Last year…in fall 2016, my parents made the decision to go on a family vacation to Europe!! Our excitement grew as the plans came together over the next few months. We’d be staying in Rome during Christmas and my brother and I would go to Paris for a few days. Afterwards, we planned to spend time in California to rest, relax and be with my brother and his girlfriend. Since I have a web design business, I would be able to telecommute and work even though away from the office.
And the trip was amazing! In Rome, we cooked tortellini from Bologna in our apartment and thoroughly enjoyed delicious gelato in some choice shops. We got to see everything from the Roman Forum and Coliseum to the Sistine Chapel, a catacombs and the beautiful Christmas creche and tree in St. Peter’s Square. Another fun evening was spent at the Nutcracker Ballet in the Rome Opera House. I’ve loved Audrey Hepburn’s classic sense of style for years and it seemed only fitting to enjoy a true Roman Holiday there as well. It was a very memorable Christmas…being a designer and a traditionalist at heart, I brought a Pine-scented candle and made a makeshift Christmas tree. We even sang Christmas carols together and read the Christmas story…the incredible story of how Jesus came here to save us from our sins.
My brother and I also got to spend a few days visiting Paris, where we joined the cafe scene and walked until our legs seemed like they should have fallen off, lol. We got to see Notre Dame Cathedral decked out for Christmas, walked along the Champs-Elysées, took a river cruise and soaked in the art and culture of the Musée d’Orsay.
Back in the states, we enjoyed going to the Rose Bowl Parade, where God provided a perfect place for us to sit that was very near the floats / activity, but best of all was free!
But what did I learn from all the adventuring?! To be honest, I struggled emotionally and spiritually throughout the trip. However, I’m so thankful for God’s provision and blessing even when I fail to be adequately appreciative of His goodness and greatness. And I’m grateful for the patience and support of my family.
Traveling the world definitely does give a bigger picture to my understanding of God and of life. In Rome, I was saddened by the stark contrast between the grandeur of the Vatican and of homeless people sleeping in the cool night only a short distance from the steps of St. Peter’s. Homelessness is here in America too…we again saw the tent “village” that is Skid Row and helped feed a meal to the people there. The church needs to be humble and active / involved in communities…that’s definitely something I came away from the trip with.
As a web designer, I think having an understanding of the world we live in has tremendously helped me in becoming better at what I do. Though not perfect, I’m able to relate to others in other cities with greater empathy and an ability to picture some of the actual cities my clients do business in. It enables me to better help them tell their stories on the web.
Anyway, I’ll bring this post to an end. Even though 2017 is nearly half over, I hope that your year is going well and y’all will have a terrific summer! Happy trails!