I think I finally understand why more people don’t travel. It’s not money or time…. People always find the time and money to do what they really want to do. It’s because I believe many fear the uncertainty travel exposes one to.
Travel to some is scary and traveling may have at one time or another been brutal to the ego. It forces one to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance & often feel vulnerable. Almost everything you own you leave at home and really nothing is yours anymore except what’s in your suitcase and that could disappear in a heartbeat. Now what?
The thought of waking up alone in a strange environment but for a couple of true friends is scary and that’s is so sad because in reality it is actually one of the most pleasant sensations (except for exercising faith in Jehovah) that one can experience.
Many fear traveling to faraway places, because their ego gets in the way. They are uncomfortable with what they rightly feel is expected of them. Yes as Christians it’s expected of us to at least try to express interest and to understand and appreciate people who at home we can safely just watch in fascination on TV or read about in books or ignore the occasional one on the street. With people so different than I am, than my friends are, the thought of applying Philippians 2:3 is scary.
And face it traveling can be to some very boring. Long hours on buses, in bus stations, on flights, and in airports, and possibly even stuck in some small smelly hotel in some big boring city. However as most true traveler will attest to, for the un-needy boredom rather agreeable than painful. It is the symbol of his liberty-his freedom. He accepts his boredom, when it comes, not merely philosophically, but almost with pleasure. It produces great fruits as it afford us the opportunity to examine the man (or woman) he/she is inside as implied we should in James 1:22-25.
What if it’s true…. What if Travel really is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. What if I find even to a small degree some of those traits in me? I will need to change? Scary isn’t it? OK I admit that perhaps travel cannot prevent or reveal bigotry tendencies, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, travel can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may learn to love our neighbors as God command we do. Luke 10:27
Speaking of change! Travel is an adventure and adventure is often a risky path which forces you to have firsthand encounters with who you really are. Travel will bear witness for or against your heart condition and when it does you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps you will have to admit (without reservation) the heart is treacherous, who can know it (Jer 17:9), and that fact has the potential to change you forever. You will be motivated more than ever before to ‘Safeguard your heart, for out of it are the sources of life’. (Prov 4:23) Nothing will ever again be the same.
Also many don’t want to travel alone and they fear what I found out years ago! I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or pity them, or dislike them than to travel with them. OK so Mark Twain found that out first but it’s true and that might be another reason many don’t travel. Afraid what of what the journey might reveal.
What if it’s true….. what if Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, and I’m not sure I want to change. I’m comfortable with who I think I am now so why do something that might inspire me to change; to widen out? 2 Cor 6:13
James Michener a prolific writer once said and I quote: “If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” And I would add maybe that’s why many do… stay at home!
I feel that in other peoples minds (right or wrong) what you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you or to use in admiration of you. Yes you are what you are right then and there. I love that feeling.
Some may say I sound obsessed with and about traveling and I agree and certainly my wife agrees but the several weeks of us studying the book of acts I have lost count of how many times the word ‘Travel’ was used!
Is this a scathing denunciation against those who don’t like to travel? Hope not cause that would be hypocrisy at it worst being as how most of those I have met in all my travels (and now call friends) have never stepped foot out of their birth town or country and since it’s not likely they will ever visit me I just decided to drop in on them.
Is this just a promotion effort to get others to travel with BCT? Well that would be nice but no that’s not the reason. Simply put I love to travel and I love to help and encourage others to travel and proof of that is the hundreds each year we (all of us at Bethel Coach Tours) assist with their travel plans which doesn’t including traveling with BCT.
So in memory of all those fascinating people the travel team of RoCaPho and friends has been blessed to experience and in hopes their faces will move you to travel, included in this blog is some of my favorites pictures of them and us. City by City! Enjoy and remember to not travel is like reading one page of a great novel.