Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Oh the places I will go.... maybe

I received my new passport in the mail the other day. My old passport was about to expire, and I needed to finally get the name changed to my married name.

When I opened that package to see my passport, it was like a breath of fresh air entered the room. I have always had a passion for other cultures and countries. This world is so incredibly large and there is so much to see! I always wanted to travel as a child, but we never had the opportunity. I became the first person in my family to own a passport at the age of 16 when I left to be an exchange student for a year in Finland. That year opened my eyes to the diversity of this world, and I wanted to travel more!

So I came back to America, finished high school, and was gone again to do a year-long exchange in Brazil. Luckily I did all of this through a program that is nearly free for me, so my mom often joked it was cheaper to have me out of the country than in it.

After that I spent 2 years studying in Istanbul, Turkey. From 2003-2008 I visited 14 countries in all different corners of the globe. I returned to America in 2008 to finish college, and the debt that I got into from my American college made it impossible to travel again. My husband also loves to travel and used to spend his childhood summers living in Poland where his parents come from.
The view of the Bosphorus Straight from my school in Istanbul, Turkey
So seeing this new passport was like seeing hope in paper form. My old passport was completely filled with a stamp or visa on every page. This new passport has dozens of pages just waiting to be filled. I understand that many people dream of traveling, but usually put other priorities first: saving for a house, nice cars, good educations for their children, etc. I also know that many people believe it is simply not possible to travel due to the cost. My husband and I long ago decided that we would prefer to live in a smaller home and live more frugally in order to spend our money on experiences. To this day I prefer giving experiences as gifts rather than things. This is not to say experiences cannot be had in one's own backyard, but there is just so much more out there to see and do! God's creation is so vast!

We hope to give our future children experiences more than we hope to give them material things. We hope to give then a knowledge of this world, and an understanding of God's vast creation. I had to experience the world alone, and although that was a very eye-opening and maturing experience, it can also be dangerous at an age when one is so open to influence and making the transfer into adulthood. I hope to travel right along with my children someday, and perhaps go on mission trips together with them. I want my children to speak foreign languages, and be sensitive to the differences in people and cultures. I want them to know how to share the gospel in a culturally sensitive way.

So this little passport booklet, all shiny and new and ready for explorations, makes me so excited to see where God will take us, how he will do it, and who he will bring along with us.

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I love to fellowship with others and hear what they have to say. I would ask, however, that you be mindful of what you write and try to be uplifting and respectful. Thank you for sharing!