my travels

In thoughts on me, thoughts on things on January 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

– Saint Augustine

ah, january.  we’re all settled down in the schedule of work and the blanket of colder weather, and the feeling of wanderlust can’t help but eek its way in.  adventure, holiday, packed bags, generally warmer weather, visions of denim shorts, unkempt hair, and carefree activities!  i love to travel.

i think being well-traveled is one of the greatest gifts my parents (and contributing family and friends) have given me in my life.  my dad especially nurtured any interest in going to another country, even to the point that he once arranged for me to miss school for a few weeks.  pretty awesome for a young, curious girl like me!  he earned serious cool dad points with that one.

being involved in church also greatly contributed to my opportunities to travel.  my first out-of-country trip, to Mexico, was a perfect way to get my feet wet with cross-cultural travel.  once i saw that i could do it, i could work through the discomfort of a new place many thousands of miles away from home with different ways of doing things and have a fun, unforgettable time,  i couldn’t stop.  i didn’t want to ever stop going to new places.  i still don’t.

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard

adventures from Mexico, Kenya, Germany, England, France, Italy, Costa Rica, Thailand and Cambodia are all scribbled down in pages of various journals.  i can’t very rightly explain the benefits of traveling, except that there are so many of them.  you face fear.  you place yourself willingly into discomfort to discover different people and different ways of life.  in that, the point that discomfort meets familiarity is an incredible spark of travel.  taking unfamiliar, scary things and introducing yourself to them.

one of the sweetest benefits of traveling, one of the surest ways i love it and know i won’t stop, is seeing how very completely, 180° different people can be from me, and from each other, and knowing that God speaks all of our languages.  He is not American or Asian or African or any other distinction of a man.  but He perfectly loves and understands us all, and speaks to us in the ways that are meaningful to us – by culture, by language, and by our humanity.  seeing different people helps me see God more wholly and clearly, and helps me to love Him more.  He is so big, God of all the world! and loves us so closely and compassionately.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

at this point in my life, as i’m preparing to be a wife and to make a home with my husband, i have to consider the ways that traveling will fit into this life that can look like a certain thing.  “married life” can take on this image, healthily or unhealthily, of what it should be.  one of the ways John and I really connect is by our love for travel and ministering to people around the world.  “well what happens when you have kids?”  “how long would you be overseas?” and a thousand other questions come up, and that’s okay!  we will travel, we will have children (whether by blood or otherwise), we will love extravagantly and live well and follow the Spirit’s call.

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

so where do i want to go?  really, where do i not want to go!  high up on my list is Sweden, Israel and the middle-east, Poland and eastern Europe, Ireland and Scotland, and of course, Greece.  to pack my bags well, read up on the cultures beforehand, and go is addicting.

where have you been?  where do you want to go?


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