Traveling isn’t just leaving home and going somewhere else; it involves feelings, good reasons, and, sometimes, a lack of them. You can have the best experiences of your life while traveling, and each destination can give way to wonderful emotions! One of the emotions traveling evokes is gratitude.
I don’t know about you, but for me, talking about gratitude is much easier than putting it into practice in its purest form or living it every day. Life’s difficulties, worries, and afflictions are increasingly driving us away from the desire to be grateful and, at times, we just need a little push to remember what it means to be truly grateful. But, what if I told you that we can express this virtue by using our trips to channel good feelings?
Let’s follow a “roadmap of gratitude” to destinations that will inspire us to be grateful again…
Gratitude in serving others
If you have fallen prey to the trap of comparison, or if you are feeling like everyone has more than you or is better off than you are, consider taking a trip focused on giving back. Experience entering a village full of smiling and curious children, some with shabby shoes, others without any shoes at all, but each of them genuinely happy. If God gave you the chance to travel and, still better, to help others, how can you not be grateful?
Traveling to Ethiopia can also evoke powerful feelings of gratitude when you are face to face with the stunning landscape and nature of the region. Be in awe of the thundering Blue Nile Falls, or trek through the Simien Mountains and contemplate canyons and lakes, in addition to the wildlife.
Gratitude for others
Wherever you go in Brazil you will find hospitable, warm, and friendly people, who are happy to be a part of another’s life. From the beautiful beaches to the green forests rich in fauna and flora like the Amazon rainforest or the Serra da Mantiqueira, the diversity of culture and accents help us see how rich and wonderful the country is. Here, you will be appreciated and learn to appreciate others too. From overcrowded cities like São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro to small rural towns, Brazil is where the people shine. Despite its relative youth, this country is full of stories to tell, even the smallest villages like those on the road between Minas Gerais and Rio de Janeiro…
Gratitude in action
Indians are happy people who have learned to live with what they have. You can visit places like the shores of the Ganges River and find people who have left everything behind to become monks and serve a greater good or even people who have lost their material possessions and live on the street looking for a deeper spiritual connection. We can learn much about gratitude from the Indian people and their dedication to others. Through the Indian culture, we learn to appreciate that gratitude is often expressed in action, not just in words.
Gratitude for the greatest gift
The place today known as Israel was given to the Jews only in 1948, but it has great religious importance and understandably so. Jesus walked, healed people, made disciples, and faced death there. Imagine visiting the pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic or walking the Via Crucis, where they say that Jesus walked carrying the cross. There is also the wailing wall, considered a part of Solomon’s temple where believers go to pray and mourn, and Calvary, where Christ gave Himself to deliver us from all sin and give us the chance of eternal life. How can this great gift not inspire gratitude in us?
I hope these destinations will help you find gratitude for the trips you have been privileged to have in the past and future trips too. But before you go, have you read Respect Around the World? Understanding and respecting cultures is a way to show appreciation for them.
Now I’m curious…have you ever gone on a trip that evoked a strong feeling of gratitude and helped you come closer to God? Tell us in the comments and share your travels and adventures with us. I can’t wait to read your stories!