“If there’s no sacrifice, there’s no point,” my sister told me as I sat in her bedroom. I frequently dumped my troubles about this trip at her feet as she worked busily away at whatever it was I had interrupted. “You knew this wasn’t going to be easy.”
This was true. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Though in all honesty, I had never expected it to be so hard (I know, I know, Coldplay said it first). Who knew cutting roots could be so difficult?
It is SO GOOD to be back. And even though there are many things that are wonderfully familiar and a few places that feel very much like home to me, I am already discovering things about the Czech Republic I didn’t know before. For example: bugs.
THEY ARE EVERYWHERE.
I’d like to say that we don’t have bugs where I come from. For all intents and purposes, this statement is mostly true.
They say half the fun is getting there. THEY ARE WRONG.
Firstly, there is nothing fun about an 11 hour flight across the pond, especially when the person in front of you reclines the seat the whole time and the German guy next to you has no concept of personal space. Not to be overly picky here but he was totally in my leg-room. The only redeeming aspect of the seating arraignments was that he also had a super fuzzy sweater so whenever he’d lop his elbow onto my armrest it felt like I was sitting next to a bunny.
(Also, it’s great to hear a real German say, “Gesundheit” when someone sneezes).
Generally I don’t fly well. Consistently the only five minutes of sleep I ever get are when the stewardesses are passing around drinks and snacks.
I forgot to where socks this morning (who does this?) and didn’t notice until I was barefoot in front of a TSA agent whose facial expression I read to mean, “have fun with the Athlete’s Foot you’re undoubtedly getting right now.”
I would come to appreciate not having socks when I wandered about lost in Berlin looking for my bus in the pouring rain. More on that later.
I bought a plaque as a spur-of-the-moment purchase I couldn’t afford in 2010 that said, “Home, where your adventure begins.” It has since disappeared (along with a framed LIFE cover with a Normal Rockwell baseball painting I also bought and couldn’t afford which I care about losing a whole lot more), but I’ve never forgotten the message.
Not to sound like a certain Hobbit, but every adventure starts at your very own doorstep. More than that, it begins inside the home as people build you up and prepare you for your journey. Example? Mom packed my lunch for the airport today. What a regular old Gandalf she is.
::I’m going to interrupt myself here to promise to keep these blogs as short as possible. No one likes a rambler. Even an almost funny one::
I have had a lot of help getting ready to leave.
Prague for two years (Lord willing).
To share the hope of the gospel! (Hopefully some travel and good times will be involved but I make no bones about this not being a pleasure trip).
Who’s been helping?
EVERYONE. People have been walking me through paperwork, sending me money, suggesting travel tips and praying for and encouraging me. Gosh, people have been excited for me even when I was too tired to be excited for myself (like a certain evening when I was sobbing in a parking lot because I hit someone’s car and my friend(s) had the good sense to tell me that I was probably overreacting but it was okay – just so long as I got on the plane the next morning. I am so blessed.
I feel like a fish. . . I can’t exactly explain the emotional justification for this, but just know it is a sincere reflection of my current state of being.
So here I am in LAX. Accordion snugly duct-taped away deep inside a cargo hold, passport sitting on my lap. I know not what the future holds, but I know who holds it.
And wherever this road will take me, home was a good place to start.