I thought since I will be writing in my travel journal much more than I will be posting on here that I would include some of the things I have been creating in my journal with y’all. I like to make collages because I have no drawing abilities worth showcasing. So, below is my latest creation which was inspired by Francis of Assisi. If you don’t know who Francis of Assisi was there is a link to a CNN article about him above the photo below. (By the way, the article is short… and awesome, you should check it out… and for those of you who like visual stuff better, there’s a video in the article too.)
I made this about him because this past year during my freshman year of college I had to take a general education class called Christianity in Western Culture. Within that class, we covered all of the major contributors to the Christian faith throughout the history of the western world, Francis of Assisi included of course. When I was accepted to participate in this trip, I began to think of him and all of the figures from the class I had taken. As a history buff, I became overwhelmed with joy at the idea that I would be going to places that these historical figures had been. History for me is not just an interest or a hobby but a passion, knowing about the history of my faith and my world intrigues me. I’ve always been overwhelmingly interested in certain periods of history, I delve fully into them until I know all I can. Thanks in large part to my Dad, my love of history most definitely came from him.
Then when I saw on the itinerary that my group would be going to St. Peters Basilica, I instantly remembered that this was where St. Francis of Assisi joined the poor in begging, which was an experience that moved him to live in poverty. Also, as I was researching the cities I would be staying in I found that in Austria there is a cathedral dedicated to Francis of Assisi not far from the University I will be studying at for the first three weeks. The chance to see where all of this rich history took place is an invaluable, priceless opportunity for me. Some of these places I will be visiting are of major importance to the conversion experiences of these historical figures that I have read so much about and tried to understand. I feel like seeing these places and being able to stand where they stood will just further my understanding. So, as I count down the days, I am beginning to feel beyond blessed that I was accepted for this trip and I am getting increasingly excited with each days passing.
Above is the mission statement I worked up for myself to live by for this trip. It isn’t one clear sentence or two, its many little things making up the sum of what I need to be reminded of. I also placed a photo of myself as a child and myself this past year to remind myself how far I have come, and how far I have yet to go. It is also a reminder to never lose my inner child. As serious as I can be sometimes I need to remember to lighten up and loosen my grip on control especially within the realm of this journey.
Now, on to my packing situation… oh boy.
^ I have to pack all of my belongings for this trip in these two bags. The suitcase should only be around half full and the backpack that looks like a suitcase is an ebag, it is my carry on. It has to fit in the overhead compartment. I’m in for a challenge with this.
As most of you who actually read this already probably know, I love clothes, correction, I love stuff. I surround myself with personal belongings for comfort. I actually found out this past year from taking the strength finders test through Bethel that I have a strength called input. Those who have this strength are described as “People who have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information and things. They are inquisitive and collect things such as words, facts, books, quotations or tangible objects. When they travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts which can be acquired and then stored away.” Due to this so-called strength, it is very hard for me to travel. I have been classified as a serial over packer. I am the kind of over packer whose bag weighs over 50 pounds at the airport which means we have to end up paying extra and then they don my bag with an orange tag that says “heavy”.
So, with that said, I am obviously not low-maintenance. One of my lifelong best friends Makayla asked me when we were talking about my trip last week, “So, Abby, are you going to have to pay extra for your big over packed suitcases?” I laughed of course, and thought, she knows me too well… I surprised her by saying “Nope.” Only because I created an almost fool-proof plan. The plan is to plan each outfit. If one piece of clothing doesn’t fit into three or more outfits, I am not bringing it. Also, I plan to try on each piece of clothing before I pack them and if I do not find them comfortable then I am leaving them behind. Then, finally I plan to use the pack half rule, meaning I will pack the list I create and then take half of the clothes out. You know what they say, “When preparing for travel, pack half of the clothes and twice the money.” I plan to do just that. I am feeling less anxious as the days pass now which is comforting. I am more excited than anything else. Once again, sorry for the lengthiness of my post! Once my trip begins I am sure my posts will be briefer due to my incredibly busy schedule.
Thank you for reading and following my journey! Remember, you can subscribe to my blog by clicking the follow button in the bottom right corner of this page and then entering your e-mail! You will then receive e-mail notifications about my posts. Thanks again y’all! Until next Monday.