To travel

Although I didn’t participate in the Reverb 10 prompts (found via Tea and Cookies), and I’m more than a handful of days late to this post, the topic of travel was too good to pass up.

How did you travel in 2010?

Well…there was Panama. (With a jaunt to San Francisco and Tijuana somewhere in the middle of the two months) Other than that I stayed pretty well within the confines of Washington (though I do like it here.

How and/or where would you like to travel next year?

Funny you should ask, as in the past twelve days, my travel plans for the coming year have fluctuated greatly.

I have long wanted to visit New York, and springtime seemed the perfect time to visit.
When a good friend visited for New Years, she brought the idea of spending some time in Alaska this summer.
And between friends and family scattered abroad, the prospect of visiting a foreign country looked promising.

Although I’m not sure how likely it is that we’ll make it to the (beautiful) northern-most state, this past weekend I was alerted to a (I prefer my aesthetics too minimalistic to shove glittery, flashing text at you – but imagine it) sale that British Airways was having. Flights starting at $281 from Seattle to London? And I have a good friend living in Belfast this year? This news warranted looking into.

With a little help from Kayak, I discovered that even cheaper tickets could be had through Continental ($691 round trip to Belfast? Um yes please). So on Saturday I emailed my friend to see when she might be out of town/busy. Yesterday (Monday) I checked with my managers to see if I would be able to take four days off. And last night as I turned to Hipmunk (love it!) to see if any other options would pop up, the prices started fluctuating….what was a $691 flight became $8xx. I turned to another option that was $714 on a different airline, and moments after our Ireland-US Sype call ended, it was $752 (but still the route I wanted to take). So I plunged into the purchasing process, discovering part way through that my fares had changed and the cost would be $748 (finally! A change I like!).

So, dear readers, March 30 through April 4 I will be most delightfully out of the country. I’m flying into Dublin and then taking a coach up to Belfast. I’m beyond excited to see my friend and a new country, and pretty sure it is going to be completely worth the 16 hours of travel on Monday, only to go to work 12 hours after returning. 🙂 Life is short; gotta make the most of it.

Though the thought had been bouncing around in a corner of my mind for a while, this was a relatively spontaneous decision. And I love that.

It has also given me a little pause. I have long been taught and reminded of the concept of being a good steward of what has been given. If death is what deserved, any joy or grace is a gift. And with that gift, the best thing I can do is use it to in turn bless others and point them to Christ.

I’m not sure how my love for traveling fits into that paradigm.

When I was planning what to do and where to go last year (and then went to Panama), I decided against pursuing something specifically mission-oriented. I needed to make enough money at least to live on, wherever I was going, and I didn’t feel qualified to serve or justified to ask for support at that time.

Now, as I am reading 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa, the stories have repeatedly bowled me over.

Not that I’m going to refund my ticket, but how can I conscionably spend $700 on a leisure trip when that amount could send dozens of children orphaned by AIDS to school. Or provide drugs to victims suffering from AIDS.

I think it’s going to be a lifelong struggle, the wrestling with the seeming imbalance between being a generous steward and receiving blessing.

But I accept that. I’ll go to Ireland and have an amazing time. And whether I “should have” used that money for something else is kind of irrelevant at this point. What’s more important that I don’t close my eyes to the inconsistencies in my life, and that I embrace the complexities of life and loving others. Getting it all right is impossible for me to achieve, but by the grace of God I’ll keep moving in that direction.


One thought on “To travel

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention To travel « Sparsile --

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