There’s something about travel that calls to us in the deepest part of our being. It’s the mixture of adventure, new discoveries, and rest that happens in our souls.
Of course, time and money and obligations keep all of us from doing it more. I’ve found that when I can travel, though, it unleashes something in me. It reminds me of the gift of life.
When I was a junior in college, I experienced my first real trip away. That summer I boarded a plane and flew to Kenya.
Six weeks doesn’t seem like a big chunk of time, but it was for me. I explored and learned and questioned and worried. I missed home, but also loved the adventure of it all.
During this same stint abroad, Marissa spent time in China. Even in those early days of our relationship, we both decided travel would be part of our lives if it could be.
So, we saved and planned. Some years it worked, other times it didn’t. We had help from family and friends to turn our trips into reality. And we’ve been amazed at what we’ve seen.
Earlier this month, we returned from a two-week trip to Europe. England, Scotland, and France were our destinations. We ate good food, marveled at new sights and sounds, and walked everywhere.
We also took pictures and videos and have shared our stories of adventure countless times. But the thing is, they fail to paint an accurate picture of what it was like.
Perhaps this is one reason why travel matters so much.
There are certain parts of this life that you can’t replicate no matter how hard you try.
You just have to be there.
And in being there, wherever it is, something is changing in you too.
Travel does a good job of disrupting the norm. It causes a break in our schedules, and that is good for a lot of reasons.
As people, we need breathing room. But we also need space to change our perspectives. It’s easy to get caught up in ourselves, to find our thoughts and patterns of thinking locked in place too.
But travel liberates us.
Travel reminds us that the world is bigger than just our issues. It opens eyes and minds and hearts to the grandness of this world. And that is a gift worth every penny.
I’ve come to see travel as one of the greatest forms of spiritual nourishment. It doesn’t have to be far away or exotic either. It’s just getting outside of the routine every once in a while, whether that is a fifteen minute drive or fifteen hour plane ride.
Putting some miles between where we normally operate is always good. Sometimes this is a trip downtown. Sometimes it’s just a walk around the block.
In travel, we find ourselves in ways maybe we didn’t know existed. We discover new perspectives about ourselves. New places and faces open us up to the grandness of the world we live in.
When I read about Jesus, I see that he traveled quite a bit.
Now, He didn’t go on any exotic trips–that we know of at least–but He did spend his time in and around Israel.
He took his followers from small towns and fishing villages to the grand city of Jerusalem.
He met people from his hometown, but also those on the road.
He relied on the hospitality of strangers.
He met people who dropped everything to follow him, and others who turned away.
The sights and sounds of the road were some of His greatest teaching illustrations too. Parables came up in everyday conversations and illuminated aspects of God and spirituality.
Dusty roads and dusty feet were a common experience in the time of Jesus. They were signs of a life spent searching and exploring.
Then after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples became expert travelers, exploring the known world with the message of the gospel. They took ships and chartered new territories. They wound up in completely different cultures.
I think of someone like Peter, affectionately known as the “caffeinated disciple” (I heard this recently and just love it!) He was a fisherman from a small town, who probably spent most of his life before Jesus just in his village.
However, after he was called to follow Jesus, he became a globetrotter. His participation in the early church sent him on an epic journey.
This small town boy became a travel aficionado.
Undoubtedly, his travels impacted his leadership, writing, and ability to minister to others.
There’s much more to say on travel. What it means and why you should, if you can, travel as much and often as possible.
It might not always mean traveling across the world, but it means changing up our schedules and exploring our surroundings.
It looks like seeing new places, and finding ourselves in ways that we hadn’t before.
The spirit of adventure resides in all of us. It reflects our creator who Has a love for uniqueness and diversity.
He created a world with beauty and when we see that world, we are, in some small way, seeing things from God’s perspective.
If travel is a spiritual practice, it reminds me that God is good and there’s so much more to see.
This is true about travel, but also about life. And maybe that’s the point.