Every trip you take can become a journey to wonder. Travel expands your perception, helping you discover wonder along the way. This summer, I hope you’ll take all the opportunities you have to travel, and enjoy!
In Wake Up to Wonder, I show why travel is a vital part of lifelong learning and explain research that links travel to awe. I also point out that any type of travel can bring us well-being benefits, so travel doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Simply traveling anywhere you can afford to go, whenever you can make time to go, can lead you to wonder.
Traveling is one of my favorite ways to seek wonder, and I try to go exploring whenever possible throughout the year – whenever I can reasonably pursue an adventure. Summer is a classic travel season. So, during the summer months this year, I’ll focus this blog on ideas for three main types of trips I love (and hope you will too!): nature trips (June), international trips (July), and family heritage trips (August).
Nature trips are especially powerful ways to encounter wonder, because every part of nature reflects something wondrous about God, who set it in motion. As Romans 1:20 declares: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Learn more about how nature reflects God’s character in this Crosswalk.com article that’s based on the nature chapter in Wake Up to Wonder. Read these nature blogs too, to keep exploring the connections between wonder and nature.
Visiting parks whenever possible will give you regular doses of wonder. Simply strolling among the trees at a local park can inspire you with awe, if you take wonder walks there. But trips to regional, state, and national parks can immerse you in nature for longer periods of time – and bring you into contact with some of our planet’s most awesome natural settings. Our family loves to visit parks whenever possible, and one of our favorite park programs is the Junior Ranger program for U.S. national parks. That program is open to people of all ages. So, you don’t need to be a child to enjoy the sense of childlike wonder you can experience from participating in it.
One awe-inspiring natural place we plan to visit this summer is Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The photo that illustrates this blog shows Lake Louise, one of that park’s famous turquoise lakes. For years, my late uncle dreamed of visiting Lake Louise, and I encouraged him to do so. Unfortunately, he kept delaying his dream, and then passed away before he got there. The memory of our conversations about Lake Louise motivated me to plan our own trip there, where we’ll be thinking of him. If there is a particular natural setting you would love to see, I hope you’ll prioritize traveling there as soon as you can.
Wonder is waiting for you outside in nature. Enjoy!