12.15.2015

WHY I WILL ALWAYS KEEP TRAVELLING

Well, here I am, home once again after my second international adventure within a year. I returned to my beloved England, explored the beautiful country of Wales, and had the incredible opportunity to spend two weeks in Israel (for those of you who didn't know... surprise!). My mind is whirling at everything I've done, all I've seen, everyone I've met and interacted with, and everything the Lord has shown me over the past two months. I never would have guessed I would be able to come back to England so soon, the place I love so much. And then to go to Israel as well? Jesus is too good to me. I have so many pictures and posts to show you, but honestly I am still processing it all. I haven't even been able to go through all my photos from Israel yet, just bits and pieces at a time.

Before my first trip to England in 2014, I had never been out of the country, never straying too far from my hometown. Now I've been to England, Scotland, Wales, and Israel (and if it counts, I've walked around outside the Geneva airport and gazed upon the Swiss Alps), which may not sound like much, but it's hopefully just the beginning. Because the more travelling I do, the more I am convinced the travel life is the life for me. And here are five reasons why...

travelling is knowledge.
Travel is one of my chosen forms of higher education. When I travel, I am learning every day. I am meeting people who are not like me, encountering foreign cultures, discovering history, immersing myself in newness. It is a massive, hands-on learning experience. Each person is different, for me I would choose touring Edinburgh Castle or walking along the Jerusalem wall or poring through Westminster Abbey over studying textbooks any day.

travelling is humbling.
I fall into the trap of getting comfortable in my own bubble and forgetting there is actually a world out there. My way is the only way, right? I don't need to change! This perspective shifted drastically once I stepped outside America. There are thousands of people and cultures around this globe, each of them unique, each of them bringing something different to the world. I don't know everything. I don't always know the right way. I still need to learn. Going to Israel, my first visit to a non-English-speaking country, put me in an extremely vulnerable position, as I was completely lost regarding the language, etiquette, and society. I had to be willing to grasp as I went, to follow, to be confused. Travelling urges me to be quiet, observe, and learn.


travelling is bravery.
Travelling brings out my brave side. I will try just about anything. Case in point: I have a terrible fear of the ocean, yet I splashed around in the water at Tel Aviv beach. Which sounds totally lame, but for me it was a big deal! (Though the sinkholes around the Dead Sea? WHO SAID THAT WAS OKAY.) Just the adrenaline of being in a new place, a new country, a new everything, pushes me to be adventurous. I challenge myself to conquer that fear, to strike up a conversation with that stranger, to reach out, to be fearless. I'm no longer satisfied with what's easy. I'm ready to branch out and be bold, even with something small like stepping foot in the ocean.

travelling is adventure.
Let's be honest.... travelling is just plain fun. The excitement and unknown thrills me down to my fingertips. Walking the streets of Jerusalem? Eating new foods? Jumping on trains and catching flights? Stumbling upon hidden gems? Snapping photos in front of Buckingham Palace? Yes, please.

travelling is trust.
I did not know what it meant to trust God before I booked an international flight and took off across the world by myself. True, I was going to stay with friends, but it was my first time overseas and I was alone, stripping away everything familiar, everything safe, everything comfortable. I researched what I could, but honestly, I had no clue what I was doing until I was in the middle of it. It was overwhelming and a lot to take in, and I could not have done it without Jesus. For the first time, I truly put my everything into His hands, trusting Him to protect me and guide me through His will. In a lot of ways, my solo travelling experiences have helped me discover what it truly means to be a follower of Christ, to fully submit and surrender to Him, and for that, it will always be a precious experience.

I am so thankful I've been able to live the travelling life, and I am eager to see where this new year will take me. I'm sure any of you travellers would agree with me. But for those of you who haven't made it far beyond your hometown, I would strongly encourage you to pack your bags and just go. Learn. Grow. Listen to what God has to teach you. Be changed. Explore. It's worth it.

What have you learned from travelling? Where have you been? Tell me your stories.


13 comments:

  1. Hi, Payton. I recently discovered your blog and IG account and couldn't be more glad I did! Your photography is so inspiring, and I love what you have to say about creativity and travelling. "Travel is one of my chosen forms of higher education." -Such a true statement! You can learn so much more just by experiencing a place and taking it in with all five senses. My family has been blessed with adventure, and now I want to tell all the stories and dig up all the photos and share with others about how incredible this world really is. Thanks for the post :)

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    1. Hello there! I am so so happy you've dropped by. Thank you so much for your sweet words! It encourages me so much to hear that you've been inspired by my work. That means a lot! come again soon. :)

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  2. Totally agree! Traveling makes you a whole different person, more adventurous, and making new discoveries about yourself and the world.

    One of my favorite travel memories from Peru was visiting the Main Square in Cusco. It was night (the time of day the city becomes alive!), and the Peruvian musicians were playing their instruments to the tourists in the alleys. Such lively and fun music!

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    1. Yes yes yes and amen, my dear! Oh, Peru sounds like a blast. I hope I can go someday!

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  3. I love everything you said about what traveling has taught you! I would love to spend my life travelling everywhere, but sadly I don't have enough money to! :( Someday, Lord-willing, I will though. :)

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    1. Girl, it took years of hard work, saving money, blood, sweat, and tears to be able to start travelling like I have. It takes time and diligence, so don't give up! It's totally worth it. :)

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  4. This is such a beautiful post! It made me tear up. :') Ahh, I yearn to travel so much. I'm really hoping that soon I can go SOMEWHERE. :D I hope you have many more adventures through traveling, too!

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    1. Thank you, dear! I truly hope you can do some travelling soon.

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  5. I love your new blog look, Petie especially the colours!

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    1. Thank you so much! It's all due to the artistic genius of my lovely Jess, of course. :)

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  6. If I didn't already want to travel before I read this, I doubly want to now. I haven't been outside my own little country, of the Land Down Under. Someday I would like to go somewhere. In the meantime, I'll watch videos and look at photos of those who have been able to go overseas. (The only problem with that is sometimes levels of discontentment rise a little. :P)
    Also, I don't have a YouTube channel or internet account, so I thought maybe I could comment on your last Mind the Gap episode here. :) I enjoyed it (of course!) and thought I'd add a Christmas memory and tradition. For a tradition, our family (grandparents, cousins etc) do a Christmas play, with all the kids (whether they're 5 or 25 doesn't matter!) and we sing and act out the play. We've been doing it for over 10 years, and we are still going strong. Last weekend we actually have our family Christmas, and the entire family (again, grandparents, cousins, etc) went caroling up the road, singing a capella! The street we did it in won this big award for the best lights, so there were lots of strangers and people walking around. Our family is very musical, so we were singing in harmony and altogether I thought it sounded really good. It was a completely spontaneous idea, but it was so amazingly fun, I won't forget it! :) We made lots of people smile, and I loved that.
    Also, there is one more thing. I've mentioned to you before, Petie, that you really do encourage me a lot in my life. Well, I've gained some new ideas and learnt new lessons just by reading your blog and seeing your videos, and it does influence quite a lot of what I do. I actually wrote a guest post on a friend's blog (I don't have a blog myself) on some of the things I have learnt this year, and they basically all stemmed from you. :) If you would like to read it, I can give you a link: http://allthingsbonnyandbeautiful.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/living-life-to-fullest-guest-post-by.html It isn't written very well, and I am sure I have a lot more to learn and understand, but I wrote what I truly felt. I thought you might want to read it. :)
    ~Miss Meg March

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    1. Oh heavens, I don't even know what to say! I have always hoped and prayed that the Lord would use this little space of mine to glorify Him and challenge others to do the same. I read your post, and I can't even tell you how much it blessed me! To hear how you are growing in the Lord and pushing yourself and jumping out of your comfort zone was a huge encouragement. Well done! And it is truly an honor to know that the Lord used my words to speak to you. He is so good. Thank you so much for sharing, dear!

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  7. This list is fantastic. It also makes me feel the gap more and more in my plans for this year, because I opted not to return for a fourth missions trip to Romania. Hopefully there's another sort of adventure ahead, because now you've reactivated my wander lust! XD P.S. Hopped to your blog from Carmel's, and I'm loving it!

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