Summary: It is a great joy to travel, and is also a great joy to take other people with you when you travel.
When I went to Egypt, I took a cruise on the Nile from Aswan to Luxor on the M.S.S. Salacia. On that cruise, I met a man from Austria named Elmar. He traveled by himself. He had a German speaking guide who led him around the sites. He seemed to enjoy just traveling by himself. But most people don’t. They want to go with someone. But who do you take? For me, that is a particularly difficult question. I have seven children, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and a wife. Who should I take? My second trip to Egypt with my two daughters and wife cost around $14,000. Only with the special Covid money and their money from work were we able to afford it (see my explanation of this *here). There was no way I could take all 11.
The trip to Scotland was the easiest choice. It was simply wanting to give my daughter a great senior trip. The only problem was that I wasn’t taking my wife. When I told her that I was taking my daughter to Scotland, I thought our marriage was over (not really). It was only reluctantly that she agreed to the trip. After I got back from the trip with Anna, I knew that I had to make up for it somehow. So, how do you make up for not taking your wife to Scotland? You take her to Cancun for a week without any of the kids. It was a great trip. She had always wanted that type of vacation, but we had never seen clear to make it happen. In Egypt, my view of all-inclusive resorts changed, as I will explain in a later post.
After I got back from Egypt, so many people said they would like to go to Egypt that I decided I would try to go back and lead a tour. I began letting people know that I was going to take a trip to Egypt. People started showing interest. Eventually, I took 10 people to Egypt with me. Doing that was a challenge and a lot of work, but it was also rewarding to give people a trip to Egypt that they might never have taken on their own.
International travel had such an impact on me that I finally followed up on an idea that I had had for a long time. Our church had supported a missionary for a long time who founded a camp in Spain. He then started a ministry to help the many Christian camps in Spain. Part of that new ministry was using his contacts in the U.S. to help teams from the States come and work at the camps in a variety of ways. So, in April 2022, I went to visit him, see the camps, and plan for the future. I asked my daughter, who had been working on Spanish and getting quite good at it, “Would you like to go visit the Frank’s with me in Spain?”
She replied, “Is that even a question?” I had my travel buddy with me again.
At this point, it wasn’t that big of a deal to my wife, because we had planned to go to Egypt with two of our other daughters. We also took the same daughters on some of our other trips.
When I planned a second trip to Mexico to attend a wedding, it was just not possible for anyone from my family to go. So, I turned to one of my closest friends, Art Stump, and invited him to go with me. He agreed. We planned to tour Jalisco. This was something he never would have done without my instigation, so it gave me an opportunity to show a good friend a part of the world he might never see. He even started Latin dance lessons to be ready to dance at the Mexican wedding!
Our mission trip also panned out. I agreed to the mission trip to work at a camp in Spain before I had any commitments from anybody to go with me. I set aside two and a half weeks to be in Spain. I thought, “What is the worst that can happen? I spend two weeks in Spain? That doesn’t seem too bad.” However, I was very grateful that five people went with me, three teenagers and two other adults. I was so thankful that God opened that door and gave them that experience. I met last week with one of those who went on the trip, and we had such a great time talking about our memories of the trip.
There is the joy of traveling, but there is also the joy of giving the gift of traveling to others. There is the joy of the companionship in exploring a new country and then reliving it over and over again as you share the memories and experiences. If we ever want a little escape from our day life, I can always ask one of my daughters, “What goes through your mind when you think of Egypt?” Travel companions amplify the joy of traveling and establish a bond that lasts long after the trip.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you are inspired to travel and to take someone with you who might not travel otherwise! If you want to read more about my travel experiences, click here. I hope to see you again!