I travel for a living.
It’s what I do.
In the past 5 years, I’ve been to over 30 countries on 5 continents. I have spent more time overseas than in America. I’ve interacted with dozens of cultures, gawked at many of the 7 world wonders, preached in front of hundreds, and lived stories that most people only read about in books or Nat Geo.
I learned how to drive stick shift on the infamous “Death Road” in Bolivia. I walked the same trail that ancient Incan kings traversed to Machu Picchu. I shared time in a panaderia with drug dealers and cartel hit men in Colombia. I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer power of Victoria Falls.
The past 5 years have been a whirlwind, and I’ve been blessed to fit what seems like a lifetime into them.
But when people ask me what my favorite part of my travels has been, rarely do I mention one of the wonders of the world or one of the crazy adventures I’ve been on. (Unless, of course, I’m feeling insecure at a dinner party, and I’m looking to have the best story in the room.) Most of the time, my best stories are ones of simplicity.
The happiest I was when I went out on the World Race (a mission trip to 11 countries in 11 months) was during a pickup soccer game with a local family and friends. The best sunset I saw happened while I was playing basketball on a neighborhood court in Zambia. One of my favorite Christmases ever was spent hammocking on the banks of a river with some friends in Laos-- after eating some of the worst sausage I’ve ever tasted. My South African mother still texts me to encourage me and tell me that she’s praying for my wife, and I’m brought to tears almost every time.
These are the stories that get me. Not the “epic adventures." Because though I’ve been blessed to experience the “epic adventures," they often don’t feel that way in the moment. And I usually leave tired and underwhelmed. But my adventures have taught me to BE the adventure. They’ve taught me to LIVE ON PURPOSE.
I can now appreciate a sunset from anywhere in the world, and a field of wild flowers now leaves me near tears almost every time. Teaching little Niko English is now more than just a volunteer opportunity, it’s a chance to call out his potential as we figure out together the best way for this future Lionel Messi to learn. I no longer cook breakfast or dinner, I make gourmet meals. And I make them really well. My barber Angel is a good friend that I share life giving conversation with as I’m getting my hair cut.
I’m more alive than I’ve ever felt.
And closer to God than I’ve ever been.
It’s all because I’ve decided to live this moment to it’s fullest. Because I’ve decided to LIVE ON PURPOSE.
No more will I “get through” a work day to get to the next big thing. No longer do I need the big tourist attractions or the large Instagram followings to make me feel alive. Because God has given me life, and it’s flowing outward from me. I can now see Him in everything. And when I am operating this way, life takes on a whole new meaning. It’s a whole new adventure!
At Kingdom Adventure Travel, we’re on a journey, a pilgrimage. A journey to know God, ourselves, and the world He’s given us to steward more intimately. And we’re doing it with all the intensity and vigor that we can muster.
Sometimes we fall down and sometimes we get lazy, but we always get back up and get running again. We’re social entrepreneurs, writers, missionaries, travelers, students, and 9-5 workers. But we all have one thing in common: We’re on a kingdom journey, chasing after the rest that is Jesus.
KAT’s blog tells our stories. Some will be about travel, some will be about the spiritual journey, and some will be about business. But they’ll all tell the stories of pilgrims who LIVE ON PURPOSE.