I really love to travel. I wish I had more time/money to do it. Maybe one day…

I’ve been to about half the US states, and Sweden and Romania. There are so many more places I want to visit! I love to see the different ways people live and act and think. Its interesting to me how when you first visit a new place, you notice the huge differences that exist between your way of life and theirs right away. But the subtle differences – the ones that really make the most difference – you don’t notice those till you’ve lived in that culture for a little while. At least that’s what I found in Sweden…

I noticed right away that their food was different, that their style of clothing and decoration was different, that they always always take their shoes off indoors, and more obvious things like that. But it wasn’t till I’d been there for longer that I noticed the smaller things. The way they interact with and relate to people, their world view on many important issues, their family structure, etc. For example, Swedish people are very welcoming and accepting, but not always easy to talk to. They will talk if there is something to say, but they don’t feel the need to fill every second with (often meaningless) chatter and small talk like we do in America. There is no such thing as an “awkward silence” in Sweden. It is not awkward to them; it is polite and normal! I like that. Its the small things like that – the things you might not notice or appreciate at first – that really make a difference between cultures.

I wasn’t in Romania long enough to appreciate things like that, but one thing I did learn about their culture is that they are still really living under the effects of communism, even though they won freedom 20 years ago. After I got back and had time to process what I learned when I was there, it really hit me how much people in Romania need the h offered in the g. And that brings me to the other thing I LOVE about traveling…

It is so amazing to me that Christians all over the world – from different cultures and countries and places – are all saved by and all serve the same God. He is the same God everywhere. That is something I have been taught since I was a little kid, but I never understood it till I went to Sweden. Something about actually living and worshiping God with believers in Sweden – the same God I worshiped back home with believers in America – made that real to me. The God who saves Americans is the God who saves Swedes and Romanians and Mongolians and Kenyan’s! And he is present with all of us all the time. We are one in him. Amazing.

In America, we are so grossly self-absorbed that we don’t even realize we need to be saved. In Sweden, many people just don’t know or want to admit that there really is a God. In Romania, they are still suffering from the oppression of communism and don’t know that there is true hope and freedom for them. And all over the world people need God. And God is at work all over the world!

All that to say, I want to travel more one day! Greece is the next place that I really want to see…

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About middlemclees

I love peach salsa, Clemson football, running, the sky, and laughing!
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