As we enter this new year, I want to take the next three weeks to make daily posts about things I am grateful for. There was an old hymn I heard growing up called “Count your blessings”. So since I believe gratitude begets blessings, (and we all could use a little more of that,) Come with me as we go on this journey of thankfulness.
” The world is a book and those who do not travel have only read one page.’ St. Augustine.
Today I am grateful for the privilege and blessing of travel. Up to about a century and a half ago, most people never went more than about a hundred miles from home their whole lives. Even today, according to the State Department, 60% of Americans don’t even own a passport and less than 5% have ever traveled beyond Canada and Mexico. I personally can’t imagine this. Although I know many people who are content to stay at home and I am glad for them if they are truly happy to do so.
My wanderlust was instilled in me early, by the many family vacations I had growing up some of my happiest memories ever were just the four of us in a car listening to the radio and driving on a new and exotic road. I am grateful and blessed that as an adult I have been able to visit most of the US and about 27 foreign countries.
I don’t want to focus on me and where I’ve been as much as I do the benefits that come from travel that is something we all share in. It isn’t where you go even as much as it is what you learn, who you meet and how it changes you. It’s about keeping your heart open and allowing the experience to incite growth. To quote my favorite poem of all time Tennyson’s ‘Ulysses’ “I am a part of all that I have met”. You meet people whose ideas, spiritual views and zeitgeist may challenge your own. Hopefully, you are able to at least consider other modes of thinking, and it can strengthen ideas that need preservation and to excise outmoded ones. Traveling outside of the US affords a person the opportunity to see how other nations govern and it really allows you to see the good (and bad) of our own nation. Thank you, God, for the Grace of allowing us to see and meet people beyond our own horizon and if it isn’t presumptuous for me to ask: “Can I have some more/”
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” – Mark Twain