Posted by: Judy | November 25, 2015

Gratitude for experience…

One of the groups I follow on FB, posted the following meme:

“Become friends with people who aren’t your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow.”

A flood of memories swamped me.

I remember coming home from Thailand and being awed by the spaces between houses. I cried when drivers pulled over for the ambulance. I loved the people of Thailand and my experience there. I learned that no matter how poor we were it was so much richer than anywhere else in the world. I miss some of the foods. Sorry, but America simply doesn’t do some of them as well. Of course, there are things I wish I could change. I don’t mind the regrets; it’s an indication I’m wiser now.

I went to England and visited Scotland, Holland, and France. Again, I miss some of the foods that America simply doesn’t do quite as well. I loved all the history. When I visited the Tower of London I listened to the Beefeater explain it took 200 years to build, and I kept thinking ‘my country wasn’t much older.’ As much as I loved the people and the opportunities, I wanted to kiss the earth when I landed back in America.

I became involved in the Lord of the Rings fan community. I met people I never would have met otherwise. I flew to new places and counted on the kindness of these people. Some are still dear friends.

I’ve participated in writers’ and readers’ conferences and met people from all over the country. I’m still in touch with many of them.

Email, blogs, and social media allow me to connect with people all over the world.

I never forget how richly blessed I am, even in the insanity. I also recognize that I probably could not have done some of the things I did if I weren’t living at home. Don’t believe for a moment that the irony of it all is lost on me. It isn’t.

As I think about it, I believe all my travel helped me maintain my sanity. It required I keep an open mind and accept strange and unusual circumstances. It demanded I place extraordinary trust in God to protect and guide me.

God blessed me with more guardian angles than I can count, some for a moment, some remained in my life for years. I have been richly blessed. Thanks God.



  1. I love traveling, although I am not a fan of the actual travel part (ugh transportation). New cultures and foods and experiences and views — I love it all so much and a part of me wishes I could go on some epic cruise to see as much of the world as possible. There are places I wish I’d seen before the unrest there became too dangerous, but I hope one day I will be able to go.

    I think it’s so important for those of us lucky enough to live in the US to spend time elsewhere where we are the different ones/outsiders. I’m still foolish and idealistic enough to believe that if we spent time together as equals, the world would be less ugly.

    I’m profoundly grateful that the Internet has allowed me to “meet” others.

    • Hate the flying part. Bring on the transporters. 🙂

      I think there are people who will never appreciate those adventures. When I was preparing to go to Europe people, who traveled extensively, kept telling me how cold the British were and how rude the French were. I don’t know where they went but it certainly wasn’t the same place I did. There is nothing quite like being at the mercy of a total stranger in a place you don’t know, speaking a different language, dependent on their kindness and having them treat you like you’re long lost family.

      God bless the Internet. 🙂

      • My guess is that the people saying the Brits were cold and the French rude were being terrible people to the Brits & French they encountered. Because my experience has been that they have been lovely, even as I butchered their language.

        And yes, I was thinking “beam me up”!

        • Sadly, the people complaining could be quite lovely, but like you, I suspect they brought out the worst in the encounters.

          Exactly! 😀

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