Off the top of my head: Lessons learned, realizations and a few of my favorite things from my 2 1/2 weeks of travel

IMG_5525On Saturday I returned from a 2 1/2 week trip through Europe with three women who lovingly refer to me as a “frentor”. The time was filled with good and difficult. Hard history, and beautiful surroundings. I am so thankful to have been given the opportunity and I learned several things along the way. I thought I’d post some of what I learned, both as a way for me to remember and as a way to let you in on my journey and possibly (hopefully) encourage you too.

It is a bullet point kind of day, so here we go!

  1. Traveling with 3 women, in one car, with lots of luggage is a gift and I’m thankful that I can now drive seeing out my back window.
  2. Dear Evan Hansen, is the best music for me to drive to when I am feeling sleepy, I sing right along.
  3. Driving on the autobahn is really fun and averaging a speed faster than I’d ever go in the States didn’t even phase me while there… now however, I couldn’t dream of it.
  4. I am more of an introvert than I realize. I need time alone to rejuvenate and fill up before I enter into relationship daily.
  5. I love European butter.
  6. The story of a place effects me.
  7. The Czech Republic is the darkest place spiritually I have ever been.
  8. Leave time to stumble upon things, these moments are some of my favorite.
  9. Being around people 24/7 reveals things about your own self. For me it revealed how much I hold myself together, how much I buck up and get things done even when they are scary to me and how much I move through hard things because I feel I do not have another choice. I also realized how tiring it actually is to do so.
  10. I learned that I like big cities, but LOVE small and medium towns.
  11. When you ask one more question than seems appropriate you can learn so much more!
  12. Follow after the things you want, for they lead you to good.
  13. Beauty calms me down.
  14. Crowded rooms that I can’t get out of create big emotion for me.
  15. Corrie TenBoom and her family are my heros.
  16. Human atrocities make me cry instantaneously. Beauty makes me cry. Kindness makes me cry.
  17. Meeting friends of friends and learning about them is always a gift.
  18. There is always a place to serve others.
  19. Hospitality is a true and powerful representation of the gospel. Offer it any chance you can.
  20. Castles can be lonely places.
  21. Every city holds a story and a personality.
  22. Europe needs Jesus.
  23. WWII left scars all over the place.
  24. Praying for people and places and bringing blessing everywhere we go is a precious gift. It feels like Aslan breathing life into stone statues. Life comes through the blessing of Jesus.
  25. People everywhere want to be seen, known and loved.
  26. People do not lump all American’s together and Trump, thankfully, does not define we the people of the United States.
  27. Jesus is always the best Kingdom for which one can be an ambassador.
  28. I can not help but point out beauty.
  29. The color green absolutely enraptures me in nature.
  30. Serving alongside others is a gift.
  31. Meeting strangers who become friends is easier than we often think.
  32. People in the Netherlands, in the small towns, are so friendly.
  33. I take crooked pictures.
  34. I LOVE to celebrate people whomever they happen to be.
  35. Kindness goes a long way.
  36. I have to receive the good that I experience. Just to experience it alone can come and go, but I must stop and receive it all.
  37. Every place holds both good and bad, sorrow and joy, and layers of both over years and years. It is important not to loose sight of either.
  38. Remembering the poor choices of a nation, honor the whole story and bring dignity to those who were trampled on along the way.
  39. People care more than we often realize.
  40. Peace is needed everywhere.
  41. The earth and all the people in it long for restoration.
  42. GPS is a miracle of epic proportions.
  43. People who survived horrific tragedies are people from whom we must learn.
  44. There are people all over the world, who want to bring good, truth and beauty to the world.
  45. Jesus prepares ways we often do not see.
  46. Nuns are beautiful.
  47. If you go to Christmas markets, drink the wine, eat a sausage and pray that the message of the Nativity will not be a fable, but will grow in the hearts of people as truth.
  48. Keeping a slow pace is a gift and a life saver. I want to travel slowly.
  49. The world is expansive and when we travel we are reminded that our perspective is limited. Traveling itself is a teacher.
  50. I always LOVE coming home.


These lessons are off the top of my head and I know there is so much more to learn. But for now, these things will stay with me. I will have more to say in the weeks to come. May you live your life awake to all that you can learn each day. May you see Jesus and rest in Him. May you bless those around you. May you pay attention when things feel dark and may you listen and learn from each step, conversation, feeling and thought. We are formed by our stories. May these two weeks of mine, form me for years to come.

2 thoughts on “Off the top of my head: Lessons learned, realizations and a few of my favorite things from my 2 1/2 weeks of travel

  1. Zowie…you need one more bullet point at least! ☺ Thanks Cari. Love driving through the bullets. My ONE bullet point is I love your bullet points!

  2. Welcome home….I feel like between this recap and the amazing pics on Instagram…it was almost as if I was with you. So…if you ever do another one of these trips…and you open it up to other women…sign me up. What an amazing experience that would be! And…it’s January and I am missing the Nourish retreat and hope that it makes it way back to Northern California next year…such a special time.
    Blessings to you!!!!! Lisa

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s