Many years ago, I penned some thoughts for a young man who was about to travel overseas. He was a young guy who saw travel as an answer to his yearnings and difficulties. He had just bought the tickets, was planning the adventure, and he was dreaming of the possibilities that lay ahead for him.
I realised as we spoke that I'd asked dozens of people if they had 'planned for their travel', and they invariably said Yes. I had asked: what are your plans? And they spoke only of their itinerary, rather than a plan to grow as a Christian and as a person.
I wrote to him to readdress that imbalance.
You will see that some of my advice concurs with the thoughts of Alain de Botton, from The Art of Travel. He says:
Aside from love, few things attract more longing the prospect of a holiday. During the ordinary working months, exhausted by our jobs, and family routines, wearied by the weather, the holidays stand out on the horizon of our frayed lives, as an oasis of happiness and repose.Nice.
And yet the business of going on holiday is rarely talked about apart from a bluntly practical point of view. There is no end of talk about where we should go. What gets less attention is ‘why’? What are we searching for? How much do our travels measure up to the longings that inspired them?
I decided that I’d try to find happiness there (in the Mediterranean). Everything was exactly as the brochure had promised. But there was one thing that wasn’t as I had hoped. But this wasn’t something that I could complain to anyone about.
At the middle of Day 1, a troubling realization began to dawn on me.
That I had inadvertently brought myself along with me.
Would you like to read that correspondence?
They are 'Ten Tips for Travel' and 'Ten Reasons not to give for Travel'.
Pic on Flickr by stoopwafels.