THE GREAT ENLIVENING

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On a trip of firsts, this is my first time flying across an ocean solo. And while I feel a twinge of sadness leaving Natalie and Katy in Europe, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is calling me home. The flight map displayed on the screen in front of me shows a long green line from Istanbul, Turkey to Atlanta. I left Spain last night and flew from Rota… Read More

It’s sweltering.  Ninety-five degrees with 80% humidity means Natalie, Katy and I are sweating just standing outside. So, when we don our 30-ish pound backpacks and start walking from the train station to our hostel, it’s less than a minute before we’re dripping. We’ve just flown from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Bangkok, Thailand. Here we have a short 20 hour layover till we head to Madrid, Spain via Moscow in the morning…. Read More

We sit at the table in our villa outside Seminyak Village and try to make plans for the next day. Are we going to the monkey forest or maybe just to a sea temple? We are also trying to decide if we should leave Bali for Singapore in 2 days or in 6 days. I am ready to move on, so I vote for 2 days, and all three of us start researching that timeline. So… Read More

I know a total of five words in Japanese: Good morning, hello, thank you, yes and no. And yet, I decide that getting my hair cut and colored in a country where I cannot communicate is a good idea. It all started when Natalie and I went for a much, let me repeat, MUCH needed pedicure. After three months on the road, let’s just say our feet were “rough.” When we could… Read More

The first thing I notice about Christchurch, New Zealand, is the construction. Everywhere. There are buildings adorned with scaffolding, detours and road closures and various broken and demolished infrastructure nearly everywhere I look. But I guess that’s what happens when the epicenter of a 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes only 10 kilometers from the heart of a city. I don’t have any experience with earthquakes other than a random small one that hit… Read More

I’m sitting in Starbucks. Why Starbucks when there are tons of great coffee places in Buenos Aires? For one simple reason: They have air conditioning. It’s 95 degrees, which means I have about 30 seconds from the time I step outside till I start perspiring. Which after three days, I still dislike but I’m getting used to. Air conditioning is a luxury here and neither the hostel we stayed in the first… Read More

“I’m sorry, how many cavities did you say I have?” I ask. Surely I’ve misheard her. “Eight,” she responds with certainty and at the same time a tone of apology. It’s obvious that this Mexican dentist doesn’t want to tell me this any more than I want to hear it. “How is that possible?” I ask incredulously. “I’ve gone to the dentist every six months my entire life and I’ve never had a… Read More

We’re on our way home when the text comes in. “Be REALLY careful driving.” It’s from our neighbor, Claudio, aka “Dad.” He was nice enough to watch the dogs while Natalie and I went up to the San Diego airport to drop off my friend Sherri who came to visit. But since this is the second time he’s cautioned us today, I can tell he’s pretty worried. “Why is everyone so freaked… Read More

He’s just standing there on the edge of the cliff, about forty feet above the crashing waves, staring majestically off into the horizon. His slender grey body and long legs are so delicate that your eye could easily miss him, but he’s so close to me I can see every detail. He’s a handsome crane, although I’m not exactly sure what he’s doing here, since I thought that they were fresh water… Read More

Screeeeeech…screeeeeech…screeeeeech. The sound of the swing is annoying but I don’t stop. I’m a good 75 to 100 lbs heavier and 25 to 30 years older than the average playground user but just as thrilled as any kid to be at this park. It’s a cloudless, 75-degree Fall day in Tucson, Arizona and I can’t help but marvel at the magnificent mountain view just in the distance. I’ve assessed the swing set… Read More