It’s easy to idealize traveling. We see someone’s photos in a place halfway across the world and think everything is perfect abroad. We create cute Pinterest boards called Wanderlust and pass it off as harmless.
I know this, because I’ve been there. So I’m going to do things a little differently by giving you a few deglamorized disclaimers and thoughts about traveling based on our most recent trip abroad.
Here’s the truth about traveling: not everything goes smoothly and it is far from perfect.
You make a few wrong turns and end up in an alley too small for your rental car, or heading the wrong direction on a one-way street. You have to re-route often with a few too many U-turns. You end up running across highways or through airports because your timing is a little off. An angry taxi driver may yell Spanish phrases at you for no apparent reason; there are a lot of failed communications and misunderstandings. No matter how detailed your lists are, the planning goes awry and you collapse on a bench, exhausted and confused.
When it comes down to it—traveling is a lot like everyday life, I suppose. You have to keep showing up in faith and putting one foot in front of the other. You may not always end up where you thought you’d be, but you usually end up where you’re supposed to be. You will recognize that no journey is too difficult if you are surrounded by the right people. You will fail, but you will also tuck a few more lessons into your back pocket than you expected. You will laugh a lot.
You might realize that no matter how different the whole bustling world is, our slightly-broken hearts often beat for the same beautiful dreams. You will climb steep steps and green mountains; God is there, ready to meet you in all of it. The best views may not come until you reach the top, but the best stories usually come from the climb.
And in the end, when it's all said and done-- you are mostly just eager to be welcomed home.