How to Chase the Son

After finding out last minute that I was invited to go on this study abroad, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go, and I almost didn’t. But, boy am I sure glad that I have a supportive family and providing Father who made it all possible.

I never did anything to deserve such an indescribable and rare experience as this study abroad. Although I grew up on some of the most popular beaches of Florida that are many southerner’s destination location, I didn’t grow up traveling very much myself. And when my family and I did travel, it wasn’t very far. So, this trip has rocked my world way more than I ever thought it would. My heart of gratitude grows bigger every day. The real challenge lies in having a grateful attitude even when there are rough days, because there WILL be rough days.

The following are some tips that have helped me to have the right mindset and heart for traveling, especially with other people. These are things I am so thankful to have been able to learn in my time here.

  1. Don’t complain. Of course we all want to whine a little bit here and there when the weather gets hot or our feet hurt from walking. But, I learned that if I fight those thoughts from seeping into my head, I will be able to tolerate the experience a little bit better.
  2. Be content. I realized that lowering expectations for my plans will also lower my chances of disappointment. If I can find joy in whatever I am doing or however a situation turns out, I am less reliant on everything going ‘perfectly.’
  3.  Show a heart of thankfulness. Along with not complaining and being content, I started to grow a heart of thankfulness in all I was doing. When I am somewhere for a long time, my thankfulness can slowly begin to fade as I get accustomed to my surroundings. I have to keep the fire of thankfulness lit as long as possible, because I know that once I return I will reminisce of my time abroad.

I hope that these simple, and seemingly obvious yet often unpracticed, tips can help anyone abroad or traveling because I know that while I’ve been chasing the sun, it all the while has helped me to keep chasing the Son!

Stay rad,

Temple Nichols

-Literally chasing the sun on one of the many early morning, sunrise flights to our next destination on this study abroad.