I’ve dreamed of international travel since second grade – the first year I took French as a foreign language. It was also the year I met one of my parent’s friends who just returned from his junior year abroad. I remember sitting on his bed looking at all the postcards, listening to his adventures, and vowing I was going to do that one day.
That dream became a reality my junior year of high school. For three glorious weeks, I traveled with fifteen other students to the south of France where we lived with French families, attended French school, and immersed ourselves in the French culture.
I loved every minute and the experience whet my appetite for more.
I went to college and majored in French and Political Science. My dream of living abroad for a year took a backseat, however, to love. I couldn’t bear leaving my then boyfriend during his senior year. I reasoned I had my opportunity in high school, and once we both graduated, we could embark on our own international travels.
After graduation, we married and eventually moved to New York City, a cultural experience of its own. The desire to start a family soon overshadowed the desire to travel. When we learned we were pregnant, we gladly exchanged our travel dreams for new ones. We now dreamed of a home in the suburbs, two cars in the driveway, and chauffeuring happy children to various extracurricular activities.
Life was not all smooth sailing, however. We had more than our share of hard hits. And Delilah’s voice grew louder with each passing year. What’s the point in dreaming if it only leads to sorrow and disappointment? she asked. Just be grateful for what you have. That’s Biblical.
Delilah has a way of mixing just enough truth with her lies that I believe everything she says. Yes, I should be grateful for what I have – and I am – but pursuing goals and aspirations is also Biblical.
If our dreams are in line with God’s will for our life, they are worth the effort. Sure, life causes delays, forces detours, and postpones fulfillment… but if we are persistent the Lord will be faithful. After all, He put those desires in our hearts.
In 2007 – twenty years after my eldest child was born and thirty years after I first traveled to Europe – I led a group of twelve students to London. Since that time, I have led three other groups to London, Paris, and Italy. I have taken a two-week solo trip to Paris where I achieved my goal of living as a native Parisian in the City of Light. And we have several more international trips planned.