Eugene Cho

dream travel destination

09places600_1.jpg

I love traveling.  Prior to marriage and parenthood, I traveled to nearly every state and about a dozen countries.  While having children is a great blessing, it impacts our ability to travel for various reasons.  Traveling is wonderful for many reasons but it’s also important in helping shape our worldviews.  It’s refreshing and vital to know that the world is a bigger place than what we know.

The New York Times last Sunday had an INCREDIBLE article entitled, 53 Places to Go in 2008…

What’s on your travel itinerary in the new year? From a new luxury hotel in Laos (where you can take in the view of ancient temples from a chaise lounge by the infinity pool) to the waterfront night clubs of Hvar (the St. Tropez of Croatia) to Death Valley (where recent heavy rains have some flower bloggers speculating on a dazzling spring bloom next year), the travel choices for global nomads have never been more varied.

You must read the entire piece and a glimpse of all 53 places.  Click HERE for the text article and HERE for the interactive graphic version.

So, let’s pretend finances and time isn’t an issue.  Share your answer to this question:

If you could travel anywhere in the world for one month, where would you go and why?

As some of you know, it’s my hope to be traveling next summer during my sabbatical.  The family and I are committed to one place thus far.  We’ll be visiting Korea to spend some time with Minhee’s mother. 

Our other travel plans are very contingent on a grant I am applying for.  This grant is specifically designed for pastors and their sabbaticals.  As you can assume, it’s also highly competitive as they only extend about 30 grants/year.  If we get this grant, we are hoping to travel to about 10 countries – in hopes of visiting people and organizations that are working and building sustainable ways to fight global poverty…Folks tackling issues of hunger and nutrition, disease, AIDS, water, education, amongst other areas.  Are there places and/or organizations you personally know [or you’ve visited yourself] you’d recommend?

Filed under: travel

12 Responses

  1. andrew says:

    I’d love to take a month and tour around Australia and New Zealand. No particular reason except that I’ve never been remotely close to that part of the world.

  2. leochen says:

    Visited Malang and Bali of Indonesia a few years ago. Beautiful country! And cheap once you get there. Not the safest place in the world, but there’s always the Canadian-flag-on-the-back-pack thing you can do for the whole family. =)

  3. rexhamilton says:

    There are two places that come to mind: One would be Greece for the best food in the world and the ancient ruins. Second would be Swaziland, Africa where I just spent 2 weeks working with some local pastors. The friendliest people I’ve ever encountered and so much opportunity for hope and healing there.

  4. Dan says:

    Eugene,

    I had a chance to visit South Africa a few years ago and visited the work at the orphanages in God’s Acre. Truly amazing stuff.

    http://www.godsgoldenacre.org.uk/aboutus.php

    I’d recommend visiting South Africa…

  5. capt Ralph says:

    I have been blessed with visiting about 10 of the 53. I support and wish your family all the best in that sabbatical and important travel. I want to be the first (I am sure others will as well) to suggest visiting the Reghettas in St Petersburg. WOW

  6. Kacie says:

    have you looked into the Blood Water mission that Jars of Clay is involved with? I’ve heard good things.

    If you’re interested in microlending, I can point you towards one that a pastor at my church from Chicago has joined with.

    I would always like to go “home” to Indonesia, but other then that I have always wanted to travel through the Alps… Northern Italy, Switzerland, Germany…. One day.🙂

  7. pdxWoman says:

    Pastor Cho:

    I know a Christian Congolese naturopathic doctor (trained here in the NW), who returned to Africa to start a clinic. He felt naturopathic care would provide the same level of medical assistance, but was more culturally appropriate for his people. If that’s the sort of thing you’re looking into, let me know and I’ll get his contact info for you.

    pdxwoman [{AT}] gmail [{DOHT}] com

  8. Ben C says:

    I just took about a month traveling to Barcelona (Spain), Roma (Italy), and Mykonos & Athens (Greece) recently. I could live in Barcelona which says a lot.

    The next place I’d like to visit is Brazil (Sao Paulo, Rio), head back to Seoul, and then go someplace crazy remote in Africa.

    Love talking about traveling! Might like it just as much as actually doing it!

  9. dcruzin says:

    I would love to go to Europe. I’ve been talking to a friend about going to Spain sometime this year, we’ll see where we end up going. I’ve never been to Europe, so ideally I’d spend a month there with some friends and tour around a ton of different countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, France, England, Germany, Switzerland, and more🙂.

    Realistically, this year I’ll probably go to Japan once to visit Nick, and hopefully either somewhere in South America (Argentina?) or Europe as well. I wish the US dollar wasn’t so weak right now..

    There are so many places in the US I haven’t been to (like all of the Northeast) so I hope to at least go to NYC next year, too. I totally have a similar dream of wanting to roadtrip around the US, though probably not in an RV and instead with a tent/sleeping bag to camp in all the National Parks.

    I love Seattle, PE, but I love travelling, too. Always great to have new places to take photos. Then I could really beef up my current photo collection at my new site I was telling you about: http://dcruzinphotography.com

  10. tayloramiles says:

    There is no doubt I would got and do annother trek in Nepal. Nepal has amazing culture, Natural beauty, People, food. Its very difficult to describe.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Currently I am super excited to go back to Europe. I would start in France or Spain and work my way across southern Europe and the Mediterranean. I’ve always wanted to go see Italy and Greece. And if I made it over to Eastern Europe and put my fading Russian skills to use, that would be cool too.

    Another great trip would be a road trip up (or down) the east coast. Especially in fall, with the great colors.

    I agree with Darwin-I LOVE Seattle but love travelling as well. But this will always be home. I always feel a sense of satisfaction when the plane touches down at SeaTac.🙂

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One Day’s Wages

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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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