Today = arriving in paradise where you know are you home
I recently found myself settling into my seat on the Dallas-Oklahoma City leg of my flight home from New Orleans, when I noticed the elderly gentleman. He was having a tough time. The flight was completely full with seemingly no room remaining for his bag. His body looked tired and his face defeated. It’s an awful feeling to be “that person.” He was holding up the aisle. The passengers behind him were getting anxious. You could feel the distinct energy of tension rising.
Travel is definitely not a first for me. I have traveled both personally and professionally for many years. It brings a joy to my soul I simply cannot explain. Seeing expansive sights photography cannot capture and hearing sounds that cannot be replicated are just a few of things that keep me going. Earlier this year, however, I experienced travel for the first time.
We have a sweet little 7-yr-old “chi-weenie” named Houdini, who went blind about six months ago. Just flat out, all the way blind - within one month. There were hints that month, but since dogs can’t tap you on the shoulder and say, “hey my vision is going, can I get some help here?” we had no idea.
I never saw it as a risk when I backpacked alone across Europe, or when I traveled internationally for work with my corporate job. It never matters why I travel, that same pull to go is ever present. I started saving my money for the Honduras mission trip last year, when I felt that all-familiar calling on my heart to go. I had never been on an adult mission trip, only a chaperone for youth trips. I knew this journey would be different, maybe even a little risky.
Exposure to different places and cultures changes you. At age 43, my friend Tisha Tate booked a flight to Peru and joined a group to hike the Inca Trail, which led to Machu Picchu. It took four days to go 26 miles — a journey up and down original Incan staircases, in high elevations (the highest nearly 14,000 feet at Dead Woman’s Pass), all the while sleeping in tents with no “real” bathrooms.