Updated: Mar 18
Hi! I'm Kelly, aka C.K. Collins.
In another life, I was an award-winning publisher and owner of a hyperlocal news publishing company in the Nashville, TN area. I sold my company and retired from the industry in 2021.
Believing that travel feeds the soul and grows the heart and mind, I embarked on a two-year travel sabbatical which has included trips to Utah, Grand Canyon in Arizona, Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Portugal, Spain, Italy and a 30-day sailing rally from Los Angeles to La Paz, Mexico.
While in Italy, this wild idea was roaming around in my head. I had a book idea forming over the last year but it came to me in a flash how it was supposed to be. When I returned to Tennessee in August, I shared with my friends and children that I had decided to write the book.
I settled in Newport, Rhode Island for the winter to concentrate on writing the book (and to find the love of my life). My instinct told me I needed to slow down to get this done. So I'm in a cute little beach cottage just blocks from two different beaches and I'm in heaven. The beaches are a great place to go and think through ideas.
A few weeks after I began writing, I had a crisis in confidence moment. Who did I think I was to write a book? I had been in what I call "the spins" all morning and worried that I didn't have what it takes. Imposter syndrome had kicked in.
I picked up my phone to add something to my grocery list. I remember I searched for something - no idea what it was - but up came five essays I had written while traveling. I didn't even remember that they were there. What a God moment that was for me.
I began to read my essays and was delighted with them. It was almost an out of body experience - as if I was reading someone else's work. I said to myself. You ARE a writer - keep going. I have been a writer a long time - the only different was now people will be able read it.
Little more about me...
I grew up in Nashville and Brentwood, Tenn and I attended college at the University of Mississippi and then Belmont University. I was married at 21 and stayed that way for 31 years. I've been divorced almost four years.
I raised my three girls while moving around the country for my ex-husband's work. We lived in Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio, Illinois, Texas and moved back to Tennessee in 2001.
It was fun to come back to Tennessee and raise our children where I grew up. My entire family lives there and it was so lovely to have grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins around.
I am so very proud of my three grown daughters and their partners and I travel to spend time with them as often as possible. Boston, Brooklyn, and Chattanooga - what fun!
I love to hike! You will hear a bit about that in this first book and a lot more about that in subsequent books.
In 2018, I hiked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago in France and Spain, hiked a portion of the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire in 2019 and I hiked a second Camino (or spiritual hike) in 2022 in Portugal. These experiences have been an integral part of my healing from divorce and I love to tell people about those special places.