2018 exceeded my expectations.
After three solo trips to Europe in 2017, I hoped to at least match that level of travel in 2018. And God gave me MORE. He went beyond my dreams. I’m learning, more and more, He tends to do that when we surrender to Him.
Now, God knows I love travel and adventure. He made me that way! But, they’re also passions that I know could easily veer into idol territory. Travel and adventure could easily become the things I seek for joy and fulfillment in life. And, I never ever EVER want that to happen!
Sooooo, I make a point to give every trip to God. Every location. Every flight. Every activity. All of it. If a flight deal pops up to a place I want to go – and there are no initial barriers to me booking it – I buy the ticket. And I pray. I plan the trip. And I pray. Up until the day I leave, I pray. “God, if there is any reason you do not want me to go on this trip, take it from me.”
While God has graciously allowed me to travel a LOT this year, there was one trip He did take away. New Zealand. Back in January 2018, I booked a flight from Sarasota to Auckland for only $330. (Not a typo.) It was a mistake fare that Scott’s Cheap Flights (aka. my employer) sent out, and I planned to go with my friend Brittany in May. Buuuuut… here’s the thing about mistake fares. The airline doesn’t have to honor them. And, guess what? Air New Zealand didn’t.
Was I disappointed? Absolutely. But I know that God knows better than me. If He doesn’t want me to go someplace, I’m not supposed to go. And I’m okay with that because He is the true source of my joy – not travel, not adventure, not crossing something off my list or living out my biggest dreams.
Any experience He allows in my life is a gift. And anything He doesn’t? Well, that’s still love. Love that gives me everything I need and nothing that I don’t.
In 2018, His love allowed me to experience the following:
- JANUARY 16 – 20: San Francisco with my sister Jenessa and our honorary sister-friend Kristen
- JANUARY 31 – FEBRUARY 3: Portland, OR and the Columbia River Gorge in Washington state to meet Scott and a few of my Scott’s Cheap Flights teammates
- MARCH 6 – 12: O’ahu, Hawaii with my dad
- MARCH 13 – 18: Charleston, SC to volunteer for Charleston Fashion Week
- MAY 18 – 25: Switzerland (Lucerne, Interlaken, Lauterbrunnen, and Zurich)
- MAY 21: Bungee jumping in the Alps
- JUNE 6 – 10: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- JUNE 15 – 17: Jacksonville, FL to visit my dear friend Kelly
- JULY 10 – 24: Southwest Michigan to visit my family
- JULY 13 – 15: Girls’ weekend in Chicago with my mom and sisters
- DECEMBER 1 – 8: European trip
- DECEMBER 2 – 3: Brussels, Belgium
- DECEMBER 4: The Hague, Netherlands
- DECEMBER 5: Luxembourg, Luxembourg
- DECEMBER 6 – 7: Paris, France
It was exceedingly more than I ever imagined I’d do at the beginning of 2018 – and I’m exceedingly grateful!
Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (NKJV)
How did 2018 exceed your expectations?