15 Signs You Have Extreme Wanderlust

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1.  You love getting lost.

You enjoy the thrill of taking random detours on road trips.  There’s no better feeling than disconnecting from social media and letting yourself just be still for awhile with nothing but the world around you.

2.  You see people and nature differently than most.

The world in general seems bigger to you than most people.  You see cities as millions of adventures to be had.  You see people as friends you haven’t met yet.  It’s the little things in life that make you the most happy – like the sun reflecting off a lake, a clear night perfect for star gazing, a patch of wild flowers.  You see the world differently.

3.  You have a bucket list.

One that is filled with places to visit or adventures to take. One you WILL complete. One that you continue to add to constantly.

4.  Planning the a trip is one of your favorite things.

You love to spend hours researching different destinations, finding out the cost of various trips, and getting yourself completely caught up in that heady and sublime feeling of wanderlust.

5.  You get excited as you anticipate your next trip, even if it’s weeks or months away.

You don’t necessarily care where you’re going or how far either.  If it’s a new place where you can experience new things, it’s worth it!

6.  You often look up flights to faraway destinations.

Even if you know you can’t afford it right now, you’re just curious at how much more you would have to save to travel far away.

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7.  You never consider where you are as the place you’ll be forever.

The thought of settling down with a family scares you to pieces, but even if you do finally settle down… you won’t live in the same place your. entire. life.  No way!

8.  You hate being expected to stick to an itinerary.

You find it confining and limiting when you’re traveling with a group of people or if your schedule requires it and you’re forced to pin down exact details of your trip.  You want to travel and explore on your own time and on your own terms.

9.  You’re often looking through old travel photos, which makes you nostalgic.

You always keep mementos like leftover change from other currencies in hopes you will be back again soon to use it.  You loved the experience you had and just want to jump through your old photos and relive it all over again.

10.  You’ll do whatever it takes to travel.

You’ll save money for months, use up all your airline miles, take vacation days off from work, or even study abroad a semester just to experience the world.

11.  You always have a notebook or camera on you.

You can find inspiration in the most unexpected places at times, so you always make sure to have something on you to capture a moment.

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12.  When people talk about the satisfaction of staying in the same place forever, you think they’re crazy!

You can’t imagine a life without exploring the foothills of the Himalayas or witnessing the remote beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.  You don’t simply want to read about other people’s adventures, you want to experience them yourself.  You’re fascinated and interested in seeing the whole world and feel that these kind of people need to open their eyes and live.

13.  You’re inspired by the unknown.

The thought of going to a land you’ve never been to and being surrounded by unknown faces and unfamiliar landscapes is one of the most exciting experiences to you.  It’s an adrenaline rush you can’t find anywhere else.

14.  Your favorite books or TV shows are always travel based.

When you can’t go off exploring on your own you seek inspiration within the pages of a travel memoir or on the Travel channel. You find that anytime you’re feeling a little listless just reading about someone else’s adventures helps you reignite your passion.

15.  You’re always thinking about your next adventure.

Whether it’s going on a random hiking trip or flying off to a new country, you always have your sights set on a new voyage.

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Failure is just a bruise, not a tattoo.

Life Lesson One:  It’s okay to fail.

Life is a curveball of experiences that you’ll have to navigate while wearing a blindfold.  There is no manual on how to do it right, and everyone’s experience is unique.  There are no guarantees, except that you will trip and you will fall flat on your face.  You will fail.

When you do fail, and you will, be strong enough and still enough to let the bruises and scrapes heal.  Then, get over it.  Get off your butt and get moving.  Hustle hard and actively live your life.  Try again, even though you’d rather crawl under your blankets or watch an entire season of The Office in one sitting.

Within this journey of life, you’ll enjoy great successes.  When you do, celebrate, because you’ve earned it.  Listen carefully, though, those successes still aren’t as important as the failures.  Does that surprise you?  Maybe not, since you’re probably all wiser than I am.  The thought of failure was almost debilitating to me in the past — still can be, sometimes — but over the years, I’ve failed enough to finally learn it isn’t a bad thing; it’s necessary.

Eventually, you’ll learn you must experience failure if you are to grow as a person.  Be wise enough to accept those failures as they are:  little blips.

Failures are not debilitating smackdowns from which you can’t recover, but rather, they’re lessons in your life that need learning.  No matter how devastating the failure may feel, you will always survive.   There’s always another chance, another opportunity, another day.

Why I Left the Apostolic Pentecostal Church

The Land Called Beulah

I have seen many people write blog posts and websites explaining why they are no longer a part of the Apostolic Pentecostal church (also known as the United Pentecostal Church (UPCI), Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship (WPF), or the Oneness/Jesus-Only Church). So I decided it was time that I write about why I left the Apostolic Pentecostal church as well.

My only request is this: if you choose to read part of this post that you read all of it.

I was determined I would be an Apostolic Pentecostal til the day I died. I loved the church, I loved living the holiness lifestyle, I loved the Bible, I loved God.

But one day the discussions started. Some family members showed me several reasons why the Apostolic Pentecostal church was wrong and why I shouldn’t worry about being associated with them anymore. And one day, I reasoned, “They’re right.” So I left…

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Read This When You Don’t Feel Good Enough.

My Dearest Sweet Soul,

The funny thing about not thinking that you’re good enough, or not thinking that you can make it in life, or not thinking you’re worthy, is that these thoughts have no real value.  It’s all in your head.  And you are your worst critic, so your thoughts do not define who you are.

We are ALL hopelessly flawed.  Everyone, at some point in their life, thinks they aren’t good enough at something or for someone.  We are all just luminous beings inside vulnerable hearts & bodies.  We are doing our best, sometimes fumbling through the dark, trying to make our way.

But IT’S OKAY to love yourself and all of your flaws because God loves you anyway.  He is known for using the imperfect, cracked vessels for His glory.  Consider your cracked vessel a blessing in the making.  And remember, God made you in “His Own Image” (Genesis 1:27).  So stop saying that you’re dirt, stop saying you’re scum of the Earth, stop saying you’re not worthy or good enough.  You ought to be careful about how you talk about God’s work.  You are desired and chased after by the Most High God.  You are made worthy through the blood of Jesus.

So love the dark places that God takes you through.  Love what’s cracked and parched.  What’s bruised and still bleeding.  Take this magnificent whole and be as kind and as gentle with it as you are with the sweet souls around you.  And with grace and humility; receive all the love, happiness, kindness, connection, money, travel, opportunity, privilege, praise, and acceptance that this beautiful life bestows upon you.  Look at your talents and use your incredible gifts for Jesus.  Use them to help others.

Keep growing.  Keep learning.  Keep opening your heart wider.  Be sweet.  Trust Jesus.  Work hard.  And don’t give up.

And most importantly, in this moment right now…please remember:

You are good.  You do enough.  You ARE good enough.

And rely on GOD because He’s the only One that truly has it all together.  Let HIM be the peace and strength you need ❤

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Africa Gets in Your Blood

Circa, June 2014. Kenya, Africa.

Circa, June 2013. Kenya, Africa.

The best day of my life occurred this day. 19 June 2013.

I never realized how disorientating international travel is.  Flying through the clouds on a typical airplane, with familiar food, seating and entertainment makes you feel like you could be anywhere.  It wasn’t until the last five minutes of descent that it started to sink in – I was far, far away & as soon as I hopped off that plane, nothing was familiar.

Although it was so unfamiliar, something about it still got in my blood.  The above photo was taken moments before I had to get back on the shuttle to leave.  This was at an elementary school I visited in Nairobi, Kenya.  This photo describes my trip in one snap. It defines the love Africans have for everyone & everything they taught me.  I needed Africa.  I needed it to open my eyes & help me realize that there’s so much more to life that we see everyday in America.  I needed it to show me what it means to love unconditionally.  I needed it to show me that I have enough & that I am enough.

I never imagined getting so attached to a group of kids that I only knew for about 45 minutes.  I mean, I never even got their names.  They will forever hold a place in my heart.  This was our final group hug.  If I could turn back time and replay this moment…I would tell them to hold me longer. To squeeze me tighter.  To never let go.

….Unfortunately, I do not have the power to do that.  & oh, how I wish I did.  I’ve never been more happy.  But until we meet again…in this life or the next…I will pray for them. I will pray that God will lead them and build them up to be wonderful, God-fearing men.  I will pray for their school.  I will pray for their family.  I will pray for their country. I will pray for their salvation.  Each and every day, I will pray ❤