Travelling light in Salzburg

This blog, shared by guest blogger Sarah Dunlop our volunteer from Australia, is the second in our occasional blog series “God in My Suitcase”. There are a number of us in the Watering Hole who travel and often there are great little stories to be shared about the details of our trips. This blog series will relate some of those stories is and look some of the life lessons and how we can learn about God from everyday incidents. We hope you enjoy reading our stories and we would love to hear your stories too. If you have a story to tell then contact us here.

Baggage

Have you ever felt weighed down by baggage – awkward, heavy, annoying baggage?

I have, and so now when traveling I chose to go light – carry on baggage, what I can comfortably carry-on-my-back-in-a-city light. I am proud to say just 7.5kgs of essential items accompanied me on my trip to Europe recently so after a week in Budapest that meant a washing night. After finally getting my washing done after my washing powder took a trip of its own (see previous blog) I was on my way, solo, to Austria.

Jinny and me in Salzburg

Jinny and me in Salzburg

In Salzburg I met a fellow solo female traveller, Jinny, who joined me in an afternoon stroll around the city that included a hike up some rather steep paths to the fortress on a hill. As we watched the sunset behind the mountain ranges we just stood in complete awe of the breathtaking views in front of us.

Through the afternoon we got chatting about our travels and our lives back home.  She mentioned how in her first weeks she felt so alone, her baggage was weighing her down as she went and she got lost all the time.  I had seen her baggage – one large suitcase, one carry on suitcase and a backpack.  I knew if I had to lug all that around I would have downsized a long time ago.

But despite this she was so enthusiastic about meeting new people, going to new places and ultimately fulfilling her goal of seeing Europe. She said “It’s okay because I have the opportunity to see the world”.

As I reflected on her circumstances and what she shared I couldn’t help but be reminded of life in general. So often we feel isolated (lonely), we have things in our past and present that weigh us down (baggage) and we often don’t know where to turn next or have ended up at a dead-end (lost). Jinny didn’t let anything stop her. She didn’t focus on the baggage – she focused on the opportunity in front of her. That doesn’t mean she completely forgot about her circumstances or ignored them – she simply chose to have a different attitude and to press on instead.

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg, Austria

The next morning I had an early train to catch and as I put on my coat I discover she had left me a note thanking me for spending time with her. Along with the note came some socks she had brought from Korea. I got one of five pairs of socks she had brought to give to friends she made along the way. Here I was trying to bring as little as possible with me so I wouldn’t be held back from enjoying my travel and there she was thinking of sweet things like bringing gifts to give to people she met along the way. This gesture has been one that touched me so significantly that I am still thinking and writing about it today.

As I watched the sunrise while walking to the train that morning her attitude really impacted me. Now every time I think of Jinny I ask myself; Is my attitude going to get me where I want to be and positively impact the lives of those I meet?

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