Travelogs & Reflections > Trip Reflections > Pre-Trip Reflections > Therese's pre-trip reflections

What does this trip mean to me? 

Therese's pre-trip reflections 

I am looking forward to experiencing other cultures and lands, especially less privileged societies and cultures. Having lived overseas on Kwajalein, Marshall Islands during my formative years and been raised in a Portuguese-American household, I have always been drawn to other cultures and have felt deeply enriched by these encounters. It’s as if these different ways of being and viewing the world have been absorbed into my very genome, molding and shaping my interior in perceptible and imperceptible ways. I feel the same way about the diverse spiritual traditions of the world. Though I am a Christian, I have always felt a kinship to and admiration of Eastern religions for the heights of mental and spiritual awareness and discipline they achieve through the practice of meditation. Learning about this and other spiritual traditions and practices, all rooted in the Golden rule of holding your neighbor in sacred regard, has touched me in real and poignant ways, and I yearn for these opportunities to encounter God in other spiritual traditions. It is the same with other peoples of the world. If only our hearts could meet, our minds be opened, perhaps the conflicts that tear us asunder in this world might dissolve in the searing light of truth and the commonality of humanity, and the narrow, self-seeking motivations that are at the source of these conflicts would be exposed.

And, yet the most potent and compelling reason why I want to go on this trip is the desire to be with my family, my husband and boys and any others who intersect our path. I want to reawaken those deep and primordial connections with my boys. I remember when we were intimately linked in their early childhood, discovering the world together. Each moment was pregnant with significance and awe. Time and space has come between us. We have lost these intimate connections amidst the daily rush of life and I feel as though a part of my soul is lost. I yearn for this precious time in their company, discovering their unique gifts and perceptions of this wondrous world. And I hope and pray that somehow that we, as a family, can preserve a healthy measure of this sacred connection when we return to this culture, so ravaged by the tyranny of time and production. Perhaps, one heart at a time, we can transform our reality here in the developed world. I think therein lie the seeds of peace. And, as we seek the wisdom and beauty of other cultures and open our hearts to all this awesome world has to offer, I hope we can hold these gifts of enlightenment secure in our hearts, carry it back and let it loose here, start a revolution, spread the contagion of people coming together, heart to heart, and embracing the wonder of life.