A Dream or Goal?

“When we got to the Eiffel, it just brought back all these good feelings. Since I didn’t climb the stairs up last year, I decided to change it up. I almost completely regret this. It was A LOT of stairs. I want to believe that I pulled off the “I’m not tired at all look”, but I think my sweating and deep gasp for wind might have said otherwise. But the view will always be worth it. Me and Sarah are planning to go up to the top Friday morning.

I honestly forgot how much I loved Paris until I saw the tower today. The tower really gives me confidence and hope that I could spend a year in Paris. I don’t care at what time in my life that I spend a year in Paris. Whether married or not. Have kids or not. I definitely have a dream to stay here for a year. It’s long enough to fall deeply in love with Paris, but short enough to experience all of Paris with routine.”

                                               – My Travel Journal Entry on June 22, 2015 –

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My dream is to live in Paris, France for a year. Up until recently, this was just a dream. I wanted to be the type of person that could spend a year in Paris. I now realize that I don’t have to wait to be that person, and that I might already be her. I am choosing to transform this dream into a goal. I never thought that I would be the person that can say they have had cancer, and it sucks that I didn’t have a say in that becoming a part of my story. However, I can now make the conscious decision to be defined by my passions instead of my circumstances. I am passionate about the Lord and how He uses me to work with people. I will always strive to know more about people and where they call home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thoughts From a Cathedral in Vienna

Almost two years ago, I went on an amazing month-long trip to Europe. After writing my blog post about the benefits of a travel journal, I decided to reread the ones I have created. I came across an entry about St. Stephens Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. I thought it was worth sharing, and it helps explain my heart and passion behind travelling. enjoy.

“Yesterday I went to St. Stephen’s cathedral for church. Yep it was Sunday. The service was in Latin or German, I still do not know which. It was a truly beautiful Romanesque building. I know this because my Art History professor told me to memorize every era of architecture all the way down to each part of a doric column. Once I got through naming all the parts of the building in my head, I started thinking about the people that have been in that church. I would look up at the ribbed vaulted ceilings and think of the people who looked up at the same ceilings and thought about God. They found hope in this church, and they found God. Being in a service put me back in a time when you needed those ceilings and the ornate architecture to get through the day. To get through to God. There was also a homeless man there. Yes, he looked up at the ceiling, but he also sang with immense faith. It’s fun to see famous people sing on stage, but I would trade anything to see a homeless man worship. I guess that moment is what makes me want to create a nonprofit, to see people with hope.”

I will be posting tomorrow about Vienna, Austria to compliment this post!

Benefits of a Travel Journal

            I started to keep a travel journal when it was a part of my grade for study abroad in college. While it was hard to keep up with it while travelling, it is now priceless to me. I have a few suggestions to help (that don’t include getting graded) keep a travel journal.

 1.      Write what you can, when you can.

Take it with you everywhere you go. I would jot down ideas throughout the day in a notebook. At the end of the day, I would write down the details and stories. Find a time that works for you! If you are a morning person, go to a local coffee shop and write.

I love to paint and draw, so when I got tired of writing, I would doodle what I was seeing or experiencing.

2.     Dont feel bad if you dont fill up your journal.

Just because you don’t fill up your journal, doesn’t mean your trip wasn’t fulfilling. I have never filled a journal, but I am filled with stories and memories (hence the blog). To be super cheesy, it’s not how many words you write, but what is in the words you write.

3.     On the plane flight back home, write.

I always write on the plane flight back to make sure that I wrote down what is most important to me. These are things that I want to make sure I don’t forget. I have them in my last section of my journal which makes them easy to find.

Sometimes it is just a list of my favorite things I did. Other times it is a detailed story of a conversation I had with someone.

 4.    Try a blog.    

I created a travel blog when I went to Europe. While this was mostly for my mom, my friends and family could keep up with my experiences I was having. A blog is beneficial for people that prefer typing rather than writing. It also helped me organize my photos with my memories. I could write about an experience and have the photo to compliment it. It is also a good way to keep various people from back home updated.

Here is an excerpt from that blog:

“Day Ate

 

To begin this blog post, I want to let yall know that I’m in a cafe in Europe writing this entry. I never thought I would ever be able to do this, and I am so pumped right now. anyways..

 

Yesterday we woke up and met to go to the Eagle’s Nest. There were no birds there. It was super foggy so I couldn’t see any of the remarkable views of the mountains. However, you can still google it if you want to see just how awesome it was. There was also a trail! even though it was raining and kind of slippery, I still went down the trail. (sorry mom). If you know me, you know that I love hiking. Heck I still wish I was back on my week-long hike that I did a couple of years ago. So, needless to say it made me feel alive hiking up and down that short path. I really hope I have that opportunity when I got to Switzerland to hike some more. I got a shot glass for my dad at the eagle’s nest gift shop, and for myself I got some legit socks.

 

Then for lunch we stopped in this small town where I got BRATWURST! I know my family back home was waiting to hear when I got bratwurst. It was amazing. I know what I’m getting for all the days that I’m in Germany.

 

Then we got back to the hotel and I headed out with some friends to Fuxn. Its sounds the way you kind of hoped it didn’t and means “fun” in German. No surprise here, I got some more Bratwurst. It was still amazing. I also got their house red wine, which was SUPER good.”

You see, it doesn’t have to make any sense, and can have the worst grammatical errors. The important thing is that I can look back on it and remember what I did and how I felt in those moments.

5.    It is the best souvenir.

While I am a souvenir junkie, I would never give up any of my travel journals. Travel journals last forever, and can put you back into a specific moment. The worst thing a traveler can do is invest in a once in a lifetime journey, and not document it! Find what works for you: vlogs, blogs, journals, photo albums, etc!