UPDATE: And the winner of the Travel Story contest is Joe + Deanna Cozart! (chosen by random.org).
Thanks for all the stories that were shared. I enjoyed reading all of them! This was kind of fun, so I will host another contest soon!
Here I am in India. Free wi-fi (in our very sketchy “hotel”, completely jet lagged, and bored since I can’t seem to sleep. So, I want to hear from you, my readers! (That is, if anyone is out there?)
So in honor of being overseas, I want to know your best international travel memory or story. Share your (short) story/memory in the comments section below. Funny, meaningful, powerful, bizarre, silly, somewhere you visited, something you ate, whatever it is (as long as it is appropriate/g-rated)! For the winner of the best story I will mail you a little handmade gift I pick up in India this week. How’s that for fun!? I’m a picky shopper, so I promise the prize will be something I think is cool & that I would buy for myself.
Bring on the stories! I’m excited to see who chimes in!
ok–you asked for it!! I will try to make this g-rated! How about being 9 weeks postpartum and having to use a manual pump in a nasty airport bathroom in Argentina …nuff said!
On a mission trip in Guatemala I got asked to wash a guys rottweiler and he asked me to really wash the flea infested areas. He neede me to because he was scared of his own dog but had it for protection since the government wouldn’t let citizens have guns. Turns out the flea infested areas were the genitals. So, to serve god or because I agreed to something without knowing the details, I washed this guys dogs “flea infested areas”. Not quite what I signed up for
the only international trip/vacation i had was for work and i was sent to hong kong to do some training. the food there is not like the americanized chinese, but if you eat with the right people you are sure to have a feast. I went during valentines day and if you think folks in the US go overboard, you have no idea! It was pink and red EVERYWHERE…way more elbrorate than in the states. I was shocked. Couples were everywhere carrying huge balloons and flowers adn taking pictures – plenty of love going around.
Can’t believe I’m telling this….I went on a missions trip to Nicaragua in 10th grade where I picked up an awful sickness. I vomited about every 30 mins for 24 hours straight. Well, one of those times, the force of me throwing up resulted in bodily movements from both ends…yep. Definitely some good comic relief. I didn’t know what to do with my dirty shorts, so I put them on the back of a fan that was turned off, until my boyfriend at the time came in and turned it on because it was hot. Needless to say, he got a nose-ful 🙂
I went to Cabo, Mexico with some friends after my senior year in high school. We were walking back to the hotel where we were going to pick up a taxi cab to head back to our hotel. It was late and we were trying to make it home by curfew. Out of a nowhere, a little Mexican boy ran to my friend Haley, wrapped his arms around her and jammed his face into her stomach. He would not get off and we were already late. So, naturally I grabbed him and detached him. I picked him up and put him to the side. Then we ran. From a child.
I lived in Kenya for a summer during seminary & got used to all kinds of wonderful ways of “roughing” it. I’m not skittish, nor am I afraid of getting dirty or germy. But, I found myself a little hesitant about one particular outhouse.
I was visiting some folks far from my base town, and REALLY had to use the bathroom. Their outhouse smelled AWFUL (and for me to say that it must have really been bad), and there were lots of men working around the home, so crouching in the bushes was out of the question.
I tried to hold it until I could no longer physically contain myself. I went to the outhouse, and as I opened the door to welcome the horendous stench, I saw something fly down INTO the hole in the ground. It was a bird or a bat or something- I don’t know.
But there I was…I HAD to go! So, I hiked up my dress, crouched over the hole and literally PRAYED the entire time I crouched, “Dear Lord, please don’t let whatever just flew down this hole decide to fly back up until I’m done here.”
God answers prayers. I finished my business as quickly as humanly possible & got the heck out of dodge!
EM! I can’t believe I stumbled on your bog…oh what you can discover on facebook while avoiding writing papers. Anyways, I hope you are having a great time and it has been fun catching up on your crazy adventures (much more exciting than anything going on in Athens right now). Well as for a story I am gonna copy and paste one that I wrote right after my trip to Kenya with 410. It’s one of my favorite life moments and something I’ll never ever forget. I mean it is a little long but maybe it will help you deal with jet lag insomnia. Love and miss you!
ps- we are all praying for the 24th!
I will never again look at an orange the same way. I had the chance to experience God moving in Kenya just two weeks ago while on a trip with North Point. Of all the memories that resonate in my heart after the trip, one stands out brighter than the others. The first day we were working in the village of Joska I was able to be part of the evangelism team. Each of us who helped in this area went out with 4 or 5 members of the congregation which meets at the BigStuf house. I must admit, I think the 4 of us from North Point were a bit nervous after the training session led by one of our guides Paul. Walking in the middle of Africa trying to reach the community members on a deep, spiritual level is pretty intimidating, especially when the people can barely get over the fact that you are a “muzungo”…meaning white tourist in Swahili! Never the less, the 4 of us divided into groups and were each sent on our way with the church members. While going door to door (really hut to hut), a group of 4 Kenyans and myself ran into a woman named Josephine who was selling oranges on the side of the road. Well, Josephine did not speak any English, but luckily one of our group members named Jim, the pastor at the BigStuf church, was able to communicate with her. After spending some time taking in tribal language, Jim began to pray. Before I knew it, we were on our way down the dirt path again, eating the oranges we bought from Josephine. Wondering what had happened, I asked Jim what she had said. Turns out Josephine had never even heard of God and his plan to save her life. God worked a miracle through Jim, whose words pierced Josephine’s heart and compelled her to invite Christ in, eager to attend church at the BigStuf house. I witnessed God using the most simple of situations in order to move his love throughout the world – an orange and a man named Jim.
My favorite international tale was not so far from home in a land called Vancouver, Canada with my family years ago. Nothing too spectacular about the trip besides when my sister and I were alone with my little brother in the hotel and convinced him to walk out pee off the balcony onto a busy urban street below. At the time I didn’t know how anyone down below could possibly figure out our room number to taddle on us, but needless to say, we were found out and in big trouble when the parents returned.
and p.s. I LOVE reading your blog. It is so hopeful and heartwarming and it makes me miss you two. Much love from PDX!
So many overseas memories to choose from.
So, this is not funny at all but it by far one of the most defining times in my life. I went to South Africa in 2003 with CO. While there I ended up admitted to the hospital with encephalitis being told that I had only a 25% chance of survival. Due to the swelling in my brain my vision was altered so I couldn’t read or see very well. I was in a small room and my team was on a retreat so I was alone in the hospital quite a bit. This is where it became very evident why it is SO important that we know scripture because I couldn’t read, I didn’t have a phone so I had no one to talk with. I was left to pray, sleep and eat. “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” God allowed the words that I had memorized in my life to start flowing and so being able to read was not necessary He just kept bringing fresh verses to my tongue. My reliance on God was stretched to new limits in those days. I will never forget my trip to Africa being as far away from home as I had ever been and being as close to dying as I had ever been. Thank the Lord he brought me home safe and healthy and with a much deeper appreciation for the gift of His Word and His companionship.
While in Bejing in 2008, me and two friends from the trip decided to go to the hard rock cafe to find some American food. We had a Chinese friend write the name in characters, and wegave it to a cab driver, who dropped us off in the middle of nowhere- no cafe to be seen. As we were trying to decipher a Chinese bus map to figure out where we were, two Chinese girls came to try to help us, but only one spoke broken English. We showed them the paper with the address on it, and they asked us to follow them. We walked 40 minutes through all these tiny, packed neighborhoods, when the led us to an abandoned building and asked us to follow them inside. (Note: We are still not at the hard rock.) We did follow them, and ended up in a parking garage, where I was pretty sure I was about to be sold into white slavery, but it turns out they had a friend who was a police officer waiting there. We all got in his police car, and he was going to take us to the cafe. After riding around with him for another hour, he still couldn’t find the hard rock, so he dropped us off outside a hotel that spoke English, since he didn’t speak any. Another 45 minutes later, the hotel was able to get us a cab that finally dropped us off at the hard rock. We go up to the door to finally get our dinner and see the Bejing location is closed for remodeling. So, three hours, a police car ride, and no dinner later, we walked two miles to a McDonalds, and caught a cab back to the college where we were staying. That’s quite possibly the longest and weirdest night of my whole life!
I went to Italy with 3 friends 2 days after graduating from college. While in Rome, we were trying to buy some gellatto… The woman working at the store didn’t speak English… We were trying to pay for it but were having trouble understanding what she was trying to say to us. Finally, in nearly flawless English she says to me, “Lady, I’ve got no change!!” Clearly she could speak English and was just annoyed by us and pretended to not to understand what we were saying. Ok, so this story is funnier in person but whatever! 🙂