I admit: this post is completely random, and I’m OK with that. A few nights ago, a friend and I were discussing how much we want to go to New Zealand. When I studied abroad in 2009, I met and befriended a few Aussies and New Zealanders. They are some of the nicest, most hospitable and enjoyable people to be around. After talking with them about our cultural differences, I added New Zealand to my personal list of top destinations to visit before I die.
I found these pictures with a simple Google search. I wish I could claim I took these photos, but maybe in a few years I will have some personal work to report!
New Zealand is an island-country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Some of the top things to do in New Zealand include hiking, cave-exploring, white-water rafting, whale-watching, wilderness cruises and helicopter rides, to name a few.
Check out this website for all the details: New Zealand
Last summer, I had the beautiful opportunity to travel to Ghana, West Africa for a few weeks with a team from Lipscomb. I had previously been on mission trips to Honduras, Mexico and Ft. Worth, Texas, but this was my first destination where our main focus was on building/maintaining relationships.
We worked and stayed at the Village of Hope, an orphanage and school for hundreds of kids.
This was one of the most impactful and enriching experiences of my life. The kids, house parents, teachers, administrators and citizens in Ghana are some of the most hospitable, generous and genuine people I have ever met. Throughout the year, I have kept in touch with my Ghanian friends through Facebook, phone calls and letters. I love them with all my heart. I can’t wait to go back this summer! I have been reflecting on this verse this week so I figured I’d share:
“The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched
land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a
spring whose waters never fail.”
Have you had any similar experiences? If you could travel to one place in the world to spread God’s love, where would you choose?
I really love the outdoors. Maybe you’ve noticed. If there’s one aspect of this earthly life that makes me believe in the power of God, it is through the beauty and majesty of the world He has surrounded us with.
“The earth is the LORD’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for God has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.” –Psalm 24:1-2
The summer before my freshman year at Lipscomb University, I had the opportunity to go on Wilderness TREK with the youth group I was a part of.
TREK is a rugged six-day adventure in the mountains of southern Colorado. Trek includes backpacking, hiking, rappelling, devotionals, solo times, a climb to the summit of a 13,000 or 14,000-foot mountain, and, if you prefer, white water rafting. It is specifically designed to challenge young people (14 – 19 years of age), adults, and families of all ages to discover self-confidence, self-esteem and personal faith.The trees completely overwhelmed me. Yet, under their shade, I felt secure. On our “summit day,” we had to begin hiking at 3 a.m. This picture was taken when the sun was rising over the mountains of Salida, Colo. We made it to the top! TREK was one of the most mentally, emotionally and physically challenging experiences I’ve ever had. There’s nothing quite like being 14,000+ feet above civilization.
This passage from Psalms sums up my feelings perfectly:
“Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are great. You are clothed with honor and majesty, wrapped in light as with a garment. You stretch out the heavens like a tent, you set the beams of your chambers on the waters, you make the clouds your chariot, you ride on the wings of the wind, you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers. You set the earth on its foundations, so that it shall never be shaken. You cover it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.” -Psalm 104:1-6
When/how do you feel closest to God? How can we do a better job of being good stewards to His creation?
As much as I love traveling outside the USA, I have had a conviction the past few months to explore more cities and states in my own land.
"This land is your land, this land is my land From California, to the New York Island From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters This land was made for you and me"
Anyway. Sorry about that tangent. After I graduated from high school, my dad promised to take me on a father-daughter trip to a U.S. destination of my choosing. I’ve always had a fascination for the West Coast. Therefore, I decided on San Francisco. What a fabulous decision.
One of my favorite memories is from the Japanese Tea Garden, full of native plants, flowers, birds and goldfish. The gardens cover over five acres, and the weather was perfect for exploration while we were there in early August!
What would a visit to San Francisco be without seeing one of the crookedest streets in America: Lombard Street. Street Performers are everywhere in the city, often known as the “Silver Men.” Here are a few other attractions we saw during our time in SF:
– Toured the Ghiradelli Factory
-Took a train to Palo Alto, home of Stanford University
-Toured the SF Museum of Modern Art
-Ate in Little Italy
Can you tell how much I adore this city? I look forward to returning as soon as possible. Besides, who wouldn’t want to take a trip down memory lane and see the Victorian Houses used in the opening credits of Full House?
What is your favorite U.S. city and why? What U.S. city would you most like to visit and why?