Samantha Brown just said something with quiet profoundness: "When you travel, you really have to live in your discomfort zone."
Touché, Miss Brown, touché.
I think everyone with a pulse needs to get on a plane, train or automobile and go far. Don't stop until you cross a border into a place where you don't know the language, where the customs are completely foreign, where the world takes on an entirely new flavor.
There is an epiphany one has if, and only if, they've entirely removed themselves from their comfort zone. And with this revelation, you can start to see what a gloriously choreographed world we live in. That vulnerability will force you to look honestly at your true self as the mutually exclusive vastness and smallness of the world is revealed to you. The overwhelming rationale of our excessively detailed lives melts away when you see the world outside of your personal bubble.
I have never had such awe and respect for our Creator and His creation as I've had while abroad. Not only do you realize what an amazing planet we inhabit, but it's almost impossible to not feel a kinship with humanity and a longing for us to be unified the way were meant to be.
Some of my personal moments of perspective include * glimpsing out a tiny airplane window down 37,000 feet of atmosphere at ice sheets floating off Greenland * seeing the sunrise over London, knowing people at home are still enjoying yesterday * meekly testing my broken college French at a restaurant in Paris, while the waiter responded meekly and entirely in broken English * running for dear life across congested streets in Rome when all logic is screaming at you not to plow in front of moving vehicles * watching a 17-year old Australian discover snow and squirrels for the first time in his life * smiling as gondoliers stop singing operatic arias to answer their vibrating cell phones * touching the wall of a two-hundred year old chapel freckled with damage from German WWII bombs * standing on stones you know Julius Caesar has also stood on * grazing my fingers across seventeenth-century graffiti inside a Venetian prison * doing charades inside a Florentine pharmacy in order to acquire much needed tampons and cold medicine * watching the sweet sincerity of locals after sneaking quietly into an evening church service inside a warm, Swiss cathedral * Looking centuries into the past in a fog-covered Scotland valley where the Scots won their freedom *
How anyone can honestly believe our existence is a giant cosmic accident - unrelated and entirely random - is completely beyond me. My travels have only strengthened my faith and comfort that God is still in control.