Never Say Never - My Family Travels

There is a country song by Terri Clark with a line that goes, “…visit Paris in the fall…” This tune unexpectedly came in to my head as I walked down the streets of Paris in 2007 during autumn. The bright leaves were falling around me as I headed toward the Louvre, a visual reminder of home.  The smell of burning leaves and roasting marshmallows were but a long gone memory since I had been studying in Europe for the past two months. The leaves even seemed to smell different in Paris, perhaps it was the wafts of baking bread or crisp fresh breeze that hurried to meet you but fall was a new experience in this strange city.

The memories of apple pie, baseball, and boating on the lake had been suppressed while I was living in Spain. I barely even realized that fall was amongst us until  my trip to Paris. The leaves in Spain didn’t turn to a shade of brilliant red or maybe it was because the air wasn’t quite cool enough.   Either way, Paris had me hooked as soon as I stepped off the plane.

I remember as a child looking at pictures of the Eiffel Tower and thinking that I would never see that monument in person. After all I grew up in a small Midwest town and no one ever questioned leaving that small area. The enormity of my beliefs that certain events just would not happen to me began to fade away as I realized that nothing is ever truly certain. The trip to Paris had even been last minute.

Somewhere between the crepes filled with chocolate, the street lamp lined streets, fresh bread and red wine, I learned that the impossible is only an idea in your mind. My travels after Paris seemed to reflect this very idea. I slowly began to realize that there are events that will happen in your life that you never dared to imagine would occur.

After I returned from Europe I flew to Paraguay, South America the following summer. My family and I were looking for my sister’s biological family. I had no idea what would be in store. The plane landed in Asuncion, Paraguay where the sights are vivid and colorful, the smells foreign yet strangely sweet. The locals seemed to be clothed in every color imaginable especially those selling trinkets to the tourists.

My family and I stayed with two missionary friends and were pleasantly surprised when they told us we would be going to Brazil. They informed us that the border was not that far away and that we could reach it by car. Secretly, I wondered how we were going to be able to go into this country last minute without visas but I kept these worries to myself.  When we were getting ready to cross the border we were told to look straight ahead and that we were being smuggled into Brazil! I asked what would happen if we were caught. I was informed that we could pay our way out of any nasty situation in Brazil.  All of this information coming from two missionaries! I had no other option to look forward and try not to look suspicious.  We made our way across with a large sigh of relief. The worry was well worth the payoff when I was able to see Iguazu Falls.  Once again I was thinking to myself never say never. Who knows you may just be smuggled across another country’s border one day and view the most beautiful natural scenery of your life! Good travels to you all!


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