Friday, January 13, 2017


For this writing assignment, I'm supposed to share about five places I'd like to visit. If only there were just five places I'd like to go! I honestly couldn't narrow it down. I want to be able to visit all of the countries where Compassion works, and there are a couple dozen of those. I want to see several countries in Europe and tons of places in my own country. I want to go to Alaska, Seattle, northern California, Chicago, New York (More than just the airport), New Orleans, the Dakotas.....all over. So since I have to pick five, how about I pick five places I want to go back to?

5. Atlanta. It has been a while since I went to Atlanta- probably before I got married. I feel like we used to go all the time when I was a kid, because I have family there. My dad worked for Delta for a while and my uncle used to live there. My aunt still does. The last time that we were there, mom was working a conference and we were heading on to Disney World after that, so we worked a bit and we also did some fun stuff. There's a lot I like about Atlanta. I like the history and the Civil War museums, even though they were on the wrong side. I loved the zoo- I think I was 10 years old the last time I was there! The botanical gardens are absolutely gorgeous (that was the last trip) and there are lots of cool parks and museums, too. There are a lot of things I'm remembering that would be really fun to re-visit, and a lot that Brandon has never seen before that I want to share with him! 

4. Washington, D.C. I think a lot of people visit Washington for 8th grade trips. My school did that. But I was in 8th grade in 2001. And a big thing happened then that made our school administration feel Washington might not be a safe place to visit just then. My family couldn't really afford the trip, anyway, so I probably wasn't going to go. But the summer after I finished 8th grade, my cousin went to a sports camp thing at a school in Washington, and my aunt and grandpa were going to make the trip up with her, and I got invited along. We went to a few of the museums and monuments, and it was cool- but I'd like to see more of it. And as a 14 year old, I didn't really appreciate what I was seeing at the time. My fascination with politics and the presidency didn't really set in until I was in college. I care a lot more about what I'd be seeing now than I did then. I hope that Brandon and I are able to make a trip over there sometime and see everything that I missed the first time, and give a better look to the places I've already visited. 

3. Gatlinburg. My family used to visit Gatlinburg a lot. I think it was every year for the first few years of my life. And then every other year (we'd alternate between Myrtle Beach and Gatlinburg for a while.) I feel really sentimental about that place, and it makes me sad that I haven't been there in so long! Brandon and I have never taken a vacation together (not since our honeymoon, anyway) and since Gatlinburg is only a few hours away, I'm really hoping we can go there sometime in the next two or three years. So much of it is kitschy and touristy, but I still love it. I love the mountains and the little shops, and all the candy stores (a large part of the town smells like sugar.) I like driving through the woods and I like eating at the Pancake Pantry. It just makes me feel happy. 

2. Honduras. I liked being there and the people were really nice, but mostly I just want to hug my kids again. Honduras is really pretty and the people are lovely, but I didn't quite connect with the culture as deeply as I did with the next place. 

1. Tanzania. For over two years, I thought about Tanzania every day. I ached to go back there. I miss the red dirt and the clay homes and the big pots of food that I got really sick of eating. I miss hearing Swahili and sweetly accented English. I miss the radiant joy and open hearts. Since I went to Honduras last October, that ache has subsided just a little. I deeply miss being with my kids in Honduras, and feel like I have to get back there as soon as I can to squeeze them and play with them and hold hands and talk with them. But Honduras is a lot closer and more accessible than Tanzania is. If I got a ticket right now to go anywhere I wanted, it would be Tanzania. If I had to move to another country for some inexplicable reason, it would be Tanzania. If I could recommend a place for someone to visit, for a week or a month, it would be Tanzania. It gets under your skin and sets up permanent residence in your heart. You can't shake it. And I so hope that I get to go back someday. 


  1. Our family loves Gatlinburg too! Good to hear we are not the only ones. The surrounding area is so pretty too. Hopefully it bounces back fast from the fire.

  2. Ooh! I want to go back to D.C.!! Five places is so hard.... I want to go everywhere! Literally! Ok, except maybe Antarctica. Although seeing penguins would be cool!!


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