Travel Tips

My Top 3 Travel Tips

It’s probably no secret that I love a good adventure. Road trips, long weekends, hikes in the woods…there is a rush to travel that is unexplainable. The term “faith journey” has always resonated with me for this reason. The idea of taking an adventure with my God is invigorating, and something I can absolutely relate to.
With that in mind, I’ve been thinking lately about how the same disciplines I use when traveling apply to my spiritual life. Here are a few things I think are essential to keep in mind for any journey—be it on the open road, or in our daily lives.

· Choose the right crew to travel with. There is nothing worse than a travel companion that ruins the trip for you. Maybe they ask too many questions. Maybe they point out everything that is going wrong. At the same time, a good travel companion can point out things we might have missed or keep us sane during the long, boring, or stressful parts.

In faith, this same rule applies. My best friend’s favorite bible verse is Proverbs 27:17 which says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” None of us walk a faith journey alone. We are all here to travel with one another. It’s important that we surround ourselves with people who will keep us sharp.

· Don’t over pack. We never need to carry as many things with us as we think we do. When we take things with us that we should have left behind, it becomes an unnecessary burden.

I’ve carried a lot of baggage in my faith journey. I’ve carried worry, guilt, jealousy, and fear (among others.) Hindu teacher Ramana Maharasi gives the analogy that living with such emotions is like holding your luggage on your head while riding a train. “You are not lessening the burden on the train…you are only burdening yourself unnecessarily.” Some things are just better left behind.

· Don’t worry about the detours. When unexpected things take you to unplanned places, the adventure often turns out to be better than expected. Scottish author Richard Louis Stevenson reminds us that we “travel not to go anywhere, but to go…The great affair is to move.” 

I am absolutely and unapologetically a control addict. Agendas, timetables, and budgets are some of my favorite things. I don’t like when life gets off course, especially when the unexpected leads to something unpleasant. But I will also admit, some of the best things that have happened in my life, happened when I was open to something I hadn’t planned for.

Next week, we are entering my favorite part of the church calendar. While many of my Catholic friends will look at me a little funny for saying this: I love lent. It is a time of year to focus on the crux of our faith and examine where we are at on our faith journey. It’s important, on any journey, to do this. If we don’t take time to reassess the journey thus far, we may not realize where we are or where we are going.

Zach Herzog

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