I have two trips coming up this summer. I'm greatly looking forward to one and the other...eh. I could take it or leave it.
The first trip, but not necessarily the better of the two, is with my family to Georgia.
When it's hot.
We are going to the "family homestead" to see my mom's last living relatives. I don't mind seeing these relatives. I think they are fascinating people: both retired teachers, kind, God-centered and normal. Yes, normal. Well, other than the fact that they had a dog house with an air conditioner in it. Did I mention it gets hot there?
This trip will probably be the last time that any of us see these relatives alive. I guess my problem with the trip is two-fold. First, I don't like to travel with the pretense that it is going to be sad or depressing. I like travel to be a positive experience. Second, just that...traveling with my family, especially my parents, is not usually too positive.
I don't know what it is. Is it the long van rides in the middle of the summer with your legs sticking to the faux leather to the farthest southern point in Georgia? Is it the long van rides to Colorado with long, window-fogging detours in the middle of Kansas?
Maybe it's the budget travel to San Francisco. Can we say public transportation?! Maybe it's coming back from two weeks in Europe just to go straight to the hospital to see my grandma die.
Maybe it's rushing through airports while they are shutting the door to the plane. Or it's having to wait in a terminal in Arizona for an indefinite number of hours waiting for a plane to be fixed.
Perhaps I should stay away from vans and rental cars and airplanes, but then that leaves the train or the bus and I don't like those options either. This raises a big question: could I go through life without having the opportunity to travel? Of course, the answer is an emphatic NO!!
With that in mind, I signed up to go on the second trip, which will be a fun, long van ride to Atlanta the next week in July.
When it's even hotter...
and even sweatier.
How is this possible? Do I set myself up for travel failure?
I'm excited for the youth work trip to Atlanta. I'm looking forward to spending time with the youth and getting to know them better. I already have planned in my head which suitcase I'm going to take and what clothes I will presumably need to pack. And trust me, planning ahead is not my forte!
We are venturing to D.O.O.R. I have no idea what those letters stand for, but I always think of the "Rats from N.Y.M.H." when I see the letters. I don't know what N.Y.M.H. stands for either, but, then again, I didn't really like the movie in fourth grade. It may have been a little to scary for Little James.
Maybe that's why I've been thinking about these trips a lot recently: fear. Fear of going to a nursing home with relatives dying. Fear of being stuck in a hotel room with my parents. Fear of doing something new with people I don't really know. Fear of being stuck in a van with teenagers in an urban area!
I'm not afraid of flying. Nor am I afraid of traveling or experiencing new things. I think I have different travel fears, and just like a fear of flying, they can be debilitating. I'm sure by the summer, when I'm wishing for a break from work and some much needed renewal time, my fears will subside.
That doesn't mean I like having my legs stick to hot, faux leather, though.