X.

For more information on Kendi World Adventures, go to kend

iworldadventures.com.

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