Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

I love to travel! I might as well admit it. I love to travel. Admitting this secret desire is hard for me and I am not sure exactly why. I do know that my family would attest to my itchy feet, despite my blindness of the desire. But thinking about it now, whenever I hear about a trip that someone is about to take, my first response, hands-down, always is, “I want to go”. Lightening fast, more like an autonomic reflex really, the words are out. I am totally confident that my first phrase in life had to be, “Go bye, bye”. And, if you think about it, I am not alone. There are others, many others, who like myself, enjoy the thrill and excitement of exploring, experiencing, eating, and existing for a time, in ‘the different’. Maybe it stems from an innate restlessness or a boredom with ‘the familiar’ but somehow, when I try to analyze the desire, expose the motivation, it seems more obtuse than simple boredom. I really can’t say…

In a search of meaning, I did find many notable quotes from others who also love to travel and their words do lend understanding, since I can’t seem to nail down my own thoughts. I have listed a few…

“Not all those who wander are lost” (J. R. R. Tolkien).

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness” (Mark Twain).

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page” (Saint Augustine).

“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign” (Robert Louis Stevenson).

“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware” (Martin Buber).

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow” (Lin Yutang).

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living” (Miriam Beard).

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land” (G. K. Chesterton).

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – (Henry Miller).

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it” (Cesare Pavese).

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open” (Jawaharial Nehru).

I am over thinking this… this love affair. It is elegantly simple. God made some of us with the innate desire to travel. Surely Cristobal Colon, Leif Eriksson, David Livingston, Marco Polo, John Cabot, James Cook, and Hernan Cortes, had it. And God in His wisdom knew that despite the driving compulsion, we would sometimes doubt the sanity of it. God did provide reassurance. He gave us a promise to take with us as we go. It is, Psalm 121:8.

“The LORD will keep you’re going out and you’re coming in from this time forth and forevermore” or better still, “God will guard you’re departure and you’re arrival from this time until eternity”.

God gives us thirteen little words that bring such peace, serenity and comfort, waylaying all fears and anxiety. This is the gracious assurance that is made to all who put their trust in God. At home and abroad; in the house, in the field, on the land and on the ocean; in their native country and in climates remote; on earth, or in the grave, and in the eternal world, we are always safe. No evil that will endanger our salvation or can befall us; nothing can happen to us but what God shall see to be conducive to our ultimate good; and in the heavenly world we shall be safe forever more.

“Blessed shall you be when you come in and blessed shall you be when you go out” (Deut 28: 6).


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