Musings


Got Passport??

Could it be? Me…in Israel? While walking the halls of my college campus many years ago, I came across a flyer on the bulletin board – Israel!! Wow!! It sure would be nice to go there. As an enthusiast of comparative religions and myself a Christian, I got excited at the mere thought.  But who was I kidding.  I was already working full-time, going to school at night, and the deposit deadline was drawing near.  How could I afford it? So the idea flew out my mind just as quickly as it entered.

Later that night, just talking about the day’s events with my brother, Kevin, I just casually mentioned that the school was sponsoring a trip to Israel that sounded interesting. He just said out the blue, “Why don’t you ask me for the money?” That thought never even occurred to me. I was surprised, shocked, and elated at the same time. Could he really be offering to give me some money for a trip?? So, I asked. He then responded “Sure, I’ll go to the ATM and get it for you.” It was that easy.

After securing the “gift” from my brother, the next step was to contact the trip sponsor to reserve my spot.  To my surprise, she stated that there was some scholarship money available. I quickly responded, “Where do I apply and what do I have to do?” She then said, get your passport!!!

At this point, I was still unsure about how I was going to pay for the whole trip. But with faith and perseverance, I continued on.  I took my passport photos, completed my passport application, and turned in my essay in hopes of getting a scholarship. Then, the waiting began.

After a couple of weeks, I checked the mail. My passport had arrived!! Woo Hoo!! I quietly prayed in my heart “if the scholarship notification is in this bunch of mail, I know it is God telling me that this trip is for me and He heard my prayer.” As quickly as I pondered that in my heart, I quickly forgot about it. It was just a farfetched thought.   Junk mail, pizza coupons, sale papers…hmmm, that is until I reached the last letter – the award letter.  I got the scholarship!!!

That was over 14 years ago. Little did I know at the time, that my passport would open up the opportunity for me to fall in love with traveling and experience the beauty of God’s creation first hand.  In fact, it has opened the door for me to visit and explore well over 30 countries and 140 destinations.  Many of which I have experienced in the last 2 years on a sabbatical. Yes, my love affair with travel led me to quit my corporate job to see the world and learn new activities.

I have climbed the Great Wall in China, narrowly escaped the earthquake in Japan, watched beautiful sunsets over the Grand Cayman islands, snorkeled near the Twin Peaks in St. Lucia, been surprised with flowers from an admirer in Italy, cruised the Alaska’s Inside Passage to beautiful British Colombia.  I have also traveled to Egypt, Israel, Honduras, Austria, Greece, Colombia, Nicaragua, Germany, Panama, France, Switzerland, and many other amazing destinations.  All because I took a step of faith, got my passport, and stepped out.

Travel has been a glorious adventure and experience that has shaped my well-being and inspired me to be a participant in life, not just a spectator.  Thinking about the thrill of getting my first passport reminded me about the Passport Party Project.  The Passport Party Project will gift 100 girls with their first passport within the next 18 months.  Just think what a passport will do for these young ladies.  A greater world view, an opportunity to marvel at cultures, and the chance to see amazing landscapes – the possibilities are endless.

By the way, I’ve visited Israel twice so far!  Where will your dreams take you?

Inspiration: The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. ~St. Augustine

Be Blessed!

~A

thumbs up

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,

In life we loved you dearly… in death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.

We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name,

In life we loved you dearly… in death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone.

For part of us went with you, the day God called you home.

You left us peaceful memories.  Your love is still our guide.

And though we cannot see you, you are always at our side.

Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same.

But as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.

Love and miss you dearly Daddy.

~Angie

Angie in Cozumel

Hi All!

 This year has gone by so fast. The past few days I have been reminiscing about past journeys and adventures. In addition, I have been really inspired by so many people on Twitter and Facebook who are going after their dreams. Next year will be even better!!  Oh, did you get a chance to see  my feature in the Houston Chronicle
 or on the Career Break Secrets website?  It is still hard to believe that it has been 15 months and counting since I left corporate.  Be safe tonight and enjoy bringing in the New Year!!

Next SabbaticalScape – China, Japan, Russia…and a job?

Step it up & Do things differently! Stretch out of your comfort zone, commit yourself to God, read your bible daily, make godly choices instead of just good choices, step out on faith, and love thy neighbor as thyself. Leave the nonsense in the past and move forward seeking God first and all things will be added unto you ( Matt 6:33).

Happy New Year & Happy Travels!

Peace & Blessings.

~A

Hi All!

I was thinking that most people tend to have a Bucket List… Not expressly written down, but inherently dreamt of or about.  I mean, the idea of a list of things to do before I die sounds good, but also seems, well, morbid.  It’s like a countdown to death.  Plus, when life happens, that list goes to the backburner – indefinitely.

Can we go a little further? I would like to suggest another list – let’s call it a Life List. A life list details the events, experiences, desires, dreams, or goals a person would like to incorporate into their life. These are things that one thinks will make for a more exciting, purposed, and inspired life. And moreover, I would even venture to say it also brings life to others.

Ziplining in Cabo - Woo Hoo!!

A life list can also be a wake-up call or an “aha” moment.  It is that moment that we realize life is indeed short and tomorrow is definitely not promised.  It is that moment which calls us into the deeper more meaningful life that God wants for His children.

I think I have always had a life list per se. I can see how different things and events in my life are like snapshots of the big picture journey that I am pursuing currently.  Some great things happened, and some not so great.

I believe we must take every day as an opportunity and gift from God to responsibly step out into what is buried deep in our hearts.  We can try something new, do something different, or just step out of our comfort zone. This can be scary, but also very rewarding. So, be inspired and launch out into the deep…for that is where your treasure will be found!

Inspiration – It’s not really about being career-focused , it’s more about being LIFE-focused.

Success to You!

~A