The following file is available for download to read and print as you wish. It contains essential background information about Sean that will illustrate why he chose to make his quest for what happiness means in America. It is just eight (8) pages long and reader-friendly. Enjoy. You will come to know who Sean is and how he met his friend, Vince. Click on the link below or download the PDF as you wish.
Here are some questions you might wish to ask Sean following his 31-day odyssey…
Q: Are you a real person?
A: I am as real as any character in any novel you loved to read. I am as real as the true-to-life memories and the story context created by this blog’s author, Darby Checketts, who is also personified as my virtual traveling companion, Vince. I am one characterization of the natural anxieties and the hopeful aspirations of young adults. My dad and Vince are my wise and loving mentors.
Q: You regularly mention your dad and your friend, Vince. May I ask about your mom?
A: My mother was and still is an angel to me and our family. At the “Sean’s Story” menu tab, there is an 8-page document that provides some important background. The summer after I finished high school, several Utah counties experienced many ferocious wild fires. Our home in Juniper was nestled in a dense grove of trees. The trees caught fire and ignited the house. My mother and baby brother died in the fire. This was a tragic loss that was one of the factors that prompted me to undertake my journey across America. I needed to find peace and to think deeply about life.
Q: So many people from Utah are Mormon. Are you a Mormon? What is the religious background of your family?
A: In these stories of Sean and Vince, the family that is portrayed as mine is a Christian family. We follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as are my father and my sisters. My mother was a devout Catholic. My parents met in Mexico. Our household shared a common faith, two church affiliations, and two languages. We regularly attend the Latter-day Saints Sunday services in Juniper, but we also attended Catholic Mass from time-to-time to support our dear mother, Angelica. She always supported us.
Q: What are your immediate plans now that you have returned from your journey?
A: Three things are shaping my immediate short-term plans: our new home, horses, and a special opportunity for church and community service. First, I need to help my dad put the finishing touches on our new home. Secondly, my dad just told me that he is buying a horse for each of my sisters, plus one for himself, and another for me. We have always wanted to have horses of our own. This means that I must expand our barn and corral to accommodate the horses. I am so excited. Thirdly, I have been asked by our local church leaders to serve as an Assistant Scoutmaster. I love the outdoors and I enjoy working with other youth. This will be a perfect opportunity for me to serve.
Q: Do you plan to keep traveling?
A: Yes, I mentioned my strong wanderlust. I have plans for a west coast USA/Canada trip from San Diego, CA, to Vancouver, BC, and across to Banff, AB, with a return to Utah through Montana. I also plan to visit Alaska. Eventually, I would like to travel internationally. Vince has traveled through 27 countries.
Q: What about Ellen?
A: She is an awesome person. We are close friends. We are letting our relationship develop while she finishes her nursing program at Boise State University, and I formulate my plans for more education. I look forward to meeting her parents in the not-too-distant future.
Q: What are your educational goals and career plans?
A: As you’ve read my journal entries, you have learned of my love for horses. I would like to return to college for the upcoming winter school term. I intend to enroll at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, with a major in Business and a minor in Equine Studies or something close. USU has historically been a world leader in agricultural science. Vince’s mother and her family are from Logan. His father attended school there in the 1940’s before he served in WWII. The natural setting of the campus with the surrounding farmland and mountain scenery is truly beautiful. To me, it is Utah’s western version of Charlottesville, Virginia, near the Appalachian Mountains in the east.
A: About my career… During my two days in Kentucky something whispered strongly to me that my career will involve the advancement of horses—the enjoyable and therapeutic relationship between horses and humans. It is perhaps more than coincidental that Ellen has an interest in what is called “palliative” nursing care. Palliative care is not the same as hospice care. It is medical care for people with serious illnesses to provide relief from both the symptoms and the stress. The goal is to improve quality of life for the patient and the patient’s family. Ellen has a cousin with cerebral palsy who has inspired her. I know of the value of horses. Ellen and I can see ourselves as partners in operating a horse farm that is also a resource for those who seek palliative care.
Thank you for your interest. I have traveled the American Road. I will return there. Join me now for my journey on the Highway of Life. –Sean