I am quick to see the holes—that which is missing. I am ever striving to be a critical thinker and not a critical person. To be a critical thinker is to experience, listen, and examine. To be a critical person is to beat with a mallet. We are to be kind-hearted surgeons, not bullish versions of Donkey Kong. I want to believe that the glorious and good are every bit as real as the gloomy and despicable.
A few years ago I read a classic called My Ántonia by Willa Cather, and it rattled me in the most comforting of ways. I wrote about it here. Whenever I’ve thought about revamping the blog or having my own business, the name ‘Pacific Ántonia’ comes to me. I’m a Midwest girl who grew into myself in the Pacific—a girl, just like Ántonia, who traveled far and made a home. Through Ántonia’s character, Cather shows what it means to weather life and all its jarring changes well. And to this day, as I now live along the coast of the Atlantic, I am forever longing to make a home and travel well.
You guys, I love to travel—not merely the Instagram-perfect-Cancun-trip sort of travel. (Of course I could go for that too!) I love travel in the way that I love a green drink of wheat grass. It may be difficult to choke down at times, but man, it feels like I need it. The magic and the grit of the world should be experienced. It calls to me. I am cautious not to make it an idol in my life, but in its proper place, what a sweet treat it is! Travel shows me more beauty than I knew existed, along with the holes only Jesus can fill.
As I look into the eyes of people much different than me, I learn so much. Longing and hope spark in eyes of all ethnicities. Taking in the world does not mean embracing all of it. To experience it through the framework of a Biblical worldview is the goal. Oh, the joy of zipping up a suitcase and double-checking if you have the passports.
For all the rush and excitement of travel, though, there is nothing like the sweetness of that corner of the world you can call your own. Making home a place worth being is important—noticing details, listening, and using all the senses. From clean sheets to baked cookies, it can all be life-enriching. A place where you can laugh too loudly, and build yourself without perpetual scrutiny, but rather loving shaping. Home should be the very best of launching pads.
As much as I want to snuggle my baby forever, I also want my nest to enable my little birdie to spread her wings and fly. Home and travel are both simultaneously good. One may feel more valuable to you, but I would argue that for most of us, both are important. Now, I don’t mean you have to go to another continent (but wouldn’t that be fun?!). I mean going somewhere that is at least a little uncomfortable and new, a place to take in and say, “Ah, I never knew this was here.” It is to learn not just how to enjoy and take as a tourist, but how to give (more than just money) and enhance a new place.
Home and travel are mutually enriching. They have a symbiotic relationship of sorts. Done well, home enriches travel, and travel enriches home. Of course, both will and should look different based on desire, income, personality, and life-situation. Every adventure is a personally customized opportunity.
So, in light of all of this and the fact that this year we have travelled more than ever (with a baby to boot), my blog will shift to be somewhat of a travelogue based on places we’ve recently visited, and it will also include snippets of our home life, our heart for both of these, and some of the practical elements that help us along the way. It’s going to be fun! I would so love it if you joined me.
Keep the Faith,
Photo: Eric Masur