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From alpaca farm to the beaches of San Diego

Love of traveling, balanced by appreciation of farm life

Staff writer

Growing up on an alpaca farm north of Peabody, 24-year-old Michaela Methvin always knew she eventually wanted to travel and live in a bigger city; she just didn’t know how.

It wasn’t until she met her fiancé, Brian Heinz, a San Diego, California native, while studying at Kansas State University, that she discovered it would be possible to trade in life on the farm for a life of traveling, experiencing different cultures, meeting people from all parts of the globe, and modeling.

“Brian’s love for travel became my love of travel,” she said. “Now we have several good friends all across the globe, who we just happened to meet along our way.”

“Two of his groomsmen are actually from Switzerland.”

Methvin is a 2011 Peabody-Burns High School graduate, and graduated from K-State in 2016, where she majored in Kinesiology. She continued to live in Manhattan after graduating until the beginning of February, when she moved back to her parents’ farm after Heinz proposed on a San Diego beach.

Waiting for Methvin’s return on the seven-acre property were two sheep, two miniature horses, five dogs, chickens, cats, a miniature pig, and 20 alpacas.

While Methvin’s parents, Jeff and Laurie, do most of the work around the farm now, Michaela was involved in everyday chores of farm life while growing up.

“I milked the goats and would clean out the barn every now and then for extra money in high school,” she said.

Methvin and her fiancé’ will tie the knot in Kansas at an October wedding, and then reside in San Diego, where he works as a pharmaceutical representative. Until then, she’s staying at her old stomping grounds in Peabody, flying back once a month to spend time with her future husband.

While the 1,400 mile trip leads to a dramatic setting shift for Methvin, she transitions effortlessly between the two, and looks forward to international traveling excursions they have planned.
“I’m used to it now,” she said. “It’s definitely a faster pace but San Diego has such a down-to-earth vibe and the people there are so nice. Brian’s experiences help because he’s been to 30 countries, and by the end of 2019 I will have been to 20 different countries total. I’m a free-spirited person, it makes you feel at home wherever you’re at.”

Along with Methvin’s familiarity with traveling, she also has a love of modeling. While modeling swimwear for Billabong about a year and a half ago, she got a golden opportunity.

The surfer the company had originally casted for some action shots was a no-show, leaving the photographer looking at Methvin.
“I had surfed on the side before,” she said. “But with the professionals they had there, I performed even better. I was able to get an awesome action shot, which opened other doors that are hard to get.”

That action shot now appears in Billabong stores located in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Hawaii.

While Methvin looks forward to wedding bliss and a move to palm trees and salt water, she is thankful for the character traits the farm has equipped her with.

“Growing up on the farm taught me discipline and respect,” she said. “I’ll miss the farm, but I’ve found that there’s so much out there to learn and experience. I feel pretty lucky to do both.”

Methvin will come back to visit frequently for holidays and when her busy schedule allows.

“I’m blessed to go explore and live an adventurous life, all while being able to come back home and relax and reset while awaiting the next big adventure.”

Last modified March 14, 2018

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