Rachel’s Post: Traveling


I always forget.

I leave, bags brimming, ready to take in new information: prepared to absorb other cultures, explore new cities, and delight in multiple languages like a newborn.  That’s what it’s like: an expectant child crawling somewhere foreign, a little uncomfortable, and delightfully new.  I always think that the purpose of these travels is to learn about others; take in new places, geographies and history. But the truth is that I always come back knowing far more about myself than the country I’m visiting.

I learn so much while on the road. How I define “normal” or “weird”, and trying to remind myself that different isn’t bad-it’s just different.  The Norwegians love canned and pickled fish-at breakfast!  The Swedes have a knack for efficiency of design and space (a la IKEA). For some, bathing in a multi-purpose bathroom/laundry room is too crammed; for others it just makes sense.

We have been so generously helped this journey: Couchsurfer hosts who opened their homes, lives and refrigerators to us, and old friends we reconnected with along the way.

These travels make me recognize parts of my life that I appreciate (being surrounded by family and friends), and parts of my life that I want to add (more naps in the park, letting strangers become friends, and developing some sort of family in the future).

On this trip I have shared space, time, food, decisions, and direction with another human being.  My type-A personality and tendency to want to lead (a.k.a control) everything makes sharing difficult over a two week time span.  Factor in transport, 4 languages, uncertain accommodation, unreadable menus in the most expensive countries in the world, and you have some added stressors. Luckily, I have one of my best friends to stumble through it with. He is one of the most patient, understanding people I know, who knows me better than most. We are so blessed!

So what I will remember this trip isn’t just Denmark. Or Finland, Sweden and Norway. It’s about me, through the people we met and places we have been, still on the eternal quest for self discovery.

2 Responses to “Rachel’s Post: Traveling”

  1. Allen Noah July 27, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    Does Robert have you making little boy sounds yet? If not just keep traveling it is sure to come.


  2. Allen Noah July 27, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

    He got me on the way to Victoria Falls as we were traveling in Africa together. By the time we arrived in Boswana I was a convert.

    He is a great guy and fun to travel with.


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