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How Summer Travel Can Be a Spiritual Practice

How Summer Travel Can Be a Spiritual Practice

I recently traveled to one of my favorite cities in the U.S., Washington D.C.

I often find myself triggered into an elevated state of mind when I get there. The eclectic architecture—ranging from neoclassical, victorian to contemporary and many in between—enamors me. From highlanders to hipsters and conservatives to liberals, individuality is prevalent.

In a city so vast and endearing, time easily slips away from me, and before I know it I’ve been on the go for days without having had daily rests or a time to authentically be still with Jesus. I end up feeling depleted. How often do you need to seek the Word to sustain your self?

I ask myself this question a lot, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to dive into my Bible every day to uplift my soul. Often when traveling, I get so distracted by new and invigorating environments that I neglect to seek the Lord first, before my explorations. As if I didn’t need Jesus to work in my heart and uplift my thoughts as much in D.C. as I do at home.

A vacation isn’t a break from my Christianity but an opportunity to share the love of Jesus with strangers and explore more of God’s beautiful creation.

Throughout my life, I have become increasingly aware that time we are given on this earth is fleeting.

I have stored up adages in my mind such as “seize the day.” Ironically, of all the things I learned during college, patience to let go and let grow while being rooted in Christ was been the most prevalent. This applies to relationships, dreams, school, work and even travel. Being that I have a naturally independent spirit, I struggle with my wants versus what God has in store.

I’m impatient. In my anxious attempts to take advantage of opportunities, I’ve hurried through life when I needed to slow down.

I’m learning how to adhere to the present moment, no longer rushing my travels or the season of life I’m in. It’s not always about seeing or having something new, but observing your current state with new eyes, absorbing what it has to offer. Whether I’m reaching a peak or I’m deep in the valley, growth is inevitable. Recognizing growth while it’s happening brings peace.

Traveling should be a quality experience that includes taking care of yourself emotionally, physically and spiritually. Stop and smell the roses at each destination, get to know the place and its people. Reflect. Introspect. Praise God.

If you find yourselves on a hike or winding through the mountains, take some time to breathe it all in. The fresh air, the stillness, the quietness. Sometimes the best way to hear from God is to remove all the distractions of this world and get back to His creation. He has so much he wants to share with you, to speak to you. Getting away from the busyness of the world is the best way to re-engage with our Creator.

Even if you’re not an outdoors person, you can still meet God in the middle of big city traffic or on the bustling sidewalks. God’s people are all around you, and traveling to a new place gives you to the opportunity to meet fellow believers while also sharing love to a stranger. You’ll be surprised about how easily you can still meet with God as your walking through the busy streets.

In our feeble attempts to grasp onto our vacation spots for more than what they are, we often neglect our quality time for quantity of time. We have to visit every spot now, instead of savoring just a few spots. Behind my eyes, when traveling, creating margin is essential.

Go on an adventure, yes, but allow your self the time to be alone with your thoughts and, most importantly, to be alone with God. From highlanders to hipsters, we all need rest.

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