All in Travel

Five Things We All Need To Be Enjoying A Lot More

So, if you’re feeling blahh or unsatisfied or tired or anything remotely lukewarm inside, I encourage you to seek out these five things, or even just one of them. I think that most of these things are why even poor people can be authentically joyful and radiantly happy, or conversely, why successful people who seem to have it all come up feeling empty on the inside. These things are what make the spiritual and physical composite clocks inside of us tick, and we all could do with doing our best to cultivate them, water them, and take advantage of them as best we can.

Still Good

When my dad died, I received so many messages and letters, but one in particular from my brother-in-law has stuck with me. It wasn’t long, but this line jumped out of the paper: “He is still good.” And every time that I return home, I remember this truth. I intermingle with a family that has unhealed wounds, old arguments, and tensions, still recovering from the aftermath, but He is still good.

At Home

Entering into my grandma’s house with what would surely be the last time, I felt an overwhelming rush just in the smell of that home that greeted me with opening the door. I noticed all of the old, familiar, dear photographs on the wall and all the little trinkets of dogs and lighthouses and boats that she loved to keep. Touching her four-poster bed again, putting away all of her lockets and rings, gently packing away pots and pans and lamps and trays: it all was heavy, heavy, heavy with meaning.

Two Thousand Nineteen

In talking to a friend today, I realized all over again that having so many interests and pursuits doesn’t have to be a bad thing: to love many good things is to be alive. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by all that I want to do and know and accomplish, but I think the secret to contentment in it all is to be grateful every day for the things that impart joy, and to not be afraid to seek and love those things.

On Earthly Christmases

So, for all those Christmas mornings with my dad musing how special we all were, I have such conviction that his belief in the power of love was what he really meant all along. My family’s glory and uniqueness is really all that special, because we now laugh joyfully in the face of agonizing pain, we now continue to love without measure in the midst of bitter suffering. That is special. That is great. To have incarnational hope like this is radical.

My Non-Instagrammable Life

But you know what? I kind of don’t care anymore. I used to be paranoid about blasting my sometimes bland, sometimes messy, sometimes not so glamorous life on social media. Now that I think of building memories with my kid, and making moments that will exist only in our wild mid-twenties, I have become totally okay with the fact that my life doesn’t look like inside of a Gap catalog.

Little, little things

The stresses and ups and downs of life can muddle our perspective of how fortunate we really are. Yes, I have endured probably the hardest year of my life, and known plenty of suffering along the way, but I would be doing my soul a disservice if I ignored the every day things that have the capacity to bring me joy. 

Italy in Retrospect

You may regret many things in life. You may regret unsaid apologies, harsh words, wasted chances, unaccomplished goals. Don’t make traveling one of them. Don’t make studying history one of them. Don’t make experiencing good art of them.