I’m on my way back to The Netherlands from Italy after three weeks of independent travel with my best friends, on a train at 2 o’clock in the afternoon somewhere in Switzerland, and I’ve been starring out my window in awe for the last hour. I only visited Switzerland in winter, and I loved it; it was beautiful, but this place comes alive in the springtime. At each stop, I have a hard time restraining myself from busting out of the train and into the sunshine and beauty. I’m convinced Switzerland is the most beautiful place in the world. It’s weird, because I feel like I now have at least a tiny bit of ethos saying that because I have seen a good portion of it. That’s crazy to think about. As my travels begin to come to an end, I get the feeling that they are just beginning.
I love this. I don’t mind living out of a suitcase. I don’t mind long train rides. I love everything about traveling. I’m slowly forming plans for the future: teaching math in Spain when I graduate, getting a summer job in Greece, going to grad school in London, spending an entire summer rock climbing and boating daily in Switzerland with my husband someday, going on a family vacation to see Denmark, Sweden, and Norway… of course all my dreams are in God’s hands so I’ll see where His plans take me, but I really just want to run around the world, experience the way people live, and tell everyone I meet about Jesus.
Going into this trip, I knew I would learn and experience a lot of amazing things, but I never imagined it would get me so psyched about traveling. I don't want to come home. I mean, I miss my family and friends, but I wish they could just come here instead of me going back there. I never thought I could live in another country, but now I’m not even sure if I want to go back to America at all.
Besides wanting way more than three months to travel, I have learned a ton and changed so much. I’ve tried, but I can’t put words to it. I think my life attitude has shifted: I always knew it was true, but I feel like I am finally seeing what it means to live like nothing really matters but Jesus and to finally believe that I can do literally anything through Christ. God has given me a weird combination of passions, and I still have no idea why He has given me them and how He will use all of them to further His kingdom for the rest of my life, but I see no point in waiting to find out. I’m chasing after whatever he puts on my heart right now, starting with serving Him in Africa this summer.
Anyways, I know I haven’t finished my blog; I still have to do all of Italy and Crete (which I promise to get to in the next week!) So it seams kind of silly to be posting a trip reflective piece before writing about all my travels, but I wanted to post this before coming home simply to say that I have changed in a million ways this semester. From appreciating art and history in ways that I never thought possible, to seeing reasons to worship God in everything and responding with praise daily, to learning to love myself thanks to indescribably wonderful best friends I have made, I hope you don’t expect me to come home the same person.
That's basically all I wanted to say. Please please please, don't expect me to be the same person. I will try my best to explain it to you, to talk about it if you want me to, but I promise I won’t do my experience justice. All I can say is go see for yourself.