You get tired. Faster. Part of that is the travel. Part of it is the stress of landing in a place where you don’t know the language or culture. But no matter how much rest you get beforehand, after one day of travel, you’re tired.
Even though you’re tired, you find out you can go further than you thought. I am sure it’s partly the adrenaline but it’s also because somebody in the group gets slap happy when they are tired. You know what slap happy is? You could slap them and they’d still laugh. Everything is funny to that person and they start laughing so hard tears flow down their face, they can’t breath. I’ve even heard of someone who wet their pants they were laughing so hard.
This, of course, makes everyone else laugh and just pray this doesn’t happen as you are going thru immigration as no country ever hires anyone with a sense of humor to work in immigration. Ever.
The schedule gets changed. Often. A bus is late. A meal takes longer than usual. It happens. It’s not a big deal, it shouldn’t be a big deal. You stay up too late, get up too early and you make it. You even start to like it.
Your eyes are more perceptive to beauty. Landscapes, art, people – you start to notice the incredible Creation. A flower or a bug or a food – something that back home you would have overlooked now captures your attention.
Somebody picks up the language and it’s never you. You will practice the word for ‘bathroom’ a 100 times and never pronounce right once. Your friend on the trip will be able to negotiate small land deals in the language.
You will meet someone you’ve known all your life.
You will have a bout with deep homesickness.
You will not want to leave.
You find a food that you wonder how you ever lived without it. You’ll eat something that you’re thankful that you have lived without.
You pray more. For everything. The Scriptures leap off the page like never before.
You work harder than you’ve ever worked. And it feels good. You sweat in places you didn’t know you had. (Or freeze.)
God gets bigger. A lot bigger. You get humbled when you see Him work and move in ways you can’t explain.
You worship with brothers and sisters not understanding a word yet understanding it all.
You come home different. Not really able to explain why but also counting the days when you can go back.