Living Overseas for 3 Months
“I want to see mountains again! Mountains, Gandalf! And then find somewhere quiet where I can finish my book.” – Bilbo Baggins
Today, I’m embarking on the longest overseas journey of my life. I’m heading to the other side of the world and I won’t be back until mid-March! Many of you have been asking where I’m going and what I’ll be doing when I get there…so I decided it was worthy of a blog post. Here’s a glimpse of what my life will look like in the coming days:
My oldest sister and her family live in the United Arab Emirates and are missionaries in the labor camps there. Around 4 million labor workers (modern day slaves) from various South Asian countries work in the UAE. I’ll be blogging more about this while I’m over there…but the main reason I’m going is because my entire family is spending Christmas in Dubai! We’ve never done anything like this, and this will be my nieces’ and nephew’s first overseas experience! They will stay for two weeks…but I will not.
Over the past year, I’ve half-way joked with my sister & bro-in-law about living with them in Dubai for a month. (Yeah…like I’ve got a month of free time with my crazy schedule!) Well…as it turns out, I’m in my “off season” & the entire month is clear! So I’ve decided to stay over there until late January.
I’m really looking forward to the downtime…but also spending massive amounts of quality time with my family… and, as Biblo’s quote says above, a place where I can finish my book. More on that later. ;)
After Dubai, I’ll travel to Chiangmai, Thailand for ELIC’s Annual Thailand Conference. Almost every time I go to Asia these days, it’s with ELIC. And I’ll be joining my business partner, Nate, and my friend Jeremy Stanley, as we’ll be providing visual production for the conference. This will be the 3rd time we’ve gone over there to help ELIC out. We’ve become huge fans of this organization and miraculous work they are doing throughout Asia!
ELIC is celebrating their 30th Anniversary this year, so there are a few more festivities taking place this year than normal. So after Thailand, the whole gang will fly over to Hong Kong to help produce ELIC’s big fund-raising banquet, which will involve a ton of projection! =D
I decided to stay an extra week in Hong Kong to see friends and to continue building relationships with the visual worship tribe there. I’ll be VJ-ing at The Vine Church, as well as exploring a lot of interesting conversations & opportunities that presented themselves back in October.
Because I’m in my “off season” with events, I’ve decided to extend my stay through mid-March. There’s a possibility of going to Malaysia to teach a workshop on Visual Worship. And I’m also returning to each previous destination since all of my flights are round trips within round trips. I’ll spend an extra week in Thailand with my friends that live there…and then another week back in Dubai before I catch my final return flight back home. There will be a lot of “work,” as well as a lot of “play”. (the two really are one & the same to me!) But I definitely need some true downtime, too.
I’m looking forward to being out of America for a while. Out of the noise & hustle of my own culture. I’m looking forward to clearing my head… and letting another culture’s rhythm become routine. And I’m definitely looking forward to finding some extra time to write and think. So don’t be surprised if you see a few blog posts from time to time. There’s a lot that’s been brewing in my heart over these past few months.
It’s crazy to think I’ll be gone for three months… and that I’ll completely miss Winter in Nashville. I’m kind of sad about that actually…I LOVE cold weather! But the way things have been going, this trip just feels like the next natural step in my journey. Yet I am filled with expectancy and hope for what the Lord is going to do in me during on this unique journey!
“This is it. If I take one more step, it will be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.” – Samwise the Brave