Kaylyn Jenkins is only a senior in college, but she's already a seasoned world-traveler.
The Hudson, Wis., native— who is a four-year member of the Minnesota State University Moorhead volleyball team— has traveled to Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, the Virgin Islands and the Turk and Caicos Islands already in her lifetime.
“I like seeing the different cultures,” Jenkins said. “The people are different everywhere.”
Jenkins is the lone senior on the floor on a young MSUM roster this year. Last weekend she played the final home volleyball matches of her career when the Dragons hosted Sioux Falls and Southwest Minnesota State.
“The past couple of weeks, it's dawning on me a little more," Jenkins said of her collegiate career coming to a close. “It's really sad. To not be an athlete anymore is really different. It's bittersweet."
A 6-foot-1 middle blocker, Jenkins has had a solid career and been one of the Dragons' top hitters and blockers over the past three seasons. She has 603 career kills and led the Dragons as a sophomore with 216. She has 290 career blocks. She is just three solo blocks away from moving into the top 10 in school history.
At MSUM, she is a business administration major with an emphasis in management. With her love of traveling, the two-time NSIC All-Academic player said she wouldn't mind a job that takes her to different places across the country and globe.
Her father, Ronald, works for Edward Jones, and wins the trips through work. He has one rule about the trips — that it is only immediate family — mom Kathy, dad, Kaylyn and her sister Kassi.
“That is the one week or two when it's just us four together,” Jenkins said.
Kaylyn got to pick the destination of the last trip to Switzerland.
Among the highlights of her travel — a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef; scuba diving there, hiking in Switzerland and paragliding over the Alps in Switzerland.
"That was awesome," she said.
At Hudson High School, Jenkins was a two-time All-Big Rivers Conference selection, three-time team MVP and two-year captain while lettering in volleyball and basketball three seasons.
When looking at colleges during her high school days, Jenkins visited larger college campuses such as the University of Minnesota. She liked the distance from home to MSUM — about 3 1/2 hours — and the size of the campus.
"I've got to meet a lot of great people and great friends," Jenkins said. "That is the main thing I've enjoyed."