Tues. May 25

Why traveling internationally helps me as a writer.


The Singing Fishermen on Lake Kivu, Goma, Congo

View/hear a YouTube of the Lake Kivu singing fishermen.


I’m very thankful to have the privilege of traveling out of the United States.  I’ve come to realize there are various benefits as a writer in my travels.

I want to make it clear: I travel for the purpose of sharing about my personal faith in Jesus.  Going to the “hard places” (i.e. difficult to reach, tough conditions, great physical/spiritual needs    example: Democratic Republic of Congo, the neediest place I’ve ever seen) always softens my heart.  I learn much more from new friends in these countries than I could ever teach them.

Here are a few benefits I see as a writer:

1. Traveling abroad always gives me Perspective on Life.  I see the world in a new way.  I see myself in a new way.  I return with much greater appreciation of the freedom and opportunities I have as an American.

2.  Traveling abroad provides Perspective on my writing.  I step back from the canvas and can “see” my current work in a new light.  Where I’ll be for the next 2 weeks  (Congo and Rwanda) has very limited and slow internet, little phone service, and no TV in English.  I don’t take my laptop.  It’s a chance to step back, refresh, and reflect.

I always return with a journal full of ideas and a clearer mind about the writer I want to be.

3. Traveling is a great way to hear/see new stories in a new culture.  I’ve come to believe that human nature is very similar throughout the world.  A story from Ethiopian or Honduran culture is just as powerful as a story from Cajun, Piney Woods, or Southern culture.

I go to help.

I go to learn.

I always come back fuller.

My goal is this trip is “Return with an empty suitcase and a full heart.”

On the journey,

Curt Iles

I’ll be blogging (as possible) on my trip at http://www.creekbank.net.

Your prayers are so appreciated.

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