Summertime is a vacation and travel season for many. Maybe because we were stifled during the pandemic or maybe because my friends and family have caught the “travel bug” and want to see our big beautiful world, but more and more are getting out there and seeking new adventures!
For me, this is a whole new world. Until the past three years, I have been content to stay close to home and sleep in my bed. I know where I will get my morning cup of coffee, have my pillow, and travel seemed overwhelming and like a lot of work.
Well, times have surely changed! Now that we have the freedom to explore and travel, my husband and I have a bucket list that we are excited to work off of.
We decided that we didn’t want to be like the couple in the movie “UP,” where they waited too long to see amazing places, they became too old, and the wife died, leaving her husband and travel partner alone. What a sad and depressing movie!
Traveling knits the world a little closer together and restores my faith in humanity. Although I may travel far from home, the world seems smaller and more connected.
We are more alike in this world than we are different.
People are friendly, helpful, good-hearted, and willing to connect and share laughter and conversation. The world and social media would have you believe the opposite, but it is not true.
Traveling (once I arrive at my destination) refreshes my spirit and fills my soul. The beauty of God’s creation takes my breath away. One scene from our trip that won’t escape my mind is the brilliant blue waters off the shores of the Dominican Republic, where the blues are shades of royal, aqua, almost a neon blue, to navy.
It reminded me of the Avitar movie with vivid colors, of which pictures do not do the water justice. But even more, it gave me a glimpse of what Heaven will be like. Magnificent, indescribable, gorgeous beyond imagination – a place I can’t wait to experience.
I felt similar when experiencing Zion National Park, riding electric bikes along the Virgin River at the base of gorgeous rock-layered mountains. The quiet peace was a spiritual experience—no cars, noise, or people. In a 30-minute time frame, one tram carrying hikers may pass, but no other vehicles are allowed, so the road is rarely traveled.
Wild turkeys, birds, lush green all around, trees shading the valley floor, and the rocks are layered in chocolate brown and sandy beige stripes. Again, I felt like this was a part of Eden—an untouched, tranquil, and beautiful scene, like a taste of Heaven. Again, my soul soared.
The hikes in Zion are each unique adventures. Some are strenuous, but the views, landscape, and experience are well worth the effort. Angel’s Landing and The Narrows are two of those hikes I recommend.
Traveling also enables me to learn about other cultures and get to know their people. The Dominicans are so joyful! They are warm, full of energy, and always smiling. They welcome you with sincere hospitality wherever you go, calling each person “family.” That is their thing – when in the Dominican Republic, you are family.
The people there live very minimally, most poor, yet they have such contagious joy!
Costa Rica is another destination with joyful, warm, beautiful people with a happy spirit. Their thing is saying Pura Vida (pronounced poo-rah vee-duh), which translated means “pure life” or “simple life.” It is their relaxed attitude and way of life and has been for over 50 years. They use it to say hello, goodbye, and to say everything is okay, and to brush off any negativity.
They, too, don’t have a lot, yet they exude deep happiness and contentment not often felt here in the United States.
Later this year, we are crossing “the pond” for the first time, visiting multiple European countries. Our travels to Europe will be the longest and the biggest trip of our lives so far, and we are beyond thrilled.
I’m also planning on just taking a carry-on piece of luggage! Crazy right?! I’ll let you know how it works out and any tips or travel hacks I discover.
We never know how much time we have on this earth, or the health of our bodies, so choosing to see all that God has created ignites me.
Whatever your travel plans or what is on your “bucket list,” travel with a humble spirit and an open heart to meet new people, experience a different culture, and look forward to refreshing your soul.
Happy adventures to you!
Please share your favorite destinations or travel plans in the comments below!
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