Tell us about the farthest you’ve ever traveled from home.
I’m no world traveler by any stretch of the imagination. I have been fortunate though to have traveled to places I had always wanted to see. I’ve traveled to Washington D.C., Boston, New York City, Tampa, London and others. I have had the great experience of living in different places in the US: Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.
These travels have been a God-send to me in many ways. When I was younger, I always wanted to get out into the world and explore. I knew the world was bigger than my little hometown and community and I wanted to see it, to experience it. When I was younger the sense of home and family tugged at me, causing me to not go too far too often.
As I grew older, this subsided and I was able to enjoy the places I lived and visited. It is a terrible experience to be away from home and home be all you can think of. It comes to the point though, (while your home will always be that), wherever you are becomes home. You learn to adjust, to fit in, to adapt. You learn to allow yourself to become part of the new community. You feel a sense of belonging, of contribution and the roots begin to take hold.
As I have always had an active imagination, I would dare say the farthest travels I’ve had, have been in my mind. Travels that take place through books and art and films. Travels to such places as Middle Earth and Narnia and to galaxies far, far away. I have sat sipping coffee in a Parisian coffee shop. I have climbed the heights of the tallest peaks. I have walked the crowded streets of Delhi. I have delved the depths of Challenger Deep and surfaced on the eastern shores of China.
Yes, I know, many will say that such imaginative escapes are no substitute for the real. I understand this. But, I think there is something to be said for the power of imagination and allowing yourself to be whisked away . . . to see it, live it and know it.
After all, without imagination, places like Tolkien’s world or Narnia would be inaccessible. All we would have would be words and phrases. But to really understand the stories, to really feel their impact, we must experience the geography; we must allow ourselves to be surrounded by the foreign-ness of it all. Then, we will know the rapture of the story. Only then, will we share the vision of the storyteller.
There have been other journeys of course. Journeys into love and hope. Journeys into despair and anguish. Journeys into loss and death. I have known the path of the prodigal son. I have walked in his shoes and tasted his defeat. I know the travails of that far country and the elation of the return trip, to an excited, enthusiastic, welcoming Father.
In writing this, I have traveled many miles and to different worlds; all in the span of but a few moments, all the while sitting comfortably in my chair.
I hope to travel more. I like the challenge. I like the experience of different cultures, different points of view. I like the reminder that the world is a much larger place than my little corner of it. Sometimes you feel like going deeper or beyond; as Frost once wished, I’d like to get away from earth awhile and then come back to it and begin over.