Shawn Small

After a decade working in parish youth ministry Shawn started Wonder Voyage Missions. Over the last 15 years, WVM has led thousands of pilgrims to over forty countries. Shawn is a storyteller and an award winning filmmaker. He is an author who brings the gift of engaging narrative to our journeys. Shawn is dedicated to creating voyages that give people abundant opportunities to encounter God.

Community Update - Pandemic Impact and Travel Plans
Community Update: Pandemic Impact And Travel Plans
This week I received an encouraging email from one of our Voyage Guides, Laurel, who is the rector of St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Carmel Valley, California. Laurel wrote, Last Saturday, as I arrived at St. Dunstan's for Sunday service preparation, I saw a young ...
Top 5 Destinations for Junior High Trips
Top 5 Destinations for Junior High Trips
I believe the closest science has ever come to discovering perpetual energy generators is the modern Jr. High student. I was a full-time Jr. High minister for 200+ students when I started in youth ministry. The students were adrenaline incarnate. They kept me on my ...
A Guide’s Guide to the Best U.S. Hikes
A Guide’s Guide to the Best U.S. Hikes
Our modern world is a blur. We lust for speedy convenience. DoorDash for our meals. Amazon for our stuff. Download speed for our entertainment. Life is done in a rush.  When we get to the end of a day we think, “I did a lot ...
Penny Pincher Travel Guide: 6 Keys to Consider for Group Travel
Penny Pincher Travel Guide: 6 Keys to Consider for Group Travel
My grandmother, Marie Lindgren, was known for a multitude of things in her tiny hometown of Paton, Iowa. As a registered nurse, she was often the first called in a local medical emergency. Her monster cookies, with the circumference of a softball, were legendary amongst ...
Wonder Within 300 Miles
Wonder Within 300 Miles
Wonder Voyage has accomplished an ambitious goal that we have been pursuing for a decade. We have established a Wonder Voyage trip within six hours of any location in the contiguous United States. We wanted to give any group the ability to hop into a ...
Boundless Expeditions Hits the Road
Boundless Expeditions Hits the Road
At Big Bend National Park on the Texas-Mexico border, I stood on the upper rim of the Chisos Basin, breathed deeply, and took in the contours and colors of creation. The 7000-foot climb was both exhausting and exhilarating. It had been just three weeks prior that ...
Top 5 Road Trips to Connect with Wonder
Top 5 Road Trips to Connect with Wonder
When I was a kid, the ultimate adventure was the family road trip. My elementary school brain assumed flying was for the rich and famous. Our only alternative was to load up the wood-paneled station wagon--basically a rolling playroom--with survival supplies like sleeping bags, books, ...
Preparing Now for Future Travel
Wonder Voyage Update: Preparing Now For Future Travel
The travel drought of 2020 has been one of the most unexpected events of my life. As hard as it is to navigate the day to day, where planning feels like vanity, we must remember that this season of unease will one day be over. ...
Back to Travel
Back to Travel: Shawn Leads a Team to Montana
When COVID-19 pulled the brakes on travel, it appeared that my 27-year streak of leading voyages around the world had ended.  In my head, I knew we'd travel again, but this trek through the travel-desert has been lonely. Strange times is an understatement. My world ...
Mission Trip or Pilgrimage
Mission Trip or Pilgrimage: A Definition
Short term missions has become big business. Wonder Voyage started twenty years ago because, at the time, a good number of trips through mission organizations were being carried out in ways that were were unnecessary, unethical, and in bad taste. The only pilgrimage offerings, at ...