I was bitten…bad. It happened 11 years ago and I knew I’d been bitten when it happened, but I didn’t know that there would be lasting effects. More than that even – it had permanent effects. The travel bug chomped down and refused to release me. It happened in July of 2001 when I traveled to Germany and Austria with my high school German club. I was bitten. Infected. And I haven’t been the same since.
And in less than a week, I will set off, driven by this same bug bite and an insatiable curiosity for the wonders of the world. I will journey once more to Munich, my first international destination in 2001, to live in an ecumenical community and to study at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen (the University of Munich). I go not knowing what to expect, but only with the hope and expectation that I will learn and grow through my experiences.
I will miss my husband, family and friends tremendously, but I know that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I feel that grabbing such opportunities when they arise is so important to discovering who we are, challenging ourselves to go outside of our comfort zones, and growing.
My previous travels have always been so important in my faith journey. It seems that seeing a new place, meeting new people and being filled with awe at each new sight or landscape helps me to reflect on my life and experiences. Traveling invites me to reflect on the imaginative and artistic God who created the world and inspired humans to create. Being in and exploring a new place helps to shed light on the places I have already been, or the places where I usually am.
And so as I prepare to travel, I pray that God will keep my heart and mind open to new things. That this time will be one of learning in the university classroom, but also in the classroom of life. I pray that this time will be one in which I grow in faith – a time of continuing to discover who I am in Christ. I look forward to worshiping with my brothers and sisters from different denominations and various countries. And I look forward to hearing how God has been at work in their lives. I pray that God will be at work, transforming me through this trip (and always!) for a life of continued discipleship.
I hope to post more about my travel adventures and what I’m learning and discovering here on this blog. Keep in touch!
© 2012. Annabelle Peake Markey. All rights reserved.