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World Traveler

By Monika McKnight

World Traveler – That’s one word you can use to describe me. I’m always asked, “Where are you headed to next?”, because I’m usually going on a trip, just coming from a trip or planning a trip. I’ve always traveled since I was a little girl to visit family who live hundreds of miles away, but in last 12 years I expanded my journeys to go not only cross country but internationally as well. As I’m writing this now, I have just returned from Okinawa, somewhere I never thought of going until recently. That makes my 2nd trip to Japan in two years.

So why travel so much? Yeah there’s the relaxation aspect of it, but I take small trips for that. For me it is the ability to see other cultures and see the beauty of God’s creation all over the world. I take more interest in sites I can see in person and appreciate them so much more. In Oregon and Washington, I saw the fresh greenery of the land. I saw the same in New Zealand, thousands of miles away. I’ve seen the waterfalls of Oregon and Hawaii and beaches of Australia, Jamaica and Okinawa.

One trip that stands out is a visit to Auckland, NZ. I didn’t know this before I landed there, but Auckland is known as the City of Volcanoes. There are approximately 50 volcanoes that have erupted. The craters are all around the city. I visited Mount Eden, climbed to the top and while looking out over the city also looked out on a crater now covered with grass. One crater we visited is now a man-made lake.  There is even hardened lava on the beach. While they say there is very little chance of a volcano erupting, (the last one erupted over 600 years ago), it was surprising to know that so many have erupted in the city. But even in all that I was able to see the beauty of the city. New Zealand gets tons of rain; therefore, the cities are very green and beautiful. Although there are several craters, they have turned something beautiful to see. Standing on top of Mt. Eden allowed me to see the beauty of Auckland from above. Traveling through the city there was beauty everywhere. I visited a beef and dairy farm where the movies The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings were filmed. The farm was full of rolling green hills like nothing I have ever seen. Here in California we don’t get that kind of greenery. I enjoy seeing God’s creation even in the things we might think of as bad, such volcanoes. I will never forget that trip and what I learned. God created a world full of beauty and I appreciate it all that much more.
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