It’s been so long. So long since I picked up the pen (keyboard, but whatever) and penned a post.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to say. I actually don’t even know what I’m going to say, but, here goes nothing! XD
I probably lost the opportunity to make a million bucks as a travel blogger on my eight-month hiatus through ten countries in three continents – Dad and I had a Passport Stamp competition when I came home and he won but I’m getting closer! Reality is though I lost some of my excitement for big aeroplane with all the long haul flights BUT I did still manage to sleep for seven (low quality) hours next to the baby, the toilets, the isle, and the kitchen (boom baby).
As I was saying, I probably lost the opportunity to make a million bucks as a travel blogger…. but that wasn’t the purpose for my trip anyway. I didn’t have TIME to be all travel bloggery in the professional sense!
Travelling wrote something in my heart and life story that takes a while to figure out, to come to terms with, to see the result of, and it’s taken me until now to really feel like I could say something. Of course I blogged or sent emails to people for my entire time away of my comings and goings but travelling, on a deeper level, it’s about the traveller.
I often think of my great-grandfather Christopher (Christof Johan, in his German name – Christof as in Kristof, from Frozen, and Johan as in, well, YoHAn) who went on a world cruise in the 1950’s. His incredible, but chronically unwell wife Lucy wanted him to go, and sadly, died while he was away. His travel journey was in a decade of telegrams and postcards, not instagram, free phone calls, and the capacity to take 10,000 photos (not that I took that many). Someone asked me before i went to Laos if I would go if I couldn’t take my camera. It’s a challenging idea in our current society: we joke, did it really happen if it isn’t on Instagram?! but I sometimes wonder how much of my life I actually hold valuable if it isn’t.
My point being, travelling is more than photos, more than impressing people, and more than bragging rights. It wears off pretty quickly, and as I’ve learned, doesn’t really impress friends long term or in a impacting way. Ironically, I think that was a response of the ’50’s. How many people (farmers, no less) got the opportunity to go on world cruises and see the sights of Rome, Paris, and London 70 years ago?! That was an impressive feat (not to mention the five weeks in a cabin one way, no thank you) but today, international travel is accessible to so many of us. However, whether in 1950 or 2018, it doesn’t really… define us. So what if I’ve travelled the world – I might get amnesia in fifty years and have no clue I ever walked the streets of Prague. What people want to know, what builds relationships, is if I am I a kind person, do I treat the people around me with respect, am I interested in my surroundings and work and life today, and am I confident in who I am beyond what I’ve done. Travelling the globe isn’t what I want to build my friendships on.
That being said, travel does impact me. Getting lost in Austria (the literal crying and talking to strangers kind, not the wanderlust pixie dust Pinterest lies to you about kind), sitting in unpowered huts in Laos, seeing people do stupid things in Canada… those things make great stories and build something in me.
Resilience and problem solving…
Deep deep appreciation for strangers and new friends who take the time to be kind and get you back on your feet, or welcome you into their lives for four days, or spoil you rotten, or invite you to live with them…
Humility at the many blessings we take for granted – realising you could have been deemed worthless in the Holocaust, or be freezing in a half-built hut after working all day every day to survive, is humbling…
Deciding you like the principles you stand by even if it makes you the odd one out or for awkward situations…
Learning the world won’t fall apart without you, and unlocking the fun, adventurous side of you that’s been living slightly dormant for a few years…
Sticking up for what you want to do even if you am the only one who wants to do it…
Realising just what a big and incredibly beautiful world we live in and how important it is to me to explore it. I can’t decide if I want to live in the Alps, or by the beach, or in the woods, or on an island… (but now that I think about it, New Zealand is looking pretty good…)
Seeing that I’m not the only one out there who does awkward things and doesn’t have life figured out, and that I am acceptable and loveable just for being who I am…
Growing in trust that God won’t let go of me and that he delights in me today…
I hope all these things, these experiences and memories and feelings, have made me a more grounded and better person. I hope they change the course of my life, how I approach life, and how I interact with others.
I think it already is! And I don’t want to ever ever forget what I learned, who I grew into while I was overseas.
And I guess the point of all this rambling, is that travel, I think, isn’t about impressing others, it’s not about ‘making it’ in society, it’s not about looking cool or famous or even figuring out all the secrets of life so you can come home with your life ‘together’.
It’s about me.
When you travel, it’s about you.
I’m working in a hotel on reception at the moment and so NO i am not saying you have every right to be rude or demanding or make it all about you.
My point is it’s about us growing in to better versions of ourselves, of opening our lives to be swamped by humility and gratitude and awe and kindness and giving and a sense of open-handed living.
Enjoy it!! 🙂