For the past month or so I have heard a voice. It cries softly in the back of my mind, from that corner where things get delegated that can gather cobwebs for awhile but will one day receive a thorough dusting. My blog has been calling for attention. The reason for the prolonged absence (yes, I actually have a reasonable excuse) is my international escapade – okay, in reality it was a trip to England with a program from Biola (for proof see below).
Most of my program took place in Cambridge, a place full of rich history and rich thought and rich history of thought. If I had had consistent internet, perhaps this blog may have benefited. As it is, the trip deeply impacted me in ways that will inevitably rub off in my ongoing thoughts.
However, all in Cambridge was not butterflies and ancient buildings. For a period (one or two days) I suffered from a mild case of traveler’s-guilt. You know, the feeling that I could have spent this exorbitant amount of money I paid to “do some good” back at home (of course, this disease is characterized by a general incapability to define what would constitute “some good”). Nevertheless, I had to confront the question – “why travel?”
There are most likely 90873.38 answers to that question. Most, in my opinion, fall short of truly giving validity to travel. However, as I pondered, I remembered the all-important fact that we are living stories. We live in the context of story, every day writing a new chapter that will shape those that follow and that flow from those that came previous. And like every story, the setting plays a role in shaping our story. Traveling expands the setting, allowing the story itself to expand and grow in new and perhaps unexpected ways. We should not change the setting simply for the sake of changing the setting – such stories generally find themselves becoming stagnant as they lose contact with the settings they exist in. However, travel can be an incredible tool for expanding our settings and even participating in stories that strengthen our own (for example, the protestant story of Cambridge).
Cambridge contributed significantly to the next chapter of my story for which I am grateful. I can only hope that that comes out here. It is good to be back. But I do have a question: Which one of the other 90872.38 reasons for traveling satisfies you?