I can't stop traveling. It's like a deep seed that God placed inside me when He knitted me together. Why would I spend my money on something else when I can spend it on seeing the world? There is so much that I haven't seen. So many experiences that I haven't experienced. So much coffee and food that I haven't tasted. So many mountain tops that need to be conquered.
This idea of travel has captured me the last 5 years. I knew that wanderlust was in me before, but my need for adventure has gotten the better of me recently. If I sit in one place for too long, it gets me anxious and honestly I get a little depressed. The routine of life will eventually lead me deep into my own head, further into my own thoughts. Which is a scary place sometimes.
Traveling allows me to reboot my perspective on life. Because the focus of my life when I get stuck in a routine is usually on myself, my job and all my problems. I can't seem to find anything to be grateful for. Perhaps it's the "grass is always greener" syndrome. I see other things that would make me happy and I forget that I really do enjoy my job.
There are some real benefits to routine, but there are also downfalls. Take this list with a grain of salt. Realize that these are my own perceptions based on my life. I realize that routine is very helpful, beneficial and needed. But I also see the downsides of always doing the same thing.
Routine of Community
When I was traveling all over the world, I started to miss the routine of community. A community for someone that travels is always short term. A person that I encountered on my trip, that I became friends with, has a home somewhere else in the world. The idea that "there's an end to this friendship", was always in the back of my mind. Eventually I would need to meet new people and create a new short term community.
There's something to be said for having long term friends. They understand you and know you better than others. There's a comfortability about being around a good friend. If you're always having to make new friends, it can get tiring and exhausting. Yes, it can be exciting at times. But it doesn't create a comfort zone if I'm always trying to impress or get to know a new person.
Routine of Work
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them a job to do. He told them to work in the garden and to give names to all the animals. God knew that people needed something to do. They needed a way to be productive, challenged and to be creative.
Traveling is fun and exhilarating. But there's something to be said for a long day of work. Where you know that you have accomplished something important and meaningful. It's important to be able to provide, not just for yourself, but for your family or friends. It's good to give. And when you work hard, you're able to bless others.
Getting Outside of Routine
But if all you do is work. If your life is consumed by your job or by being productive. If your value is derived by what you do, then it's not healthy. Getting outside of the routine is not only important, its vital. You have to get outside your comfort zone. Not just for rest and relaxation, but to see what the world is like outside of your daily life.
I have learned that God works when I get outside my comfort zone. When I no longer have control of my life, when I can't predict what tomorrow is going to bring and when I am open to serving or loving the people around me. This is when God works the most. This is when I see growth. God uses the lack of routine to change us, to stretch us and to show us what we are capable of when we are relying on Him.
My challenge to myself and the reader: Let's get outside of our everyday routines, have some fun and allow God to stretch us.
This article was originally published in Christian Today Australia and is republished here with permission