What No One Tells You About Being The Saskatchewanderer

As a member on the Brand and Digital Platform team at Directwest, I’ve had the opportunity to work with Kevin (more commonly known as the Saskatchewanderer) over the past 7 months to collaborate on our Search Partnership. While the basis of our conversations often involve strategy, planning and setting deadlines, I also had the privilege of watching him shine, and foster some meaningful relationships within the Saskatchewan Community.

But if I’m completely honest, I know very little about him. What can I say? The past 7 months have been a bit of blur, but other than the obvious (great photographer, and lover of our prairie Province), I don’t know what brought him to be this year’s Saskatchewanderer.

Kevin, hanging out with us at the Regina Directwest office.

So, as we sat back and built out the remaining few months of his term, I asked our good friend Kevin Dunn some of the burning questions I had brewing! Here are the top 5 things the Saskatchewanderer had to say about his journey so far:

Don’t overthink it. I know, I know, easier said than done right? Especially, when you’ve taken on the responsibility of being the Saskatchewanderer, and driving around the wanderer-mobile for the entire year. But in Kevin’s experience, taking the job too serious isn’t any fun at all, so just relax and enjoy the ride!

Be forward thinking, is Kevin’s rule of thumb. Not just for after you get the job, but before you even apply. A decision to be the next Wanderer is HUGE! It cannot be a game time decision. Kevin knew for two years he was going to apply in 2017 (yes two years!!), and followed the journeys of the previous Wanderer’s for motivation. He used those two years leading up to 2017 to experience travelling alone, and putting together an awesome application, and now he loves living on the road!

The people. This was Kevin’s response to his favourite part about being the Wanderer. I was a bit surprised, after seeing his once in a lifetime adventures this past year, but it was in this moment I truly got to know Kevin. “I have met so many wonderful people this year, where right from the beginning, I have said I’ve met more people this year than in my entire life. Whether it was meeting folks at events or through social media, on the side of the road or in a camp ground, I had the most wonderful experience getting to how friendly people really are across our province. Every trip I go on, I run into someone who may have spotted the Wanderer mobile, or myself out taking photos on the side of the road. The biggest treat is when folks would come up and introduce themselves to me. This was a highlight, as it happened often wherever I would go. Complete strangers coming up, and saying either how they love following my adventures on social media, or how they would love to do this job one day too from being inspired by the pictures or videos I’ve posted. This was a highlight of mine.”

Step outside your comfort zone. “Before being the Saskatchewanderer, I wasn’t much of a people person, or in softer context, one who wouldn’t go out very much because of my quiet nature. I knew going in, this was something that had to change, as being the Saskatchewanderer, you are the complete opposite. So, this was me stepping out of my comfort zone. I knew I was capable of doing this, I just wasn’t sure of how much fun it was going to turn out to be. One thing after the next, because of the speed and how fast things were thrown at me at the beginning, stepping out of my comfort zone had to be quick, and I was able to adjust as soon as I needed too. This became huge for me, as it not only helped with my abilities to socialize and connect better, but also help boost my confidence as the year went on. It shows how stepping out of your comfort zone can really be a leap of faith, but worth the stepping stone to help yourself grow personally and into this very outgoing role as the Saskatchewanderer.”

The journey isn’t over. When I asked Kevin what his future holds once his time as the Saskatchewanderer comes to an end, he said, “This year became one of the biggest learning curves in my life. Whether that was learning to become a better public speaker, writer, content creator, people person, editor in film and photography, and even journalism – I hope to continue with travelling and working in a similar field in the future, while continuing to grow and see where these new interests I have gained this past year will take me.”

We wish Kevin the best of luck in his future endeavors, and thank him for his partnership with Directwest this past year.  Cheers to you and your next adventures!

– Lisa Mickler is a Product Consultant on the Brand & Digital Platforms team at Directwest.