This evening I fly out of San Francisco. My brother and I will drive down, have dinner with Grandma and then I will be dropped off at the airport. I am all packed and under weight. 42 pounds in my suitcase and it almost rattles because it is so empty. A lot hinges on this trip. Maybe I will fall in love with a country, a team and a group of people and know that’s where I am suppose to go. Maybe I will love multiple places and have a difficult decision ahead of me. Maybe nothing will seem quite right and I will come home wondering just what God is trying to teach me. Maybe I will be swept off my feet by some handsome stranger sitting next to me on one of my 12 different flights. I don’t know, maybe the odds are not in my favor on that one. But that’s one of the appealing things about travel, the world is literally at my fingertips and anything can happen.
So just a few quick reminders for you my faithful blog reader:
1. Be patient with me. I will try to update my blog whenever I can but it will most likely be more sporadic. However, I promise to keep my camera in hand and my ear open for any interesting cultural stories.
2. If you receive an email from me asking for money, don’t send any. Even if the hackers get the country right this time, I am ok. Even if everything I am carrying gets stolen and I am lying bleeding in the streets, I have other ways of taking care of myself. I will ask the people I am going to be staying with, I will contact my bank, I will contact my employer, I will contact JUST my parents, anything besides sending out a mass email asking for a ridiculous amount of small unmarked bills. And my plane tickets for the return trip are also already purchased. If this is not making any sense to you, read the post that I wrote after my email was hacked soon after my last trip and DON’T send money.
3. Just to make it easier on the hackers though, here is my general itinerary so you can be praying for me specifically in each place. First stop, South Asia for a week. Then a weekend in Switzerland for a wedding. Second work stop, Berlin for week. Then I fly into Hungary and get picked up and driven to Slovakia for another week long work stop. And finally I have a day or so in Hungary before flying back to Berlin and then back to California. I will be back on American soil on June 7th, a month from today.
4. Please pray! Pray for the actual travel, all of the flight connections, layovers and airport pick-ups. Pray for health and safety. Pray for interesting opportunities for conversations. And pray that I would gain wisdom and direction for the future.
Richard Rohr once said, “A good journey begins with knowing where we are and being willing to go somewhere else.” I know I am willing to go somewhere else but I think this trip will help me to figure out where I currently am. Thanks for being a part of this with me.