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Personal Travel

Lands of Beauty

June 2, 2011

The feeling I get in my tummy every time I drive to the airport to take off to a new and far away land is priceless. I feel like a little kid at Christmas. Traveling has not become a part of who I am simply because you then get a ‘break’ from normal life (however, that’s not a bad perk), but because I get to go see a new horizon that God so intentionally made with His own two hands. The flat land of Indiana is nothing like the next state or country over. No place is better than another, but each corner of the earth holds its own beauty and treasure to be found. Within each corner are thousands of people made in the image of Christ. I was fortunate enough to embark on a two week journey to three distant lands, each uniquely beautiful. I got to travel across the seas and see a piece of art so perfect. This is such a way that I can be totally and completely enthralled in God and who He is. He is a master of His craft.

The Photo below is a simple representation of Prague and what it holds. The bridge in the center is that of the Charles Bridge. The beauty was breath taking and a place that I came to love during our short stay.
A bridge that crossed the ‘Venice of Prague’ was one of my favorite parts of the city. People from around the world come with their loved one to place a single lock on the bridge in a location of their own desire and toss the key into the river below. This signifies that love is eternal and their love will last forever. It is my hope that someday I can find a love so pure and strong with God at the center of it all.
On the final night, I simply sat in awe of a city so wonderfully crafted. The night sky will forever be engrained into my mind.
Early the next morning we boarded a train to make our way into the city of Budapest. Our time her was extra short. Exhaustion had officially set in by this time as well. Budapest was not nearly as welcoming as Prague. We had a hotel that would rock your socks off, but beyond those walls were questionable in our minds. However, we took our chances and some how figured out how to make our way around the city to visit chapels, churches, eateries, and true Budapest-ian restaurants. The city had a wonderful view, I just think the some of the people needed a big hug!
Final stop… Vienna!
This place totally amazed me. From the second we got off the hydrofoil and made our way to our hotel, I could see myself living in such a city. Beyond the beauty, the people were of great character. After all, it is the people that make a city, not it’s land marks.
Our hotel was located just beyond the palace walls where I fell head-over-heels in love with Austria. Such beauty has become a part of the lives of people in the community. Dozens of people took part in walks, runs, cozied in a corner meditating and reading a good book. (This is my kind of place!) We spent our days exploring the city by metro seeing art, markets, museums, and hundreds of street corners. The nights were spent in bier gardens full of laughter and good conversation. These are the nights I most often reflect on when I think about my time spent away from home.
I could spend forever here.
After a long and heightened trek up to the top of the grounds, the view was worth every second of it.
While the plane ride back was the most unpleasant (I had the worst seat in the entire plane, you can ask anyone), we made it back to America. Three wonderful stops in lands so foreign to me filled me with love, appreciation, and awe of who God is. National Geographic was right when they named these three cities as three of the top fifty places in the world to visit.
I am so thankful for my experiences.

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