Mother's column – The best destination is closer than you think


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo Unsplash, Toomas Tartes

“It is better to travel one mile than to read a thousand books”, Confucius supposedly said. Many centuries later, countless websites of travel agencies use this quote. And it is true: travelling broadens your horizon and enriches your life.

But do not forget that Confucius talked about one mile, not thousands of kilometres. Also, in those days, there were no polluting airplanes. And viruses and virus variants could not spread internationally at breakneck speed.

Our unlimited travel desires are untamed. As soon as travel restrictions were somewhat lifted, the airports flooded with people. Armed with bucket lists, backpacks and cameras, we travel to the most exotic destinations to see what we have read on the internet with our own eyes.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (8), Abel (6), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (0).

And how does it benefit us? I remember a trip to Israel years ago. A wonderful country with the richest history in the world. But, when I wandered among the masses of tourists past just another holy place, I questioned whether this was all.

One of my dearest holiday memories, on the other hand, I made in the Dutch village of Lunteren, only a few kilometres from my home town. There I joined a teen camp, where young Christians and young refugees met each other for a week.

Suddenly I found myself in a Bible study group with a few guys that I would have avoided in the shopping street. Everyone had his or her own life story and culture. What an enriching experience! And that in the rural area of my home country, the Netherlands.

What will the future bring? New travel restrictions maybe? Whatever happens, let us finally value our trips of a single mile and enjoy the little things we encounter on the way: the blackberries on the roadside, the singing of the birds, the traces of history.

The days may come when even travelling a single mile is no longer allowed, for example, during a strict lockdown or quarantine period. Maybe then the thousands of books will be useful anyways. We travel with the knight Tiuri through the rocky mountains to the kingdom of Unauwen, just while reading “The Letter for the King”. Or we search with Lucy for the land beyond the wardrobe door. And who knows, maybe we can flee with Christian from the City of Destruction and walk on the narrow road, on our way to the light. That is way better than travelling a thousand miles.



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