A Traveling Christians group dinner.
This is a landmark year for Bill and Kathy Carroll. It is their 10th year leading the Traveling Christians group at Kingwood United Methodist Church. The Carrolls will celebrate in a big way by leading a Tulips and Windmill Cruise to The Netherlands and Belgium this month, followed by a trip to Sicily and Southern Italy in October.
the Carrolls both worked in the energy industry in Houston and had always talked about traveling upon retirement. When they finally did retire after 30 years in the industry, they joined a friend from St. Luke’s Methodist on a trip to England, Scotland and Wales. While there, the friend introduced them to the tour company and the process of planning and taking these trips, and they were hooked. They started the travel group at their own church, KUMC, because they wanted to meet and travel with new people, and now, 10 years later, consider it a recreational and leisure ministry. Since then, they have taken many, many trips, “from Normandy to Nice,” as Bill Carroll explained.
When asked to comment on her favorite trip, Kathy Carroll said, “It would have to be the trip to Italy in 2006. It was 90 degrees in November in Rome! Our tour manager, Liam, used to be a middle-school music teacher and he sang Sinatra songs like 'New York, New York' all through dinner. He was wonderful, and we asked for him to be our guide on the next trip to Scotland!”
Bill and Anne Elliott have traveled with the Carrolls in 2010, 2011 and 2014. They had great praise for the Carrolls.
“They educate themselves and then they educate us. They love to travel and share all their travel tips and expertise,”said Bill Elliot.
Over the years, the Carrolls have seen more women join the travel group.
“Women feel safe with the Traveling Christians,” saiid BillCarroll.
The group loves the opportunity to see the sights and try native foods, particularly dining in a person’s home.
“You really get a glimpse of their home, meal preparation, politics and jobs when you dine in a native’s home,” said Kathy Carroll. Traveling Christians have traveled within the U.S. to places like New England, as well as to Canada, all over Europe (England, France, and Italy) and New Zealand and Australia as well. The 2016 goal is a trip to Germany and a Scandinavian cruise. Also in 2016, they plan to offer two U.S.-based trips: Arizona and Utah National Parks and a Charleston, Savannah and Jekyll Island holiday tour. The trips are open to family and friends of KUMC members, and to the community.
The Carrolls use the privately-owned Collette Travel.