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Friday, November 22, 2013

On Choosing a Fellow-Traveler

What kind of person would you want in your expedition party (to complement your weaknesses) the next time you embark on a great adventure? (Serendipity Bible, 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1352).

I see this question in several lights. Ideally, I would have with me someone who had gone on a similar adventure before so already would know the lay of the land. For example, if I were to have the opportunity to travel to China, it would be a great advantage to have with me someone who had made that journey several times before (perhaps even having lived there awhile). But even so, with so many things to see in China, it would be important that my fellow traveler have interests much like mine. I could, for example, play host to someone visiting Saint Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Area where I live. If someone were interested in hitting all the hot night spots, it would not be good for me to be their fellow adventurer. There are many others who would be much more versed in that area and more capable of showing them a good time. However, with my having gone many years to the University of South Florida and St Pete College, with the help of more knowledgeable people at these institutions, I could provide a unique and appreciative view of these universities and some of their programs. Likewise, if the visitor were a stranger to the Christian lifestyle, I would much enjoy introducing them to my church and some of its services, activities, and membership.

Given that mutual interest considerations are met, what I really would need as a fellow adventurer is someone who is a “can do” person, someone who is very practical and good at details and planning—being conversant in Chinese would also be a big help; someone who is realistic and one who could help make our adventure affordable. It would be hell on earth to go on an adventure allied with a big spender when the budget simply did not allow for excess. That could quickly turn a joyous occasion into one of dispute and feelings of deprivation. I could, for example, as a stranger visit Saint Petersburg and with very little money get a very good idea of the municipality and the life many residents see on a daily basis (with a little guidance from a sympathetic resident). And this would be one of my objectives in going to China—not to see how the few wealthy people lived years ago or to gush before natural wonders, but to see how most live and enrich their lives now on a daily basis. This to me represents the true adventure of China (or most any other country). These considerations constitute the wealth and natural wonders that most interest me.


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