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.
My dad and I are the road warriors of the family. When he and I talk about hitting the road, without fail, he looks at his watch and says, “what time do we leave?” This is one of the many things I love about him. I don’t remember how the conversation started, but one thing led to the next and a grand adventure across the Western part of the U.S. was in the planning phase.
John, my husband, is one of the big inspirations in my life. When we started dreaming this trip, John said he would go, but planned to fly back midway so he wouldn’t miss too much work. He is an incredibly hard worker. Less than a month before departure, we were driving home from Easter at my parent’s and John suddenly said, “cancel my flight home, I’m going for the entire time.” He did not say another word. I knew at that very moment this trip was destined to be special beyond what my logical mind could know. It would be a journey for the ages and indeed it was.
Watching my mom become a giddy little girl while gazing at the rocks in the Petrified Forest, seeing John let go of his stresses on a mountain in Yosemite and having the privilege of journeying through Monument Valley with my dad as he visualized scenes from his favorite movies were unexpected joy-filled firsts. Through 3500 miles of desolate desert, deep blue ocean, magnificent trees and the random bear, we experienced each other. And intuitively we knew to recognize and honor the firsts. We would never experience that exact trip again.
I believe this is one of the amazing graces God shares freely. And we don’t have to be on a grand adventure to delight in the firsts of life. Each day is a gift of firsts, even if you are sitting in the same carpool line; even if you show up to the same job you have had for years; even if you walk the same path as the day before. We won’t get to experience this exact trip again. What will you see for the first time today? Who will you notice on your morning drive? Will you take a breath and look up to the sunrise? The sunset? I hope you do.