The smell of diesel... memories of the bus ride from the terminal to the plane. The feel of the wind as we rode the ferry across the bay every trip to boarding school. The tightness of being squeezed like a sardine riding the train to and from school with my little sister. So many of my memories relate to travel... For me, it's in my blood. My entire life has revolved around traveling. Born in Texas, my parents brought me back to North Carolina as a two week old. At two years of age, I traveled with my parents to Singapore where they were in missionary training before continuing on to Sapporo, Japan. Planes, ferries, trains, buses, taxis were all common modes of transportation for me and my sisters growing up. For a few years, I commuted to boarding school by airplane, flying as junior pilots (as our little pendant said) with my fellow MK friends back and forth from the Tokyo area to the northern island where our school was located. In middle school, my friends and I commuted by train to our weekly boarding school in Tokyo.
It's in my blood. The thrill of the hustle and bustle of airports. The smells. The people. Maybe that's why I want to share the country of my childhood with my children. To see this amazing land through their eyes, to experience the food and smells with them, and to embrace the adventure of traveling once again.
If we don't go now, the opportunity may never present itself again. Our girls are at the perfect age to travel. They are still young enough that everything will be eye opening and thrilling, yet old enough to walk decent distances without need of strollers. I pray they will remember this trip for the rest of their lives.
Yes, it is costing us an arm and leg, and we pray daily that our vehicles will survive another year. But we know that God will provide as He has already shown over the past few months. Sweet friends and family have given sacrificially, and to watch our girls put such effort in selling their sea glass creations (from Okinawa) and cake pops & lemonade to help supplement the cost of travel has been so humbling. They have put every penny in our Japan fund. Never once have they asked to keep it for themselves or use it for spending money.
"To travel is to discover profound things and learn about yourself in the world; what a joy to give children that experience while they're still under their parents' roof. It takes money, time, and planning, but so does most everything in life. Traveling with kids is so very worth the effort." - Tsh Oxenreider, Notes from a Blue Bike
I will not pretend to say this is primarily a mission trip. The bulk of our trip is funded by our tax refund money. But I do pray that God will do a work in all of our hearts while on this trip. I pray over those we will be sitting next to on each flight. I pray that God will open the eyes of our girls to a world full of amazing things and to instill in them a passion to reach out to those who are hurting and without hope. I pray for strength for each of us as the traveling will not be easy. But now that passports have arrived and tickets have been reserved, we are eager to embark on this exciting adventure!