January 29, 2018

Lessons From Travelling Light by Bob Jones

In 1979, Jocelyn and I honeymooned on the exotic shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario. An assistant pastor’s salary did not hold a lot of promise for travel abroad. Our families had never traveled off the continent.

Not in our wildest dreams did we imagine that we would be sent on missions trips, sponsored for conferences, be invited internationally to preach, gifted with appreciation travel, lead Holy Land tours, or be hosted by friends on European assignment.

Dr. Seuss must have had people like us in mind when he wrote, Oh The Places You’ll Go.

However you go, traveling is a blessing. Seeing the world can change your world.

Oh, the places you'll go in 2018 on your writing journey. Don't be surprised at how and where God will take you.

Over the last four decades Jocelyn and I have traveled in single engine aircraft, sea planes, helicopters, Boeing jetliners, buses, vans, tuk tuks, taxis, horse-drawn carriages, bicycles, ferries, barges and riverboats.

We’ve paid bribes at border crossings, been interrogated by armed guards at remote checkpoints, suffered air and sea-sickness, and raced through airports to make our connecting flights. We’ve heard every excuse in the book for flight delays, unfulfilled promises and lost luggage.

And we’ve loved every minute of our travels. Well, not every minute but 97.2 % of them (see “lost luggage” above).

Lessons From Traveling Light

1. Travel light. Experience taught us that carry-on is the way to go. Anywhere. Being selectively prudent and packing detergent can help a limited wardrobe go a long, long way. One carry on each suffices for a fifteen-day trip.

Traveling light in our attitude likewise served us well.

2. Go with the flow. Travel seldom goes smoothly. Flight delays are inevitable. When your stewardess attempts to placate you with pretzels because your flight is delayed on the tarmac for over ninety minutes due to the pilots being delayed in traffic, do no harm.

Chill - don’t kill.

3. The world is much bigger than your personal preferences. Broaden your scope and enlarge your perspective because life’s not all about you. Just because it’s “your way” doesn’t mean it’s the only way. Or the right way.

Travel pays huge educational dividends.

4. People like to grumble. Yes, I’ve eavesdropped on conversations. However, the sound volume of some, don’t require close proximity to be heard - especially grumbling about first world problems. One traveler moaned about the fact they had to wear the same thing they wore at the same time the previous year on their cruise. More than one complaint was raised about the thinness of guestroom pillows.

Paradise would be a disappointment for some people. You know who they are.

5. God is incredibly creative. Observe the diversity of flora and fauna, topography and temperatures in Alaska and South Africa, Siberia and the Caribbean, the Northwest Territories and Zimbabwe.

Treat the planet with respect.

6. Courtesy goes far further than rudeness. Your kindness footprint is as or more significant than your carbon footprint. You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. People deserve to have a good impression of you.

Especially traveling as an ambassador of Christ.

7. Experiences are more valuable than souvenirs. T-shirts fade but first time experiences – good and bad - last a lifetime.

Go for the firsts.

8. There are more people who view life as a sacred trust than those who are irreligious, agnostic or atheistic. I’m reminded by conversations everywhere I travel that God has set eternity in the human heart.

Extend conversations one minute longer and see where God comes in.

It's our dream to trek with our children and grandchildren (and their carry-ons) to experience their new firsts.

Travel light and enjoy your journey in 2018.

Bob is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.

Follow his writing at Pointes Of View.


  1. I especially liked the idea of a kindness footprint

  2. Wow! God had some unexpected plans for you. It sounds like you and Jocelyn handled God's direction well.

  3. I so enjoyed your post, Pastor Bob. How wonderful that God had all these travel plans for you and your wife and your family as well. What marvellous lessons you teach us about travelling and about life in general. I agree that courtesy does trump rudeness, especially when we are ambassadors for Christ, as we are every day. What's that old saying? "Your actions speak so loudly that I can't hear a word your saying."

    1. Actions have a volume all their own. Your kindness speaks clearly.


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