Once again we woke up in paradise, Hawaiian paradise. As much as we love going to the Islands this morning it seems so anticlimatic. Maybe it would be easier to open ourselves up to enjoying it if we had scheduled more than just a transfer between planes. When Beth booked the flights she saw that we landed at 11PM on Thursday and took off at 2:00 on Friday. It took until just a couple weeks before we left to realize that it was 2:00 PM on Friday so Beth arranged a room for us in Waikiki. It was a good thing too because we really enjoyed a good night sleep.
Why did Cook chase adventure? And why do men and women who have it all chase adventure, even today? The answer is, because it is their calling. Their gift. Without their wanderings, society would be poorer, more shortsighted, and far more mundane. Cook, a simple man with great dreams, changed the way the world saw itself and inspired future generations of adventurers.
A great quote from the Epilogue of the book that Beth gave me. As it turned out I finished the book as we were landing in Honolulu not too far from Cook's burial place. And, although I don't see Beth and I on any scale even remotely similar to Captain James Cook, I do see how we went further then *we* had ever gone.
We climbed a bridge in Sydney. We fed kangaroos, held koalas and rode river boats in Brisbane. We dove the Great Barrier Reef and I overcame my fears. We drove through the Australian Outback only getting partially lost. We witnessed one of the greatest displays of God's creation. We slept in 4 beds in 4 time zones in 4 states (2 foriegn, 2 domestic) in 4 nights on our way home. We talked with people from all walks of life and had made new friends. And finally, we traveled home safely.
Martin Dugard the author of "Farther than any Man" said it so well, "Without [the wanderings of adventurers], society would be poorer, more shortsighted, and far more mundane".
Beth and I realized that, although our list from the "I miss game", that we had played on our drive thru the outback, was long and exhaustive, none of it was vital to our happiness. None of it 'spoiled' our trip by doing without (with the possible exception of available uplinking capability).
Our travels, and more precisely our conversations, opened our eyes to many view points of America that we had never seen before. It was eye opening to say the least. But when it comes to Dugard's line about "society would be poorer", well, that's where you, the reader of this journal and the journal itself comes in.
You see, if we take all these pictures, and write all these stories down and document all these conversations, and no one reads it, then our journey does nothing for our "society" or community of friends and loved ones. Our dream and our prayer is that you can share in this epic journey with us.
If we could instill one thing on all of our friends it would be this. As great as the ideals of this country are, and we do believe they are the best, in practice the United States make mistakes. Our country has an awesome responsibility on this globe. Most everyone we spoke to told us that the United States has a bad reputation throughtout the rest of the world. Our country is not seen as a leader but as a bully.
Power does not give us respect. The United States must earn that respect in this Global Village. In our country the power comes from the people, that fact is written into our Constitution. Government of the people, by the people and for the people. So ultimately, when people say they don't like what our government is doing they are saying that they don't like what you and I are doing. When we watch the evening news we MUST realize that the decisions that we make on a daily basis can affect the entire world if we choose. You see, that is the beauty of this country.
A friend of mine who travels to Australia all the time always refers to the continent as "Oz". I started thinking about that one day on a train in Brisbane and it struck me. Dorothy's Oz was the creation of her dreams that she thought would be the answer to all her problems. A mystical place filled with Munchkins and yellow brick roads. But in the end Dorothy decided that there was "no place like home" so she clicked her heals and home she went.
In the three weeks we have been "down under" we've seen the largest cities and the smallest outposts, the busiest rivers and the the most desolate roads. We've traveled thousands of miles by plane and boat and train and car and buggy, we saw almost everything we wanted to see. The beauty of man's accomplishments in the architecture of Sydney and the the wonders of God's creation in the Great Barrier Reef and his creatures, and the alignment of celestial bodies that only He could orchestrate. This trip was the fulfillment of many dreams and plans but in the end we too will travel home to where we belong and where we love.
As we come into the approach at SFO I realize that the time on my watch and the time on the iBook have once again come into sync.