When we were in Colorado this week, our friend Erik from Estes Park, asked us if he could show us his “back yard.” So early Tuesday morning we packed up the car and drove into the Rocky Mountain National Park where skies were overcast and clouds dropped a flurry of snowflakes.


One by one, we strapped on snowshoes and headed through the silent woods on a path of freshly fallen snow.


Erik apologized several times. “If you would have been here yesterday, you’d know what you were missing.” He meant the stretch of majestic mountain peaks strung throughout the park but now obscured by the clouds.


I gently brushed aside the apologies as easily as the snowflakes that landed on my cheeks. What I saw all around me was a type of beauty I’d never seen before. The soft fall of snowflakes, pine boughs iced with fluffy whiteness, and miles and miles of silence created a scene unique to that day. What I would have missed was a completely different showcase altogether from what would have appeared on a clear sunny day.


There are so many kinds of beauty.

Guatemala’s stretches of black sand stitched along frothy waves.

An brilliant emerald green river running through the Soca Valley.

Sapa’s rolling rice terraces, shimmering golden in the sun.

The rocky textured beauty of the Rocky Mountains.


They’re ALL beautiful.


Travel creates in us an an appreciation for all different kinds of beauty. No destination is ever the same. Every day is different. God has a way of mixing things up and giving us new surprises and fresh discoveries. Like he did earlier this week for me among the snowy aspens.


“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware,” said the philospher Martin Buber. And so often it’s not what’s planned but what’s unexpectedly discovered that make exploring the world so exciting. So travel, explore, encounter, and embrace God’s big backyard!


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