Why Backpack Through Europe for 10 Weeks?

When Tom and I first started talking about doing a longer vacation someday, it seemed like a distant dream. But yet in about two weeks time, we will be doing just that! And now we are not just looking forward to a vacation – we are looking forward to an experience. To encounter a new way of living.

There is a trendy term called “vagabonding” that has inspired us in how we are planning our travels. It refers to the idea of traveling from place to place with no settled home. From the outside, it may seem like we have our whole life together. We are married, have a house, have stable jobs – many things that should lead to a fulfilling life. And we are fulfilled and happy! Yet both of us often have this "unsettled" feeling, always having this desire to better ourselves, to push the limits, to dive deeper into who we are meant to be. It is the desire of knowing we are not called to “settle,” but rather to keep searching and learning. And with this desire in tow, we will embark on our mini “vagabonding” experience.

“Vagabonding is about gaining the courage to loosen your grip on the so-called certainties of this world. [It] is about taking control of your circumstances instead of passively waiting for them to decide your fate… It’s the ongoing practice of looking and learning, of facing fears and altering habits, of cultivating new fascination with people and places. This attitude is not something you can pick up at the airport counter with your boarding pass; it’s a process that starts at home.” (Vagabonding, Rolf Potts)

And to us, vagabonding just seems like a secular term for a pilgrimage. It’s the relativistic way of looking for meaning in your life through experiences that will most likely make you feel empty at the end, only searching for more. Instead, we want to turn this idea of vagabonding into a spiritual journey. To take each day as a new opportunity. To accept what comes our way and to let go of what is not meant to be. To rely on each other and grow in our love and admiration for one another. To learn from those who have walked this earth before us and to appreciate the wisdom others have to offer. To encounter God in new places, and more importantly, ever deeper in ourselves. And of course, to eat delicious food and enjoy some really good beer and wine. And hopefully, in opportunities to do these things in small ways, we can bring back what we learn into our home and have an ever greater focus on what is meaningful and important in our lives.

If you want to travel along with us, I will be trying to blog about once a week along the way. Until then, au revoir! (First stop: Paris)