Last quote from The Pilgrimage…

“For the ancients, enthusiasm meant trance, or ecstasy – a connection with God. Enthusiasm is agape (unconditional love) directed at a particular idea or specific thing. We have all experienced it. When we love and believe from the bottom of  our heart, we feel ourselves to be stronger than anyone in the world, and we feel a serenity that is based on the certainty that nothing can shake our faith. This unusual strength allows us always to make the right decision at the right time, and when we achieve our goal, we are amazed at our own capabilities.”

There were times before this trip, when some people grew tired of my constant chatter about where I was going, what I would see, the check-off list I needed to complete, etc. Because I could sense this, I became quiet around those people and chose not to continue showing my enthusiasm. Looking back, it was a wrong decision on my part. My enthusiasm with new challenges is a part of me and does give me strength as the writer talks about. When I’m excited about doing something new, I have diminished fears – they may still be lurking in the background, but they are manageable. My eagerness allows me to have faith that I will be successful in the project or venture I’m about to tackle.

This trip was a goal for me in many ways. Most think the goal was about saving the money, planning, etc. But for me, it was much, much more. First of all, I am deathly afraid of snakes. SE Asia is a hot, humid country perfect for snakes! And I’ve always heard stories about the pythons here. I remember my ex father-in-law telling me about being here and seeing where the snakes shed their skin on the sides of the buildings. THAT was my impression of SE Asia and Thailand in particular! My first challenge was getting past my own impressions and thoughts about what it would be like!

I was also afraid of the culture, not so much because there’s anything wrong with it, but because it’s totally unlike ours. I was afraid I would do or say something out of place, that I couldn’t communicate with people, that the food would disagree with me, that the sky would fall (okay, not really), but you name it, I’ve been afraid of it!

For me, the goal was about tackling those fears. The goal wasn’t to “get here”….money can do that easily. The goal was to “be here” – without fears – to be here enthusiastically! I can honestly say, I have done that! The Malaysian and Thai people have embraced me whole-heartedly and I, them! The countryside and cities are magnificent. The snakes apparently are not shedding on buildings anymore!! And the cultures of the countries are something I’m learning about on a daily basis and recognizing that although they are different from mine, people are not! I am ecstasically happy to be here!

We’ve all had something we were enthusiastic about….getting married, going to Disney World for the first time, seeing old friends or relatives – you name it…we’ve all experienced it. These are all goals, big and small, that we get excited about and feel a sense of contentment when we achieve them. We have every reason to feel that sense of enthusiasm, that faith that is unshakeable that we will be successful! Going forward, no one will curb my enthusiasm! I am at my best when I’m excited, throw caution to the wind, and let faith guide me! I hope you will do the same!!

Cheri 🙂


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cheriarnold
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 05:47:46

    Nate…thanks for the “like”!! Cheri 🙂


  2. Travel Spirit
    Mar 01, 2012 @ 06:42:49

    Cheri – In your last post you said, “Over the years, I’ve felt uncomfortable thinking that my dreams were somehow related to an unhappiness with my life”. I also feel that way about travel. I have this unquenchable thirst to go out in the world, and I’ll sway between I know that’s what I’m supposed to do…to just control your thoughts, try to be happy and grateful for what you do have. It can be so confusing, especially when you have a husband. Anyway, I’ve made the decision to travel, I’m just not sure when, or for how long. Maybe I’ll see you on the road!!


    • cheriarnold
      Mar 01, 2012 @ 17:29:07

      Sherry….meeting up on the road would be fabulous!! Perhaps one day you will do the Camino? 🙂 I’m not sure how I will be able to travel financially, but I know I will always make it a priority in my life. It’s a thirst for me also and I’m realizing more and more every day that I’m not an unhappy person – it’s just that travelling is what makes me happiest!!!

      Thanks for following along Sherry. I also read your blogs and it seems like you have some exciting travels yourself!


  3. dmotto
    Mar 31, 2012 @ 09:58:34

    Hi Cheri! I am new to blogging. I have a son (age 32) who stepped out to accomplish a dream of working with orphans by going to Thailand on a one-way ticket! Needless to say, I am lost without him…well not lost, but missing him more than I ever thought possible. But I am so very happy for him also. I have always loved to travel, whether its to the nearby lake or river, the next town, or wherever! I have not done a lot of it, but what little I have done, I love. I also live vicariously through others like yourself so thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing what you love to do, travel & write! God bless you in all your travels! Debbie


    • cheriarnold
      Apr 01, 2012 @ 05:30:37

      Wow….I am so humbled by your comments! And your son is one to be truly admired. It’s not easy to give of yourself like he is. I’m so impressed! Of course you miss him as I miss my two boys back in Colorado. But he’s doing a wonderful thing – kudos to him for doing this and to you for raising someone with so much love to share!

      Is something stopping you from traveling further Debbie?


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