As I turn a year older and make a list of things to thank God for, I couldn’t miss the blessing of traveling. Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer of fairy tales and travelogues once said, “To travel is to live.” Another writer, Gustave Flaubert, explained it this way: “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
It’s true. There are more than 190 countries in the world. Aside from my country, the Philippines, I have only been to seven other countries: France, Germany, Brazil, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, and Laos. Traveling to these places made me realize there is a big world out there and there is so much to discover. Visiting these countries has enriched my life experience.
I’ve experienced autumn, spring, and summer. I have yet to experience how freezing it would be in winter.
|Autumn in Bonn, Germany|
To speak with the locals, I’ve spoken a phrase or two in German, Portuguese, Swahili, Bahasa, Lao, and of course, English.
|Haggling at The Village Market in Nairobi|
I’ve tasted French bread, Thuringian sausage from Germany, Brazilian churrasco, laksa and nasi lemak of Malaysia, Hainanese chicken rice of Singapore and yes, sticky rice and fried insects from Laos.
|Food trip in Malaysia|
|Free taste of Brazilian coffee|
I flew by plane to reach all these countries. Rode the ICE (Inner City Express) train in Germany, saddled on a motorbike in Vientiane, toured via a safari van in Kenya, went from place to place through the MRTs of Singapore and Malaysia. Always rode the taxi in all these countries, and yes, walked some distance.
|Walking in Vientiane|
I’ve been to centuries-old castles, museums, churches, temples, monuments, and parks. I had close encounters with giraffes and saw hippopotamus from a safe distance in their habitat. I’ve posed with a tribesman for a souvenir photo, walked into the writing room of a famous historical figure, and met many interesting people from different culture.
|At the Giraffe Center|
Each time I travel, I learn something new about a country, its culture, its people. I also discover something about myself. And always, I see how God provides, protects, leads me to different places and brings me safely back home.
I’m aware that there will come a time when God would call me to that final destination. It’s going to be a glorious place incomparable to any place in this world. Seeing God’s providential hand in my journey on earth, I could trust my life to no another but to Him, my Lord Jesus Christ. I’m one thankful traveler on this earth but I’m certainly looking forward to that final trip to heaven someday.
Do you want to know more about heaven? Here's a short article about heaven.