Kelly Alley Headshot

A big yo and welcome back to yet another semester and year of pandemic-ridden traveling.

For those who are new around here, I’ll start off the first column with a quick introduction and what y’all can expect in this space.

My name is Kelly, a.k.a. the Wanderer, and I’m a second-year graduate student in the School of Journalism. I got my undergrad here at UTK and liked the campus and the folks so much that I decided to stick around for a bit longer — with permission from the “powers that be,” of course.

I drive a 1988 Toyota with a manual transmission, because I’m cool like that, and unironically use a film camera and develop my own black-and-white film. Still learning how to develop color negatives — it’s a work in process. Ba-dum tsss.

If you haven’t figured it out already, I’m rather keen on bad puns and dad jokes. That’s your fair warning for any face-palm moments in future columns.

Anyways, in between traveling and doing cool grad school things, I’m almost exclusively found hanging out with and training my young horse Arty, who I wrote about at the tail-end of last semester — right after he made his grand entrance into the world. He’s my pride and joy, and he’s cute as heck, too.

That’s enough about all that background, boring profile stuff. So, what can you expect from this column?

Well, it’s an eclectic mix of travel and folksy-type ramblings and humor, with just a bit of Arty thrown in occasionally for good measure. Not much different from the past three years, really.

... Gee whiz, that fact gave me a bit of an existential crisis for a minute. Didn’t realize how long this little column had actually been a thing. Good golly.

There won’t be quite as much roving around and adventuring in tourist-y areas in this column again this year. There’s still a pandemic going on, y’know? But that doesn’t mean we can’t find some fun things to do and see — safely of course.

There will be some reminiscing on previous, pre-pandemic travels and little bits of travel/driving tips and advice in just about every column, though, so don’t worry too much on that.

Think about this little column as an “evening shootin’ the breeze on some front porch rocking chairs” kinda thing.

Anywho, that’s just about the gist of things.

As a side note, it was extremely satisfying to drive along some fresh cut hay fields the other evening, listening to the Vols stomp Bowling Green as the sweet smell of a second cut gently wafted through my open window at 40 mph.

Thank goodness we won.

Keep your hands clean and your mask on. We’ll make it through this.

Kelly Alley is a graduate student in the School of Journalism. She can be reached at kalley2@vols.utk.edu.

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