From Croatia to Costa Rica, Greece to Morocco, Brazil to Senegal, I’ve seen numerous places, explored countless cities, and experienced an array of cultures most people don’t get to see in their lifetime.
Sure I took lots of pictures and got lots of likes on social media. I gained stamps in my passport and checked places off my bucket list. I ate pizza in Rome, sipped sangria in Spain, and jumped into a Costa Rican waterfall, but none of that matters in comparison to how I grew in my faith.
The biggest thing I’ve taken away from my travels is an understanding of God.
In my time abroad I’ve observed how humans are far more similar than different.
No matter where I went, I was amazed at how well I could understand people and they could understand me. Regardless of language barriers and cultural differences, a smile means the same thing to all of us, an outstretched hand on the street is a plea for spare change no matter where you are in the world, an offering of food is hospitable and caring no matter what you are serving. These intrinsic human behaviors and habits can’t be taught, they are innate.
To me, this is a testament for a Creator.
The international consistencies in human behavior and empathy is an indicator that we all came from One, are made in the image of Him, and embody His heart and His mind.
I toured mosques and places of reverence in several countries, I worshiped with Catholics in Senegal, I was wrapped in head covering so that I could enter places of reverence, I witnessed Muslims drop everything and pray five times every single day in the most admirable and consistent act of faith I’ve ever known, and I do believe that it all counts. He sees it all, He accepts it all, because it’s all for Him.
Finally, it was through traveling that I was able to experience God more fully, more frequently, and more intimately than ever before.
The hustle and bustle of our daily lives creates a murmur that inhibits our ability to hear God.
Our homes are so comfortable and familiar to us that we rarely see His beauty in our surroundings, His sovereignty in simple moments.
It takes traveling, stepping away from your reality, to experience God in His fullness.
For these reasons, I believe every person should travel.
Every person should experience something completely foreign and unfamiliar.
Everyone should forego comfort and choose discomfort, even just once.
Every person should step outside of their reality and into God’s reality.
God didn’t create this massive diverse planet for us to only experience a portion of it. I encourage you to go, see the world, and find Him in it.