Why I’m Not in Guatemala

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Remember when I first wrote about my Summer of Travel and announced that this summer I’ll visit Europe, California and Guatemala?

Well, change of plans: my trip to Guatemala is cancelled.

For many reasons, mostly due to bad timing, the church rescheduled the trip for November, which I won’t go on because I’ll be in school.

When I found out I had two very different reactions. My first reaction, as much as I hate to admit it, was relief.

After five weeks of non-stop travel in Europe, only six days of rest and then another two weeks in California, my body, soul and mind are just done.

I knew that another trip would leave me even more exhausted and not at all ready for the quickly approaching fall semester.

And I know this is my favorite topic lately, but I need time to process all that has happened this summer. My head is still spinning from events that took place in May! I need time to ponder, evaluate and unpack all that all that I’ve learned.

How did this experience change me? What does that change mean, and what does it practically look like to incorporate it into my daily life?

We have to process through experiences and feelings in order to make them more than mere sightseeing excursions. 


Traveling is about more than seeing pretty places. It’s a beautiful way to learn and widen our view of the world, and when we aren’t treating it like an edifying journey, we cheapen our experience and waste frequent flyer miles.

When we give ourselves time to process everything we’ve seen and learnt, we can discover new truths about our beliefs and ourselves. Then, we can pack those truths into a metaphorical daypack (go with me) to carry around on the rest of our journey.

Our journey, whether it looks like traveling to distant lands or navigating daily life, can become connected. We don’t have to leave our incredible experiences in the past; longing for the day we can hop on another plane and set off on another incredible adventure.

You can continue your adventure right where you are by processing the experience and applying what you learned.

Don’t leave truths in the exotic places where you discovered them. Take them with you, and then, instead of constantly reminiscing and longing for your past adventures, you can live a thankful, present-minded life.

So friends, give yourself time to process your adventures. Look for lessons and find the hidden truths.

As much as I was looking forward to my trip to Guatemala, I’m thankful for the time to process and write through the most incredible summer of my life.

How do you process? What truths have you learned through your travels?

On Thursday I’ll talk about my second reaction to the cancelled trip: what to do when you lose an adventure. 

Photo Credit: Guatemalan volcanos from Anna Eaton; Florence, Italy by Haylee Robinson. 


Goals//Dreams//Experiences (Inspired by Haylee)

The other night I reblogged my roommate’s post about her goals for the next five years. If you haven’t yet, read her post here.

I was so inspired by her post that I decided to make my own lists! Check out my career, travel, spiritual and adventure goals for the next five years:

Career Goals:
Chatter–Land an amazing internship in Washington D.C.
–Get a job at a magazine when I graduate from college
–Report on international events and social justice issues
–Grow my blog and reach larger audiences as a resource for all things adventure and lifestyle
–Write a story that gets picked up by multiple publications around the world
Continue to write about people and their fascinating stories

europeTravel goals:

–Visit Europe (happening in 50 days!!)
Go back to Australia
–Guatemala (happening in 110 days!!)
–Go on a cruise / go to the Caribbean
–Go on mission trips
–Road trip across America
–Take any and all traveling opportunities that come my way

Spiritual goals:


–Gain a mentor and maintain a constant relationship with her
–Deepen my relationship with the Lord daily; constantly seeking, growing and stretching myself to be more like Him
Get more involved in a church
–Lead worship
–Surround myself with an uplifting community of fellow believers
–Give Christ’s love away to everyone I encounter, whether on mission trips or in daily life
–Attend a Bethel Church worship school (happening this summer!!!)

Adventure Goals:
nyc me

Move to a big city for a few years
–Explore a town or city enough until I’m a walking, talking tour guide (but not an annoying one)
–Find adventure everywhere around me, no matter where I am
–Go to a trampoline park (which is actually happening TONIGHT!)
–Become an avid hiker (and hike everywhere I can with Haylee)
–Go skydiving
–Read 1-2 books a month (if you don’t think reading is an adventure, you’re reading the wrong books)

I could come up with adventure goals for hours, but I’ll stop here for your sake. What are your goals and dreams for the next five years?