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  • Victoria Bly

Travel that Has Shaped Us, Part 10: Where my Narrow Mindsets were Broken Open

This piece is part of an ongoing series in which we will explore how travel has shaped our lives - who we are and how we see the world. We will include multiple voices in the course of the series, and we welcome YOUR submissions.

When we look over our lives, we can see milestones and events that have shaped us along the way. We can observe the ways they’ve shaped our world-views, our sense of culture, our characters, and shaped the way we look at others who are different from us. Our team is exploring the traveling we've done over the course of our lives so far and how those travels have shaped who we are up to this point. Our hope is that this multi-part series will prompt you to reflect on your own experiences and discern how your life has been impacted by your adventures and journeys.

Growing Up Traveling

Travel has impacted my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Growing up, my little family didn’t have much, but we did have each other. At that time, travel to us looked like booking a staycation at the local hotel, grabbing food at a restaurant we hadn’t tried yet, and indulging in rich and meaningful quality time.

When my father came into the picture, we were extremely fortunate to learn that he valued travel in ways we had never known before.

The experiences that shaped me the most were our travels to Honduras. Before Honduras, we had been on fun summer vacations to Florida or on a quick cruise down to Cozumel, but there was something completely different about Honduras that set our hearts on fire for the people of different places.

Falling in Love with the People of Honduras

My parents led the global missions ministry of our church at the time, and Honduras quickly became a passion of ours. The location, of course, is absolutely stunning, but more than that, the people are out of this world. The way we were able to do ministry in Honduras was a bit different than normal missions. Although we would only be there for a couple weeks at a time, we would come back summer after summer to the same place and encounter the same people.

I will never forget getting off of the plane, packing our whole entire team into the back of a truck bed and hanging on for dear life as we rode about an hour and a half to meet with our beloved friends. As soon as we turned the corner and entered the property, we were met with expectation, hugs, gifts, and laughs.

You know those types of friendships where it doesn’t matter how long since you last saw them, and whenever you finally do, it’s like you were never apart? That’s how our friendship was with these locals. Every time my family would go, we were completely embraced and enveloped into the culture that my heart so often craved. The pace of life was slower. The stress of life was less. The weight of the world was lifted. These people didn’t have much, but it was absolutely beautiful to see that their world was not shaped by what they did not have. Their world was shaped by their love. The Honduran lifestyle is one marked with absolute contentment, ease, gratitude, and excitement. I never quite knew the “plan” of the day, but I learned to “go with the flow.”

These precious people taught me more about the real meaning of life -- how we were actually created to live and breathe as human beings. They taught me the importance of holding your loved ones close and inviting your neighbors in even closer. They showed me the value of believing the best in others and taking life one step at a time.

Without these annual experiences, my life would most likely look totally different. Because of my time in Honduras, I have a deep appreciation for other cultures and lifestyles outside of what many call, “The American Dream.” There was something burning in my heart each time I left that led me to not only need to know how other people lived, but also to experience and embrace the lifestyles for myself.

Because of Honduras, my narrow mindsets were broken open to a world of thinking outside of myself, my family, my city, and my country. It allowed me to fall in love with those who look nothing like me, and have an ache in my heart to encounter as many different cultures, customs, and traditions that I can in my life.

My heart for traveling, and even life itself, has been shaped thanks to the beautiful people of Honduras, and because of that, I am forever grateful.

No matter where we go, travel shapes us in ways we could not predict or imagine. The world is so big and full of limitless opportunities for growth and the expansion of our minds and our hearts.

We share these stories to inspire you to reflect on how you've been shaped by your own journeys. And what about tomorrow's adventures? How might your future travels develop you, your family, and your circle of friends into the people you want to be? We'd love to hear from you about how you've been shaped by your travel experiences.

Join us on the blog for another installment of our series “Travel that Has Shaped Us.” If you’d like to submit an autobiographical piece for our series, please contact us.

More from this Series:

Part 1: Traveling with my Hubby by Christie Costello

Part 2: Building Relationships Cross Culturally by Christie Costello

Part 3: How I Fell in Love with Travel by Monga Abila

Part 4: Growing Up a Traveler by Christie Costello

Part 5: Moving to the Other Side of the World by Dacoda Maddalone

Part 6: Missions Travel by Christie Costello

Part 7: Fam-cations and Friend-cations by Christie Costello

Part 8: Bali & Growing in Gratitude by Dacoda Maddalone

Part 9: The Culture that Opened my Eyes by Anna Fowler

Part 10: Where my Narrow Mindsets were Broken Open by Victoria Bly

#travel #culturaltravel #Hondurastravel #crossculturalexperience #Hungary #discover #culturalintelligence #culturalrelationships #traveltolearn

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