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Traveling Takes A Step of Faith

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My daughter has always accused my husband and me of being the Ma and Pa Kettle of travels. We’ve been sort of lucky and managed to bumble into fantastic places. We like to say my husband often ‘Homer’s’ us into good deals and cool places. But when we travel, it is truly an act of faith. I never traveled much as a kid and when I married, it was a matter of wonder to me that we could get on a plane and fly to fantastic places that had nothing to do with life as we lived it back home. There’s a degree of faith to climb onto a plane and assume it’s going to get you from Point A to Point B safely. When we first started traveling, you couldn’t check out where you were going on travel sites and look at reviews, so you read catalogs and trusted the pictures portrayed the hotel or resort as it actually was. But there was also an act of faith in agreeing to spend money on travel rather than buying that new couch or new car and to never look back in regret on whatever you chose to do.

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People have asked me where is my favorite place, and I would have to say the first place to come to mind is Italy. I know to many people, the first place in Italy they think of is Rome with its Coliseum, St. Peter’s, and the Roman Forum, and I love Rome, too. But I found Cinque Terre one of my favorite pieces of Italy, five villages carved out of the rugged coast of the Italian Riviera. I love the way these villages have balanced color and symmetry of nature with the man-made.  I have friends and family who like to plot their own itineraries, but we’ve always tended to travel with groups or sail on cruise ships.

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There is a sacred beauty and balance in travel, and we can see unfamiliar places with new eyes. Sadly, we don’t always see the sacredness and beauty in the familiar that surrounds us every day, so it takes travel to take us out of ourselves and our everyday world.

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Another favorite place of mine is Venice. I realize none of these places I’m choosing are particularly surprising when it comes to being favorite places, but they are the places that speak to me in meaningful ways. In Italy, there are such contrasts between man-made and nature-made beauty, and yet it all appears to come of one piece, and there’s a balance between nature and man that easily speaks to the soul.

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Easter Island is a place I found myself thinking, ‘Oh yeah, aliens are definitely a possibility when you see these monoliths.’ But again, it’s a place that’s humbling. When you see these statues, you feel they make no sense, but the place gives you a feeling this was exactly what it was meant to be. You look at the guy with the party hat, and you figure he must have been a fun guy and had quite a story to tell.

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Machu Pichu is another place I love that combines the beauty and wonder of man-made structures incorporated into the ethereal beauty of a natural setting. There are places in the world that strike such a sacred, balanced note, that even tourists can’t distract from the harmonious settings.

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The Australian Outback was another amazing place to visit. Of course there, it was an act of faith that the nets on our heads would protect us from the Australian flies! This is a land that might at first seem unforgiving, and yet it lets you know there is a specialness to every place on earth. If we let ourselves be still, God speaks to us wherever we are, and travel does allow us to take a step of faith that is well worthwhile. Travel invites the whole world into our hearts and minds.

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share!

Bren

 

 

 

 

 

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