A few weeks after her death, I saw the notice that a group of people connected with the Church of the Nazarene in Southwest Indiana will be going to Israel in January 2015 with an invitation to be part of that group. Israel! Well, maybe. If we could go with people we know. If someone else would be handling the details of international travel.
So we signed up. And I'm already enjoying this trip immensely for multiple reasons.
- I haven't been "abroad" for forty years -- since Nazarene Youth Congress was held in Fiesch, Switzerland in 1974 and I attended as a 16-year-old. This is a big deal!
- My husband and I haven't done a genuine vacation trip since our children quit traveling with us. I get email all the time from airlines and travel sites and hotel chains offering me travel opportunities, and I look at them wistfully before pushing the delete button, not sure where to go or why. How wonderful to now say, "No, thank you. I already have a wonderful trip planned."
- I haven't made a trip as an adult that I didn't have to plan. The greatest stress in my life comes from my to-do list, for home, work, and the church. Looming deadlines, forgotten details, and a huge list of unfinished tasks is what keeps my stress level high. Having nine months to prepare for a trip that adds hardly anything to my to-do list -- mostly packing and clearing nine days for travel -- is wonderful! It adds much anticipation all these months ahead of time while adding hardly anything to my to-do list. At some point, that one small detail of clearing nine days for travel will become a sticking point, but this far ahead of time it looks simple enough and the entire trip appears to be a stress-free adventure.