dimanche 20 octobre 2013

Thoughts on Wandering & Wandering Thoughts

Dear friends and family,

Since arriving in France, I've enjoyed a constant stream of novelties, from food (lots and lots of new tastes), to city scenes and landscapes, to vocabulary, to friendly new faces... I could go on, but I think the point is made - these first three weeks that I've been in France have been chockfull of discovery and I have been in paradise running around and soaking it all in. A good friend from camp asked me a few summers ago why I enjoyed traveling and I just thought that was such a strange question. The memory popped into my head last week, and like every other random thought these days, my friend's question got me reflecting on what how my desire to travel reflects my character, affects my life trajectory, and illustrates my spiritual disposition. Welcome to the life of a 20-something, liberal arts graduate discovering that her life is no longer a color-in-the-lines type of book. Every thought and experience ultimately leads to a moment of overly dramatic metaphysical reflection.  Here's a quick summary of my recent self-analysis.

Characteristics of this travel lover
Positive: curious, adventurous, adaptable, confident, engaged in the present, friendly, enthusiastic
Negative: can be easily bored, self-centered, sometimes lacking a big picture perspective
Working on: being content in all situations, finding novelty and excitement without having to be completely submersed in a new culture, establishing personal ideals and goals that transcend cultural displacement, and of course enjoying the opportunities I have now to learn and grow

Professional reflections can't be very well summarized, sorry. I'll try to keep you updated on that front but it's a little tumultuous at the moment. 

Spiritual connections: This reaction was largely inspired by the natural beauty that I've been experiencing, and that I've been especially attentive to as a new arrival to the region. One of my roommates Caro loves to run and we try to run together with a few other friends every couple of days. We usually run around the port or to a nearby island in the evenings, often just as the sun is beginning to set. The views are absolutely stunning. If that scenery can't motivate me to run off all the cheese and butter recently added to my diet then I don't know what could. My morning car rides from the city into the countryside to school are also incredibly beautiful. Maybe someday I'll try to snap a pic en route. We drive east so we're headed towards the sunrise through rolling fields occupied by cows and the occasional cornfield, all covered in a thick mist. As the sun shines through the fog, adding light and color to the country landscape, it is simply breathtaking. 
I feel like I am always in awe here. From the start of my day with the misty sunrise to each beautiful sunset over the ocean or gulf. I love to feel that sense of wonder and to be inspired by the beauty around me. I think that's a natural human craving that we often seek to satisfy by traveling to new places and seeking new sights. God provides glimpses of his greatness and creativity in those moments to help teach us how to appreciate his beauty and how to stand in awe of something and someone infinitely greater than ourselves and worthy of our attention, and I’m really enjoying the lesson here.

So, that wasn't a very good description of anything that you were probably wanting to hear about, but now that I've started writing I'm hoping it will be easier to make more regular posts. I don't exactly love blogging, but I do love those of you who have asked me to write, and I'm so humbled and touched that you care enough about me to want to stay updated on my life. Thank you.