Time is running out. We are leaving on our great journey in less than five weeks. This is, simultaneously, incredibly exciting and undeniably terrifying.
It shouldn’t be scary. We have done it before. In 1993, David and I quit our good jobs, sold half our worldly goods, stored the rest, and headed for Europe. For a year. With no idea where we were going to live or work when we got back.
Of course, back then we were young. We’d been married for a year, we knew we wanted to move from California back to Oregon, and it seemed like the perfect time to do something crazy and just travel for twelve months. We had tentative plans: David, our friend Mark, and Mark’s friend Booker would go over first; they would buy a car and travel for a month until Booker had to go home. Then I’d fly over with David’s mom, who was going to join us for the next month. After that, Mark, David and I would each go volunteer at various workcamps, and I would spend time in Germany with our good friends, Deb and Trav.
From that point on, our plans were vague. We’d go to a bunch more countries and see a bunch of stuff. However, David and I ran into a bit of a cash flow problem, so we needed jobs. Mark decided to strike out on his own, which was probably a good thing. We consider ourselves pretty spontaneous travelers – we might plan a week in advance, but not much more, so that we have leeway to change our plans as circumstances change – but Mark felt stifled if he had to commit to a certain itinerary for the next day.
With Deb and Trav’s guidance (and knowledge of the German military/civilian job market), David and I scored jobs at the Armed Forces Recreation Center at Chiemsee, about halfway between Munich and Salzburg. We worked for AFRC for the next almost-eight months, having adventures galore, traveling around Germany and to the Czech Republic, Italy, and Portugal… and managing to save $10,000 besides. Our trip became something radically different than we had envisioned, but it was a wonderful year and the source of unbelievable stories for many years to come.
It’s now almost twenty years later. Again, it just seems like the right time to go. I know that no matter how many plans we make for the trip, it is very likely that those plans will change. That doesn’t worry me. I know that our fun is going to come from being together on an adventure, regardless of what we do. We will almost certainly meet people we never expected to meet, end up sleeping in some random place or another, and stumbling upon yet another fabulous parade in a sleepy village.I’m cool with that. I don’t have any expectations.
But I still worry. I don’t really worry about money; if we find that we have cash flow problems this go-round, then we will figure out an alternate plan, just as we did back then. I worry about all the pre-trip tasks I want to complete: making home repairs so Greg has an easy time of it, getting our finances and insurance all lined up properly, getting in to doctors and dentists to make sure everyone is healthy (and to do it early enough that we can make adjustments if we are not!). I worry about what might happen when we are over there: another MS flareup, some other health crisis, a water leak or other disaster at home.
There’s an old saying: “Don’t borrow trouble.” I don’t need to worry about what might happen. All that will do is make me feel stressed out right now. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” just popped into my head (a little googling tells me the verse is Matthew 6:34). I found a translation that really struck me: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (The Message)
May or may not happen – words of wisdom!
- I’m grateful! for a good night’s sleep while dog-sitting at Lynette’s.
- I’m lighter! by a big file folder of papers that I really don’t need to hang on to.