I originally posted this on Facebook in April 2008.
The trip I took to India in December 2007 was my 14th country I have visited. One thing that I always struggle with whenever I go overseas is what am I going to do with the new perspective I have gained and with everything I have learned? This post is just a little bit about all that. So what is different about me because of my travels?
The Food I Eat: Because of my trip to Guatemala & Mexico in 2003, I eat a ton of Spanish/Mexican food. I always loved that kind of food, but something happened to my tongue in Gaut. I came back from that trip with a real passion for black beans!
How I Close Plastic Bags: During my time in Guatemala, my host mother taught me how to close plastic bags so that you can open them easily. I do this mostly with bags that I put my produce in at the grocery store. Instead of tying them off in a knot, I do a partial knot. It leaves a little tail that I can simply pull to release the knot and open the bag. It is genius really. Thank you, Oberlina!
How Often I Wear a Pair of Socks: I wore one pair of socks for 3 or 4 days when I went to Lesotho. It was then that I realized that washing a pair of socks after one wear was over kill. So now, depending on the stinky factor, I wear each pair of socks twice!
I Don’t Hate The French: For some reason people in the USA tend to really dislike France! I think there must be some kind of propaganda against the French. (Remember “freedom fries”???) Many people who I have talked to think that the French are rude, don’t shower regularly, and don’t shave. During my time living in France, I made lifelong friendships with some extremely nice and good smelling French people!
I Can’t Throw Out Useful Things: Although it may not be useful to me anymore, it could be useful to someone else! Just like the zip lock bag my host mother wanted because they didn’t have anything like that. One man’s trash truly is another’s treasure. I try to always pass along what I no longer want or donate it to a thrift store. (Read more about this concept in a future post when I talk about Freecyle.)
I Don’t Buy Individually Packaged Yogurt: I used to really love getting all those yummy yogurt flavors in the individual cups. However, I found myself feeling convicted during my time in Belize. We were living in the rainforest and studying the environment. One thing we discussed was over packaging. So now I only buy the big tubs of yogurt.
The Song “He Reigns” Holds Special Meaning: Whenever I sing the song “He Reigns” in church it brings tears to my eyes. I can’t sing the lyrics without thinking about the brothers & sisters in Christ that I have met across the world. “It’s the song of the redeemed, Rising from the African plain” I always picture the small dirt floor church I went to in Lesotho where the church leaders prayed over me in a language I couldn’t understand, but with a passion I could feel. “It’s the song of the forgiven, Drowning out the Amazon rain” Although I haven’t been to Brazil, these lyrics remind me of the Guatemalan church services I went to. They would blast their speakers systems so loud you could hear church happening over a block away. “The song of Asian believers, Filled with God’s holy fire” God’s holy fire is burning in the hearts of the seminary students Nate & I met in India. Some of them leaving behind all they know in the Hindu culture to follow Christ. “Let praises echo from the towers of cathedrals, To the faithful gathered underground” At this point in the song I always think about the “dead” churches in Europe that need to be revived again and God’s faithful servants who are there in France doing His work.
Global Citizen: Mostly because of my travels, I strive to be a global citizen. I try to think beyond the USA and my own little bubble. I recognize that there is more to life than what I have going on here. There are people in this world with nothing to eat. There are people without the hope of Jesus Christ. And there are people who are enjoying extremely wonderful crepes in France!!!
Where have I been? Honduras (1997), Canada (2000), France (2002, 2004, 2006), Andorra (2003), Guatemala (2003), Belize (2003), Mexico (2003), England (2004), Lesotho (2004), South Africa (2004), Jamaica (2003), Costa Rica (2005), Spain (2006) and India (2007).
How have your travels changed the way you life your daily life?