“how goes your interruption?”
The autocorrected text message from a friend read truer than intended. ITINERARTION, though Latin for “journey”, is used by Global Workers to describe when we travel to connect with current supporters, meet with potential investors, and report back on what is happening and what is coming. It also means covering a lot of ground, countless meetings, and sharing / repeating similar information.
Itineration can feel like an interruption to life. For us to go, itineration meant pausing everyday life and hitting the road (and skies) as a family for over two weeks, Matthew to keep going solo for another week, and then for Amber and Matthew to hit the road without the little humans for a few days (there’s nothing like flying from Toronto to Abbotsford to be home for 11 hours and then begin a 13 hour drive). Once we live in Thailand, itineration will mean stepping out of life there and stepping into life here – living from suitcases trying to itinerate while seeing dear friends and family, stocking up on hard to find items, and telling yourself you will carve out time to go to || insert place which holds significance in your life || before getting back on a plane.
Itineration can be fraught with disappointment. “Journeying” often underlines the disappointment that accompanies distance. There’s NEVER (we use that absolute intentionally) enough time to see everyone and do everything. It’s not just a matter of our schedule, but that of others as well. Shockingly, the world does not stop for us the moment we spring into action. Inevitably, there is someone who we did not get to see or, if we did, it was not for enough time. Sometimes we feel that disappointment. Other times it is someone else who feels that disappointment. Usually, it’s both.
Itineration can be an amazing opportunity to invest, connect, and grow. Since May we have been in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan (full disclosure – took three attempts to spell that correctly), Ontario, and Quebec. Arguably, we’ve seen more of Canada than some Canadians may ever experience. We’ve chatted with strangers in coffee shops, friends on their couches, pastors in their offices, and acquaintances in foyers. It has helped us better understand the challenges and opportunities that the Canadian church is engaging with. We feel part of something much bigger than ourselves. It is also a rare privilege for us to share some of what we see and some of what we’ve learned. Distance doesn’t isolate us, but it does limit our ability to invest in Canadians. Itineration is the most fun and rewarding when we simply get to invest into the lives of others.
Itineration is life on the fly. Cold calls, reminder emails, Google maps, follow up messages, route planning, accommodation, and clean laundry are all part of itineration. It means full days powered by a desire to honour others through being on time, communicating well, and sharing honestly. It’s 6 hours of driving, 4 meetings, and 7 coffees (to stay alert) all in one day and then repeated over 14 days. It’s tiring, but it is an incredibly unique opportunity and we don’t take it lightly.
Soon the running around and oddball moments will be boiled down to memories and stories, but that sense of connection, rootedness, investment, and home will endure. Soon Thailand will also be home and these memories will be fuel in our tank. Thank you.