I've been thinking about travel lately. Why we do it. What it creates in us. And why I want my kids to experience it.
I've loved to travel since I was a little girl. We traveled a great deal throughout my childhood- to the extent that when I was asked to join a competitive swim team at 7 or 8 years old (my one shot at ever "playing" a sport) I was forced to decline because "we traveled too much during the summer".
As I got older, I was always the kid up for a spontaneous trip- anytime, anywhere, any place. If you had asked me to list my hobbies, you would have found traveling (along with reading) at the top of the list every time.
Fast forward to adulthood when responsibilities (jobs, kids, finances...) began to take over and we were forced to press down hard on the travel brakes. But now, as our kids have gotten older (no more nursing! no more diapers!) and we have a little more flexibility in our schedules, the travel bug has started to bite again.
I've spent time recently reflecting on the WHY behind traveling. Why spend money on it? Why explore new places? Is is really worth it?
Here are a few of the reasons that traveling is becoming a priority for our family:
-It gives us a glimpse of the beauty God created
-It helps us in becoming lifelong learners
-It allows us to have an appreciation for different types of cultures and "ways of being"
-Perhaps most importantly- travel is a reminder that the world is SO much bigger than us. So much bigger than the egocentricity of our small, everyday lives.
As I rode a very crowded subway in New York last month, and as I tried to calm the personal-space-conscious side of me (so much touching, so many smells), I reminded myself that ALL of these people were created in the image of our Almighty God. Every last one of them. Every skin color, every facial feature, every personality reflects a part of our Creator.
Traveling gives us unexpected gifts. An appreciation for the world outside of ourselves- our problems, our complaints, our comfort-zones- might be the greatest one.