It has been quite a while since my last post…
I returned last Sunday from a 2 week trip to Brazil. It was a wonderful experience but in very different ways than my previous travels abroad. There were several “firsts” on this particular trip: first trip to South America; first trip to Brazil; first trip south of the equator, etc. I met some wonderful people, saw some amazing scenery, and for the first time in my life, had my fill of barbecue.
A new element for me on this trip was that the novelty of leaving the country was beginning to wear thin. It’s not that I am some sort of “jet-set world-traveler”. However, as I boarded the plane this time, it was more with a sense of “not again” than “I can’t wait!”
This was not so much a product of frequency of travel but of an awareness of the toll being away for 2 weeks would have on family, home, work, etc. In the past, the anticipation of new places, experiences and passport stamps overwhelmed the thoughts of responsibilities left behind. On this departure however, I would have traded places and remained at home if that option had existed.
So in an interesting way, I entered Brazil somewhat jaded…counting the days until my return rather than wide-eyed with wonder and dreading each turn of the calendar. That’s not to say the days were bad. They were in fact fantastic. As with any trip abroad, I found this one to be life-altering in some very profound ways. Each day brought new thoughts, relationships, and a broadened world-view. But, more importantly, in my heart at least, it brought me closer to my reunion with what was most important…my family and home.
I’m looking forward to my next trip however. My daughter Hillary and I will be traveling with a group from our church to Holland and Germany. We will spend a few days in Amsterdam visiting with some of our good friends who recently moved back there to manage a Salvation Army homeless ministry. We will then head to Leipzig, Germany to attend the Baptist World Youth Congress. It will be great to visit our friends in their new home and most of all to travel with Hillary.