Sometimes when I am sitting on the balcony in Malaysia or walking on the Great Wall of China, I forget that for so many months, this journey was only a dream.
I found out about the World Race when I was about half way through college. I was desperate for travel and adventure, and more of God. A friend told me about the World Race and I remember cautiously perusing the website thinking that a trip like this was too good to be true. I began reading blogs and became engrossed in the stories. The stories of ordinary men and women giving up their American lives and taking a year to travel the world and find more of God. The stories made me laugh and cry and dream. I would sit in my college classes and in my bedroom at home glued to the blogs of racers, longing to go on a similar journey.
I hardly told anyone about the World Race for months, and then I slowly began to tell close friends about it, whispering as if it were a deep secret. And in a way, it was. It was a deep longing my heart always had, to serve God on the mission field, to see more of the world.
When I am sitting on a bus in Malaysia laughing as it stalls over and over before continuing to bounce down the road. When I am dancing in the rain in Thailand, enjoying the refreshing cool after a hard days work. When I am drinking coffee with new friends in China, amazed at how much you can find in common with someone on the other side of the planet. I am constantly amazed that this is my life. It is normal for me to carry everything in a backpack. It is normal for my days to consist of exploring and adventure. It is normal for me to experience God working in my heart and in the lives of people all over the world.
There are many paths I could have chosen for my life for the year after I graduated from college, but I am so happy this is the one I am walking. This journey is not easy. There are days where I want to sleep in and do nothing but watch movies. Sometimes I miss Starbucks and fast Internet and hugs from family and friends. But this journey is worth it. There will be hard days if you are walking the streets of Cambodia or if you are working a 9 to 5 in the States, but the true beauty of the journey comes in realizing that the hard days are worth it, because the destination is worth the journey.
I try not to lose the wonder of this journey by letting the day-to-day experiences of my new normal become routine, but to remember I was once the girl sitting in her bedroom reading every blog she could about this incredible journey. And now as I finish month four of my race I can tell you, all you wide-eyed dreamers sitting on your laptops at home that this journey is nothing I expected, but everything I needed. It is the most wonderful, challenging, hard thing I have ever done, but it is only the beginning.
So know this all who are reading at home and hearing a similar call in your heart to go on a journey of your own. All it takes is one step. And that one step may carry you into temples in Thailand, into the arms of children in Cambodia and into the incredible destiny that God has planned for you. Are you ready?
I wrote this post several months ago when I was serving on the mission field. A little over a year ago, I left my home, family, and friends to travel the world for a year. While I am young and single and did not have a house note to pay, leaving was still not easy.
Maybe your big adventure is not taking a trip around the world, maybe it is taking a step outside of your comfort zone right where you are. Maybe it is writing that book you always dreamed about or taking that trip you have been thinking about. What kind of story do you want to write with your life?