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Have you ever had something happen to you where all the dominos lined up and dropped in a perfect pattern? Something like that happened for me and my husband eighteen years ago. And I’m just now getting the lesson.
The first domino fell on my husband’s birthday. We’d been talking a great deal about taking an overseas trip to visit my sister and her husband who lived first in Taipei, Taiwan and then Tokyo. The thing is, though we’ve lived a comfortable life, we never had much surplus money, so we weren’t quite sure how we were going to be able to make the trip. All we had was the desire.
I know, some of you will say, “Why didn’t you just save the money for the trip.” And you’re right, but at that point in our lives, we lived pretty much paycheck-to-paycheck. That was okay with us. We saved enough money to buy small ticket items that we wanted or needed from time-to-time, but a trip to Japan? That was something different.
Then, in April 1995, we attended a Reiki retreat. At the event, we met a lovely young woman from Germany. She was headed to New Zealand a week after the retreat and needed a place to stay until the next leg of her trip. We offered her our small guest bedroom. Her visit changed our lives.
Every evening she regaled us with stories of her travels. Barry and I were envious. Each night we’d go to bed talking about traveling to visit friends in distant places. On the last night of her stay we were telling her about my sister and her family, and all the other people we’d met living in far off, but disparate places around the world. The first miracle occurred. She said, “Well, you can get an around the world trip ticket for about $3,000.00. That would make your trip affordable.”
$3,000.00 per ticket was a lot of money for us, but something about the matter of fact way she said it caused a shift in our consciousness. The trip was possible! Thinking it wasn’t possible is what had been holding us back.
The next day was Barry’s birthday. I’d planned a party for him at his workplace, Sophia Center. It was a spirituality center where women and men could go for healing, spiritual gifts, and support. Vivian and I stopped at the bank so she could exchange money for the next leg of her journey. While she was inside, I asked God, How can we pay for our trip? Immediately I heard the answer in my head, You could sell your house. As crazy as it sounds, I knew that was the answer, and we were supposed to do it. Vivian came out of the bank and without saying a word to her, I drove to Sophia Center.
The party was fun, but I don’t remember much about it, because I couldn’t wait to tell Barry about my experience. Part of his birthday gift was a surprise trip to Lincoln City on the Oregon coast. It was an unusually bright sunny day in late May. Once we were out of the city, I brought up the subject of our trip.
“I’ve thought of a way we can pay for our trip,” I said heart pounding. Would he like the idea?
“Oh, I’ve thought of a way too. I wonder if they’re the same,” He said. That was encouraging.
“We could sell our house.”
“I was thinking the same thing,” he said and we looked at each other mouths open. What a miracle. We accepted it gratefully.
From that moment on, all we could do was make plans. Everything related to the trip fell into place with amazing ease. The first decision was, when to go. A year to prepare seemed like a good plan. We found a great realtor who was interested in us and not just in the money she could make helping us sell our house. We sold the house on the first open house for a great deal more than we paid for it. Someone told us about a fantastic travel agent. He helped us make plans and had great contacts to help us along the way should we need them. As it turned out we did, but that’s a story for another post.
Almost everyone was encouraging and excited for us. Friends gave us the names of people in England, France, and Greece who would be contacts for us. We visited Vivian in Germany and another Reiki friend in The Netherlands. We had a college friend in Australia and Heather and John in Japan. The only place we were completely on our own was India.
While making the preparations for our trip was easy, for the most part, so was the trip. Angels appeared at the most opportune times. Like the woman on the New York Subway who guided us in the right direction to our hotel, or the man in The Netherlands, who helped us find the right train at the transfer station, or the Greek hotel owner who gave us a discount on our room in Afitos, or our Sikh guide in Delhi. It’s almost impossible to express the growth we experienced as we traveled, met new people and experienced new cultures.
Yet there is more that I’ve learned just now, eighteen years later. It’s this: For most of my life, I’ve blocked the good things that could come easily if I allowed it. I thought I didn’t deserve them. “Only you can deprive yourself of anything,” it says in A Course in Miracles. One big thing I didn’t deprive myself of was a trip around the world. I’m excited about all the other wonderful things that can happen to me if I allow them to come.