Islands Beginning With “M”

Last year, on Christmas Eve, my lovely wife-to-be and I flew from Seattle to Maui. We got married a few days later. With the exception of a tiny group of family and friends, we didn’t tell anyone. 51 weeks later, and a few things have changed. New vocations, new city, new country. Flying to Maui to celebrate is a little out of the way from London. Fortunately, the rest of Europe is at our doorstep. So, we are headed out to a different island – Mallorca, Spain. It’s a major summer tourist destination for Brits and Germans. It looks beautiful in pictures, so we’re excited to see it for ourselves. It’ll be a week too early to celebrate our official anniversary, but it’s close enough. Since we’ll probably have limited Internet access, let me cheat the Advent calendar just a little and wish you a Merry Christmas. While we are […]

Africa Comes First

The preparations for the big move to London continue. Most of our belongings are either gone now, or will be in the next couple of days. We’re trying to nail down housing, say goodbye to friends, and tie up all the loose ends. But what I haven’t mentioned much, whether on this blog, or on other social media outlets is that when I get on an airplane in four days, it won’t be London bound. First, I’m headed to Africa. I’ll be joining up with the cohort of students I help supervise through George Fox Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry in Global Missional Leadership. I’ve blogged about this program in the past. The cohort of students I work with met up for the first time about a year ago in the UK and Germany, and this time around, we’re going to be learning together in Nairobi, Kenya and Me’kele, Ethiopia. We’ll […]

Greenbelt 2010

I’ve just finished my first journey to the Greenbelt festival in the UK. It takes place at a horse racing track, in a lovely town called Cheltenham, in the green rolling hills of the English countryside. Tourists come from all over to the area to take in the beauty of the area. The festival has been running for nearly forty years, and has developed a tremendously loyal following among the attendees. I lost count of the number of people I talked to, who said that they’ve been coming for fifteen years or more, only missing once or twice in that whole time. It has really become an important annual pilgrimage for many Christians in the UK. About 20,000 people come each year, the vast majority of whom will pitch a tent and camp on the festival grounds. Greenbelt is similar to the Christian festivals in the United States, in that […]

Travel Time Once Again

After nearly seven months of USAmerican domestication, I’ll be headed off the continent again soon. Here’s what’s next for me: – Greenbelt: This is a legendary music and arts festival in England that about 20,000 attend. Previous artists to play the festival? U2, Moby, and Midnight Oil to name a few. It’s similar in some ways to Christian festivals in the States, but it has a much more open constituency, is more inclusive of non-musical art forms, and is more politically engaged with issues of social justice. I’ve got a bunch of friends to hang out with there – some from Seattle, and a few that I made during my trip to the UK last fall. This festival has been on my radar since about 1986, so I’m excited for the opportunity to go. – George Fox Evangelical Seminary’s new Doctor of Ministry in Global Missional Leadership. After a long time […]

What Should I Blog About?

Since returning from my trip, I’ve been told a number of times by a surprising array of people, that they really enjoyed following my adventures around the world. I realize that in the past month or so of the trip, my pace of posting slowed significantly, but I’m really humbled and thankful for everyone’s interest. But, I’m home now. And trying to re-focus the direction of my blogging seems like a good thing to do. Before I leave my trip blogging to the archives, though, I wanted to check with you, dear readers, and see if there were some questions or topics that I didn’t write enough about. Is there something that you were curious about related to the trip? It could be anything – the nuts and bolts of travel, foods to look for on your next trip, theological lessons learned, politics, health care, personal reflections, top ten lists […]

Summer in Cape Town

It’s either a big shame or a really good thing that Cape Town, South Africa is so far away and relatively difficult to get to from North America.  Big shame, in that few folks from that continent will ever be able to go there and see this amazingly beautiful place.  Really good thing, in that if were more accessible, the place would likely get overrun with tourists and wrecked. My January timing for being in Cape Town meant I was there right in the middle of summer.  Warm, sunny weather.  Brilliant blue skies.  Stunning. Cape Town seems to have something for just about everyone. I stayed just outside of the downtown area in Green Point, where a new futbol stadium has just been built for the FIFA World Cup.  The stadium is a block away from beautiful beaches.  I went to thebeach and hung out, just overlooking the water.  Given […]

Malaysia Recap

Once again, apologies are in order for some quiet days on the blog.  Internet connectivity has been spotty at best since I left Malaysia.  I will try hard over the next few days to catch up. While I only spent five or six days in Kuala Lumpur, they were pretty efficient in terms of the number experiences I had and the number things I was able to see.  I must say that this efficiency was due mostly to my most excellent host, Sivin Kit, and the schedule he put together for me.  Here’s a quick run-down of my time: –       Late evening arrival on New Year’s Eve.  It was late, but not so late  that I wasn’t able to have dinner with my Sivin, get checked into my guest lodging, and see three different fireworks displays from my window at the strike of midnight. –  Walked the streets of KL […]

A Quiet Week in Bangkok

Happy New Year everyone!  I do hope that wherever you spent your Christmas and New Year celebrations, you had a good time.  Apparently, I crawled into some dark cave during the holidays, as evidenced by the lack of activity on the blog.  If you come here to check in and see whether or not I’ve avoided contracting some exotic disease during my time away, my apologies for having made you worry. On Christmas Eve, I flew from India to Bangkok, Thailand, checked into an upscale hotel and just let the next week go by in a pretty casual sort of way.  By that point, I had been on this global treck of mine for a solid two months, and fatigue was beginning to show up.  So, while I checked out a couple seminaries in Bangkok online and could have tried to make some contacts with folks, I figured the holidays […]

India Journal: Progress in the Midst of Pain

As I mentioned in another recent post, I just completed spending several days in India.  I also said that, having spent nearly three weeks in Delhi, and some of the north/central parts of the country about 18 months ago, I was eager to come back, and to explore some of the other cities that I’ve heard so much about, namely Mumbai and Bangalore. While these two cities are very different in some obvious ways, they are still India.  And for someone from the outside, that can be jarring.  I think that given that I’d been here before, I underestimated the impact that being here would have on me.  My hotel in Mumbai was within a half-mile of one of the largest shanty cities in the world – go watch this clip from Slumdog Millionaire, and you’ll see it for yourself.  It’s right there next to the airport.  I’m glad I […]

The Misnomer of Traveling Alone

Over the past week or so, I’ve been much more on my own in my travels.  Just about as quickly as posted about engagement vs. consumption in travel, and the importance of making personal connections in the places I’ve gone, I visited two cities in which I had exactly zero deep-level engagements.  I actually had a few leads in these places, but unfortunately, none of them worked out. Anyway, almost from the beginning of this trip, I’ve been kicking around writing a post about the ups and downs of traveling alone.  Fortunately, because of the number of new friends I’ve made along the way, I haven’t been truly alone very often.  However, this definitely is an “alone” trip in many ways, so here are a few quick thoughts (I’m not even going to attempt an exhaustive list). Five “ups” of traveling alone: –  I’ve been able to be enormously self-centered […]