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April 2, 2019

People say they cannot afford travel but I think there are many instances in which people choose NOW versus LATER. Fueling the temporary glee over the long-term soul-transforming moments... travel takes planning. Sacrifice. But if you knew what I knew, perhaps you would see what I see. That latte you want, the $5 and under section in Target, the monthly subscription boxes you get? I urge you to redirect that money for travel. Little purchases add up. So put on those horse blinders because you're missing out. Setup a separate bank account. Grab a jar and decorate it with the word TRAVEL. Don't you dare touch it. The world is your oyster. There are so many lands to explore I could cry even writing this at the thought.


Traveling has blessed me with amazing new perspectives. New ways of thought. Birthed from travel, I have found so much inner peace from slowing down and being a careful observer. Lingering longer. Watching. Embracing and absorbing the sights and sounds. Soaking in the culture. People are truly the greatest treasures in this earth. 

 

Observing families with their littles in Holland, for example, was such a delight. I witnessed countless parente with their children playing en route to their destination. American parents are too quick to stifle play. Here I saw a woman holding her little babe's hand slow down as her child reached for the ground to run their little, curious fingers through the fine sand pile. Her child wanted to experience that feeling, that sensation. So mom slowed down joyfully. She didn't rob them from the play that popped up, and instead treated it as an adventure for them to share. What a message for us. The message we often see in America seems to subconsciously echo to CONFORM. Why do we do this? Societal norms. Rush. Fear of missing out. But slowing down is where you truly enjoy. We are too quick to get from Point A to Point B. But seeing from a different vantage point truly gave me great appreciation for what I would like to do differently. It isn't about the destination. It is truly about the journey we take.

 

Another mum with her little, slowed down while walking across the street, allowing her child to step precisely on each cobble stone. On footstep per stone. Like a fun game of cobblestone hopscotch. Other pedestrians around them also had patience in this wonderful display of child's play. Beyond that, I watched strong eye contact, slowed conversation, and less heads buried in their phones. Teens laughed with convos with genuine friendship that didn't involve technology. The focal point was people not social media addiction. People were the importance. Also, I noticed in Belgium not many women wear makeup. Such beauty and variety in ethnicity. A myriad of culture and fashion. Patterns of clothing. Unique individuality. Freedom to experiment in being yourself.

So travel. Travel. Travel. I realize the more I travel the more I may have indoctrinated beliefs that need breaking. The thing is when you see a culture exceed in some area, you cannot help but want it for your life. And that is beautiful. Breaking the norm. Challenging the status quo. This is how we go back to trusting our conscious. Trusting our design. We are meant to connect. Meant to love deeply. We are supposed to weave our lives in community and fellowship. Support local. Build pride in others' endeavors. Be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

You can afford travel. And you need to! Freedom of thought is dependent upon your willingness to burst out of the confines of your bubble. It is such a joy to see the life that springs forth from a culture which appreciates things my culture takes for granted. And I hope that I have inspired you to trust your wanderlust call deep inside to poke your nose in all corners of the world. 

 

-Shannon

 

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