Traveling is something I always daydreamed about as a child. On our way to church every Sunday morning I would look out our minivan window and watch the palm trees pass by as I dreamed of faraway places and foreign soil.
I never thought too much about how traveling was in my heart from such an elementary age, but it was. I’m really proficient in day dreaming. I’ve always been able to envision myself somewhere and see the big picture. It’s what drives me. Reminding me daily of what God has put in my heart and to watch Him unfold it in my life.
Traveling for me, unlocks that pandora’s box of “big picture” realities and my heart and mind seem to be even more aware and inspired by what I come in contact with. I thought I would share with you 7 ways traveling changes you from my experiences thus far.
- Your worldview expands. You are submersed in a new culture and country—and it allows your eyes to become fully open to the need around you. It’s easy to become self-centered in a Western world. It’s part of our own culture and society. But allowing us to be a part of something greater than ourselves we will always find it rewarding.
- You become a constant learner. I’m a big believer in growing your knowledge whether that be in a traditional sense through academics or through the everyday simplicity of life’s weight and system. When you are a teachable person you not only allow yourself to grow but you become a better communicator, empathizer, and are able to weigh things with a clearer understanding.
- You grow in compassion. This is a big-ticket item right here. Allowing yourself to see first-hand the struggle of people half a world away from you pulls at your heartstrings. Hopefully, it doesn’t just move you with emotion but compels you to join forces with those that are doing a great work and reaching people that society feels is unreachable. Faith without deeds is dead, and so are we when we turn our eyes from suffering and need.
- You are more appreciative. Returning from Africa completely changed my heart posture. Things that used to worry me and cause such an uproar in my heart seemed very dim. After seeing villages with no running water, electricity, or medical access changes you and makes you fully aware of what God has blessed you with. We say it all the time,we live in the best country in the world, but I don’t think the magnitude of it hits home until you are submersed somewhere that is full of extreme poverty. Guys, we really do live in the best Country on the planet. I am so thankful for my America and how God has blessed His people and land.
- Awakens new desires and passions. I have always thought adoption was a wonderful thing, especially as one who follows Christ I have been adopted by my Heavenly Father and I realize what a beautiful gift that is. I didn’t know however, how much adoption would touch my heart after visiting Amani Baby Cottage. I had the sweetest little girl cling to me the entire time we were there and my heart soared. I cried after leaving there thinking about how I wish her and her sister were up for adoption. God has a way of awakening new desires and passions in your heart in different lands.
- You are refreshed and recharged. This goes without saying—whether it’s a mission trip or personal vacation getting out of your daily routine and experiencing new things recharges your batteries and leaves you refreshed for the future.
- You are able to communicate with all kinds of people from all different backgrounds. This was a game-changer for me after leaving the U.S. and stepping on foreign soil. More so, when we entered the DOHA airport in Qatar. I had never felt so out of place than in Qatar. With few Westerners making there way through the DOHA airport we stood out like a sore thumb and we definitely felt that. However, a smile is known in every language and community. I was blown away at the hospitality and kindness of the people from Qatar and felt the magnitude of how big our God is. And truly how good He is taking care of His people. This experience allows me to give more grace to foreigners that find themselves in my country and how I can bridge the gap with God’s unfailing love.