“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it solely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” said Mark Twain.
Based on this statement I might develop a sudden prejudice against Italians just so I can justify a trip to Florence, Italy. Yeah, that’s it. I need to go purge myself of my “Italophobia”.
I am originally from Iowa. But before you jump to conclusions, you should know that I never even SAW a real live cow until we drove from Des Moines to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I was 6-years old then.
I’m a city girl. But I am related to people from small towns. They don’t come up to the Cities very often, and when they do, some of them are “packing heat” the whole time. (In my wedding pictures, my grandparents were both armed.) And I would be too if I stayed in the Super 8 Motel on the edge of town. Apparently they don’t want to go too far into the city in case God rains down fire and brimstone in Sodom and Gomorrah fashion. They are scared of the city.
But the interesting thing is that several years ago my grandpa asked my dad for a computer. My dad asked why he wanted it. He said, “I want to be able to check the weather in Australia.” Is he ever going to go to Australia? Not unless they relocate it to the next county over. He just wants to know. Go figure. Maybe if he could have nurtured that spark of natural curiosity when he was younger, he might have one day visited Australia and experienced the weather for himself. But as it stands, traveling beyond his little world, at this age, is almost too much to handle.
On the other hand, my world spans the globe. I have friends in nearly every continent. And yet, sometimes that makes this world feel just as small as my grandpa’s town. The words that are used to describe the missionary lifestyle are the ones you see in travel magazines: Ex-Pats, International Community, Global Nomads. That’s my favorite one, Global Nomad. I like it because I DO feel like a Nomad. We pick up and move somewhere else every couple of years, sometimes more frequently. When we are in one place too long, we get the itch to travel somewhere else. When we are in one place, we long for another.
I feel like it’s just a physical reflection of the spiritual reality that we really are just sojourners here on this planet. We feel a deep seated longing for our spiritual home, Heaven. We don’t settle down here. We don’t get too attached to this old life. THIS is Temporary. THEN is Forever. In the mean time, I hope to cultivate broad, wholesome, and charitable views of men and things by all my global wanderings.