In the last ten years, I have lived in four countries and six states. At one point I had my belongings stored across three states and one country. I have no permanent residence—unless you consider four boxes in my parents’ attic a permanent residence (that is where I get my mail). In the hypothetical situation that I am moving, I decided to make a step-by-step list to keep me on task. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
Food is a central part of my family living overseas. There aren’t movie theaters, nice parks to stroll through, or hipster roof top hangs to watch the sunset from; so, we spend our time eating. And when we aren’t eating, we are figuring out how to create the food we don’t have access to. We have gotten good at it—a little too good for our waist lines. Read the rest of this blog at the Taking Route Blog.Read More
Working out is the blight of almost any mom—we put on weight to have these precious babies, and then these adorable babies leave us with no time to ever go to the gym again. Working out seems especially hard for moms living overseas. In many western countries there are workout classes that incorporate the kids and help to keep the moms motivated. But where I live—and I am sure where you live too—there is no such thing. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
Hike: Moderate, 1 hour.
Paintings: 14th century, lower paintings faded, but the ones out of reach are still vivid.
What I Like: Different views, manageable hike, unique church, great painting.
Overall Experience: Top five.
Hike:Difficult, Steep 1.5 hours to reach the church.
Church Structure:Basilica style, six columns and two aisles, completely rock-hewn, locals claim that it dates back to the 4thcentury.
Paintings: Vivid, possibly the early 19thand maybe retouched in the 20thcentury.
Views: Incredible, totally different views than that of the Hawzen plain.
What I Like: I love the hard hike, unique views, and paintings.
Overall Experience:Top five, worth seeing if you have the time, great for people that can do hard hikes.
Time: Allow at least 4.5 hours for the drive, hike, and visiting the church. Allow an extra hour if you plan to take your time.
Hike: Level–Difficult. Steep with a few slippery spots, 1.5 hours to the top.
Church Structure: Large.
Paintings: 13th-14th century, damaged due to water.
What I Like: Best all-around hike for active people.
Overall Experience: Top five.
He wants me, all of me. He wants my fidgeting hands and tear weld eyes. He wants my brokenness, that is where He loves to shine. His power is made perfect in my weakness. Grieving does not mean I am not trusting, in fact transformational and healing grieving require trust. Who would let their insides pour out if they did not trust the goodness of the one in front of whom they stood? Distrust causes us to stuff pain deep within, trust in Christ is an invitation for weeping.Read More
If your baby had a passport before it was a month old, you probably have an expat baby. Expat babies, also known as third culture kids or tcks, are a rare breed—they will have some of the most unique experiences that they will never even remember. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
- Hike: Level–Difficult. There are two sections of free climbing. For safety, I recommend asking your guide to bring a harness and ropes, but I have always done it without. One hour climb to the church.
- What I Like: I love how treacherous it is to reach this church and what treasures await you at the top.
- Overall Experience: Top five, I would only recommend this for children over twelve and please request ropes.
You don’t have to be a person of the Orthodox faith to enjoy this deeply spiritual pilgrimage past pastoral farms, up through canyon walls and into the mountains in search of these ancient treasures. The physical act of hiking to these hidden churches mirrors for me the life-long journey of the pilgrimage toward God. It is a unique opportunity to see yourself, away from the busyness of routine and habit, as you climb up into the ancient mysteries that these mountains hold.Read More
I remember when my husband and I drove fifteen hours from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to our new home in the north. I loved every minute of the heat, the god-forsaken hotel, and the lack of water when we arrived at our new home. I vividly remember thinking, “I am the luckiest person in the world that I get to have this life.” Fast-forward six months to a year later, and guess who was crying? ME. Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
There are rhythms all around us sending us messages. The power goes out. The water tank is empty. The internet hasn’t worked in days. The car breaks down. The baby just wants to be held. In those moments there is a very critical choice that will make or break my day; will I listen to the rhythms or try to create my own? Read the rest of this post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
Maybe I’m the only mom that has ever been nervous about raising and caring for a child in the developing world. I try to calm my anxiety with reason—millions of moms have raised their babies in the developing world in worse conditions. I shouldn’t have a problem. Right after my daughter was born, the reality of living in Africa became real and I honestly don’t feel equipped for the challenge. Read more of this post on The Taking Route Blog.Read More
I am named after my grandma Joy who passed away recently. I wasn’t there to say goodbye to her. I wasn’t at her funeral. And it was all so terribly wrong and unnatural. It was so wrong that I didn’t get to hold my grandma’s hand one last time. It was so wrong that I didn’t get to grieve with my family. It was so wrong that my mom had to pack up Grandma’s house without me. It was all so wrong, but it is just the way it was because I live an ocean away. Read the rest of the post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
I always envisioned myself peeing in a porcelain toilet to confirm my first pregnancy, but there I was squatting over a hole in the ground.That was just the beginning of new experiences while navigating pregnancy in the foreign country that I call home. Somedays I embraced the adventure of it all and on others I caved in to the fear and unknown. At the beginning of my pregnancy I didn’t know what questions to ask to decide where to deliver my baby. Through this Taking Route community, I have come in contact with many women that have had babies while living abroad, but when I was first embarking on this journey I hardly knew anyone with that experience. Read the rest of the post on the Taking Route Blog.Read More
Need, I am finding, is one of the greatest gifts in the world. Maybe it is a gift to need redemption, to need grace, to need water, to need God to provide. I have never felt my need as clear as I do here in Mekelle; it’s a combination of the brokenness I have embraced in myself in recent years mixed with the vulnerability of our life here. Away from the familiar, distant from community, and adapting to the unknown.Read More
As the Fourth of July approaches, some of you Americans out there living overseas might already be a little bummed to be missing the annual family backyard BBQ or that epic weekend at the beach with your best girlfriends. For other Americans living abroad, it might not hit you until you are scrolling through Instagram on July 4th. Well, you aren’t the only one missing home. Unfortunately, it is our holiday routine that we are trying to change. Here are 7 Ideas to Celebrate without Fireworks on the Taking Route Blog.Read More