'I'm packing.' Reflecting on travel, adventure and loss


I lost my grandmother yesterday. Reba Walker was a good woman, and you couldn't find anybody better than her. I miss her, but as she would always say, "All is well." I'll be fine. The lessons that she taught me live in me and I'm a better person for it.

She didn't understand my love for travel – a lot of people from home didn't – but she encouraged and supported it. She wanted me to have the experiences that she could only dream of.

I could always rely on Favorite – that's what we called her – to pray my friends and me on our way to whatever destination we were headed. One memory in particular I have is from May 2016, when a couple of friends and I flew to Southeast Asia. About halfway through the trip, en route from Singapore to Bangkok, we learned that a flight from Paris to Cairo had crashed a few hours before we scheduled to fly. I was terrified, and I didn't want to get on my flight. I called home, and it was late in the U.S. but Favorite picked up. She prayed for us and didn't seem too worried like I did.

We landed safely, of course. Like she believed and prayed that we would. 

Favorite was a woman of unshakable faith and a command of Scripture unlike anybody I know. She always had a Bible verse or a song ready to sing to you. She gave great advice, was a great listener and was my biggest cheerleader and fan.

She often told me that the travel bug in my family skipped a few generations. Her mother loved to travel, but she didn't. My dad doesn't travel often, but I do.

I miss her thoughts. I miss her asking asking me about my next trip, and asking me to bring her something back. She usually wanted a hat, or a bag. I was fortunate to tell her about this blog before she left, and I'm grateful for that.

One of the last things she told my aunt before she passed was that she was "packing." "I'm packing my bags," she told my aunt. She knew she was leaving this earth, on a journey to see our Father and she was ready to go. She served God and her family her entire life, and she deserves rest. She was prepared to go; she'd been preparing her entire earthly life for this, as someone pointed out to me yesterday.

I'm packing too, Favorite. I'm still on this earthly journey – and I wish we had more time to embark on it together – but for me, the journey doesn't stop. I'll still venture the world, see the sights that you didn't see, and bring you something back. But my bags will be packed, until we're back together.


Side note: If you subscribed to my weekly flight deals, they'll return soon. It goes without saying that I've been preoccupied, but I haven't forgotten ya'll.