Do everything in love.
1 Cor 16:14
Reading our friend Ben’s blog the other day, he said:
I think it is with rare exception that people like to travel.
Then he described the amazing variety of countries he’?d visited. Immediately I commented, telling him that I must be a rare exception, because by and large traveling’?s low on my list of fun activities.
But for the rest of the day, Ben’?s comment and my response rolled around in my head. I started wondering if I really didn’?t like traveling, or if what I didn’?t like was the mode of travel Ben implied: Planes. I really don’?t like planes, and 9 times out of 10 I end up feeling queasy or even just a little off for the rest of the day. I cannot sleep on planes and end up miserable almost the whole time — and we inevitably take long, six- to eight-hour flights from Boston to Seattle or back.
When Ben said travel, I immediately assumed plane travel. And let’?s be honest: Most people do travel by plane. You want to get to Hawaii or England or Australia from the US, how will you do it? Not by boat! You want to visit New York City from Boston? Sure, you could drive or take a train, but plane ticket prices are dropping again. Business commuters do it all the time, taking short hops here and there by plane.
So it’?s natural to think of traveling and plane flights in the same thought. But after more consideration, I realized that I do like to travel; as Ben put it, I succumb to
the thrill of seeing something new and wondrous.
The most enjoyable trip I took, Ian and I rode a train three days from Boston to Seattle; we watched DVDs, read books stretched out and comfortable, slept in beds at night and got to stretch our legs every occasionally at random train stops between Chicago and Seattle. We went over the Mississippi at sunset, saw virtually untouched stretches of prairie, at decent food, met new people and had very interesting conversations with them, passed through Glacier National Park, and woke to see Eastern Washington in pink sunrise-light. We even received local newspapers each morning and read small-town news from one-stoplight towns in the Midwest. Every morning we woke up to a new part of the country. It was gorgeous, and I loved that trip, which gave me a whole new sense of the country. I hope to take more train vacations in the future; their pace suits me. We didn’?t get jet-lagged or arrive home exhausted.
So I think I do like travel. I just like to do it more slowly than other people. I like forming relationships with strangers traveling in your same direction and I like having time to think about what we passed through. Perhaps that preference limits my globe-trotting possibilities, but I am willing to forgo seeing the world for knowing a part of it intimately. One day I hope to bicycle across the United States, although the logistics elude me right now. I will travel the country at my pace, and enjoy it all the while.